Doing Good Can Be Good for your Wallet
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Driving is one of the most harmful things we can do for the environment. You don’t need to be an environmental activist to try to do your bit by cutting back on different things that impact the environment in a negative way. Making small, simple changes to your everyday routine and lifestyle can make a huge difference overall, and it could even save you money. Don’t put off making changes because you believe one person can’t make a difference. One person can definitely make a difference, and you could also inspire others to do the same.
With this in mind, below, you’ll find 13 important ways to be a low impact driver. Take a look and see what you can do:
- Buy A Fuel Efficient Low Emissions Vehicle
You may not be able to go out and buy a brand new car, but buying a fuel efficient, low emission vehicle when the time is right could make a big difference to the impact you have on the environment. Keep your eye on various fuel efficient models that are designed to be good for the environment. You may even want to get a hybrid car or a full-electric car to futureproof your car choice and ensure you’re prepared for whatever comes your way.
- Drive Responsibly
Make sure that when you drive, whatever car you drive, you drive responsibly. Doing things like speeding may mean slamming your brakes on more often, making sharp turns and simply driving erratically. By making sure you drive safely and sensibly, you will reduce your impact. You should also make sure you take any steps you need to take in order to drive as sensibly as possible, even if that is going to get new glasses or having an eye test. You should avoid stores and order online if you want the best deal–glasses don’t have to be expensive–and it’ll be worth getting a pair if they enhance your driving technique.
- Regularly Maintain Your Vehicle
Regular maintenance of your vehicle is essential to its lifespan, your safety on the road and, of course, how environmentally friendly you are. When you keep your vehicle up-to-date you won’t use as much gas, and this will save you money and be better for the planet. Keep it clean, take it for regular services and check-ups, and keep track on a calendar so you don’t forget.
Take of your car and the earth will thank you
- Check You’re Driving At The Correct Tire Pressure
Many people drive without keeping an eye on their tire pressure, and this can result in accidents and reduced stopping times. When you make sure your tires are at the right pressure (you can find this on the inside of your passenger door or your car manual), you will be doing the environment a huge favor. Under inflated tires do nothing but reduce your gas mileage and emit more pollutants into the air.
5. Use The Right Kind of Oil
Using the right kind of oil in your vehicle will ensure it continues to drive smoothly and work effectively. You should be sure to use synthetic, environmentally-friendly motor oil in your engine when possible. This will make a big difference.
6. Don’t Drive If You Don’t Need To
Many people hop in the car and drive even when they don’t need to. They begin to depend on the car, and as a result, have a bigger impact on their environment (not to mention a negative impact on their health and fitness). If possible, you should try to walk for short journeys. This will help you to get some fresh air and get more steps in each day, which is crucial for your fitness levels. If you can’t do that, see if you can ride a bike or take public transport instead. Riding a bike is another great fitness technique, but if you can’t do either of those things, public transport is a great way to reduce your impact. Some employers even have incentives for employees who use public transport or car pool, so check this out.
7. Save On Weight Where Possible
Having too much weight in your vehicle will mean using more gas than you really need to, and a number of other things that you don’t want to happen. You can save on weight by making sure you ditch any unused roof racks or car roof cargo boxes. Don’t leave things in the car that don’t need to be in there, either. Stay on top of what’s in your car and try to travel light whenever you drive.
Being a low-impact drive can improve your bottom line
8. Don’t Idle For More Than 2 Minutes
It’s all too easy to idle these days, and you may not even realize how long you’ve been idling. The engine should be switched off if you plan on sitting for more than a few minutes, many new cars do this automatically to save on emissions. Try to remember to do this yourself, whether you’re waiting to pick somebody up or at a long red light.
9. Shift Smarter By Anticipating Changes
The way you shift your gear stick can even make a difference to the impact you have on the environment. Drivers of standard transmission vehicles can reduce gas consumption by anticipating speed changes in advance. As your fuel consumption is directly related to how hard the engine is working, it can really have a positive impact. Use first gear only when you’re coming out of neutral, and shift gears as quickly as possible. This will help you to avoid overworking the engine, which many people don’t realize they are doing.
10. Cut Down on Luxuries As You Drive
You really don’t need to run the air conditioner on short trips, do you? Avoid doing this, as this little convenience can boost your gas consumption by up to 20 per cent. Before starting your vehicle, you should also try to remember to take a moment to air out the interior in order to lower the temperature, and then leave the windows closed if you must have the AC running. Being mindful of these things and not just keeping them running as standard will seriously help you to become a low impact driver.
11. Add A Cleaning Agent To Your Fuel System
Adding a cleaning agent to your fuel system could be a good idea if you’re not 100 percent sure what you can do to reduce your harmful impact on the environment. As a car gets older, harmful deposits can build up in the vehicle’s engine, and this in turn reduces efficiency and increases emissions.
Adding a cleaning agent into the fuel system will help remove the deposits and lower the emissions, so try this and see if you can tell the difference. Even if you can’t, you can rest assured that this change will have a bigger, more positive impact on your road use and the environment.
12. Change Your Air Filter
When an air filter is clogged up, the airflow to the engine is reduced, which can lead to a plethora of issues. The engine needs to breathe, as strange as that sounds. If it can’t, then deposits will build up and you’ll need to deal with premature wear and tear. Make sure you’re aware of the service intervals for your filter, and bear in mind that you may need to make a mental note to change it more regularly if you live in a particularly dusty environment.
13. Secure Your Fuel Cap Properly
Most people don’t realize that ensuring the gas cap is on securely after a refuel is a simple but effective way of improving fuel efficiency. It also can affect vehicle emissions. It’s a simple task and yet, many people fail to do this properly. The reason it’s so important is because it stops oxygen from making its way into the tank, which will cause more fuel to be burned as you drive. When it is sealed properly, the seal is tight enough that oxygen will stay out and you can make each re-fuel last as long as possible. Stay mindful when you fill up and ensure it’s sealed tight before you get back into the car.
Becoming a Low Impact Driver – Conclusion
Becoming a low impact driver after many years of bad habits and techniques can be tough. However, one person really can make a difference, so making these small changes one at a time and getting used to them is important. They shouldn’t take too much of your time and effort, but being consistent with them will allow you to give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. Just make sure you don’t stop here! Next, you can look at how to have a lower impact on the environment at home and anywhere else you frequent. Eventually, you’ll know you’re doing all you can to help the environment and stop the negative climate impacts that threaten our whole planet.
Do you have anything else to add for those looking to be lower impact drivers? Leave your thoughts and ideas below. Thanks for reading!
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