Take the High Road with these 10 Sustainable Driving Tips

Take the High Road With These 10 Sustainable Driving Tips
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Take the High Road With These 10 Sustainable Driving Tips. Image Unsplash.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Cars are a necessary part of daily life for many people. If you don’t live in a walkable city or an area with public transportation, burning gasoline is an unfortunate necessity that could work against your eco-friendly values. When you can’t switch to a hybrid or electric car, consider shrinking your carbon footprint with sustainable driving tips.

These ideas will reduce how your driving impacts the planet. Sometimes the best changes are the simplest ones. Try these tips to see how you can help the environment and also save money whenever you need to hit the road.

1. Avoid Sitting Idle

Idling happens when your car remains on but doesn’t move. It’s necessary at places like stop signs and intersections but may also occur while sitting in a parking lot or driveway. Sitting with the engine on still burns gas, emitting additional carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.

Experts estimate that if people turned their cars off instead of idling, it would create the same environmental impact as taking 5 million vehicles off the roads permanently. You might think sustainable driving tips require an overhaul of your routine, but this is an easy change anyone can make to reduce their CO2 emissions.

2. Resist Your Road Rage

Living an entire life without getting angry behind the wheel is nearly impossible. Other drivers will make mistakes or choices that flare your anger by almost causing accidents.

You may step on the gas more to get ahead of cars when mad. Aggressive driving styles reduce gas mileage by 15% to 30% while on the highway and 10% to 40% in stop-and-go traffic. You’ll refill your tank more frequently by speeding around cars, ultimately using more of the limited natural resource.

Resist your road rage and annoyance whenever possible. You’ll burn less gas and make your driving more sustainable. Try inhaling and exhaling slowly to ease your stress or open your window to get fresh air whenever you’re irritated.

3. Check Your Tire Pressure

Most cars have a sticker inside the driver’s door that indicates how much air each tire needs. It’s a number labeled PSI, which means pounds of force per square inch. Check your tires with a pressure gauge to see if the readings match the number in your car’s manual.

Slightly underinflated tires cause your car to drag along the road, making it more challenging to push itself forward without burning extra gas. Adding even a few PSI makes your vehicle more efficient. Check them once a month or whenever the weather fluctuates between cold and hot, as that affects air volume in tires.

4. Use Unleaded 88 Gas

See if your local gas station provides unleaded 88 gas. It’s a type of gasoline with 5% more ethanol than regular unleaded 87. Cars that burn more ethanol than gas have 44%-52% fewer greenhouse emissions than cars that use regular fuel.

It’s also suitable for most cars. The U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency (EPA) tested the fuel and found it safe for vehicles made during or after 2001 unless the engine burns diesel.

5. Get Your Oil Changed Regularly

Oil changes provide fresh lubrication for your car’s engine. The internal mechanisms operate more smoothly, requiring less gas to give the same results for your driving needs. Scheduling frequent oil changes will make your driving more sustainable. Check your owner’s manual for the best recommendation. Depending on the make and model, some engines can go 3,000-8,000 miles between changes.

6. Choose the Right Type of Oil

Your owner’s manual will also indicate which type of oil your car’s engine needs. Selecting conventional oil at your local mechanic shop may work with the motor, but it might not suit its operational needs. People living in areas with colder or hotter climates will get better results from semi-synthetic or synthetic oil.

Synthetic oil resists fluctuations in temperature, so it won’t break down as easily in extreme climates. Conventional oil is more sensitive to temperatures and may need more frequent changes in hotter or colder regions. It’s always best to check your car’s manual before deciding which oil to use long term.

7. Unload Your Trunk

Manufacturers calculate the average miles per gallon estimate your car should get based on its weight plus the estimated weight of passengers. Adding any more to your vehicle by leaving things in your trunk or backseat will make it harder to push forward. Your car will burn more fuel when heavier, so unload any extra belongings.

If you’re worried about a spare tire in your trunk being part of the excess weight, you can breathe easily. That’s a standard part of your vehicle’s mileage estimate if it came with the car. It’s also worth sacrificing because you’ll need it if your tire pops and you can’t call a tow truck.

8. Download a Maps App

You know your way around your town, but ever-changing factors affect how quickly you can get home. Traffic accidents, downed power lines, flooded roads and other factors will change how long your car burns fuel while trying to reach your destination.

It’s more efficient to drive with a GPS maps app. It uses constant satellite updates to provide the fastest route to wherever you need to go. You’ll never waste time idling on the road or driving extra miles and wasting gas because GPS apps track the factors that would otherwise delay your travels.

9. Try Cruise Control

Every time you press the gas pedal, your vehicle engages the gas tank to burn more fuel. Cruise control reduces this issue. Use it to maintain speed once you get on a nearly straight road with few cars and intersections. You won’t press the gas pedal because your car burns the exact amount of fuel it needs to crest hills and keep up with the speed limit.

10. Slow Down Gently

Don’t slam on your brake pedal when approaching a red light since you may need to accelerate if it turns green. Slowing down from a greater distance gives you more control over your speed. You may not need to use as much fuel to accelerate if you don’t have to come to a complete stop. Pumping your brakes will also help them last longer since they won’t wear out as quickly.

Try Sustainable Driving Tips

Anyone can use these sustainable driving tips to become greener without paying for an electric or hybrid vehicle. Simple things like switching fuels or avoiding idling in a parking lot will shrink your carbon footprint. See what’s most manageable by trying these methods during the coming weeks. Before long, they will become habits you can’t imagine living without, and you’ll appreciate the improved fuel economy.

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for exclusive content, original stories, activism awareness, events and more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Support Us.

Happy Eco News will always remain free for anyone who needs it. Help us spread the good news about the environment!