In 2014, there were an estimated 214 million licensed drivers in the United States. More than four tons of greenhouse gases are circulated into the air each year for each car on the road. The problem with this is that too many greenhouse gases in the atmosphere can cause the planet to heat up. In return, you may see more flooding, melting of ice caps, wildfires, and droughts. To better offset how much greenhouse gas your vehicle is emitting, you can choose to change your driving or purchase an eco-friendly vehicle. There are plenty of ways to reduce your carbon footprint when it comes to using your vehicle. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Turn Off the Air Conditioner
During the summer, it may be second nature to jump in your vehicle and turn on the air conditioner. Your vehicle emits more CO2 and uses more gas when you are running the air conditioner. Instead, you may want to roll the windows down and cool off your vehicle naturally. You should also consider parking in the shade or under a tree when not using the car so it does not heat up as much. A solar fan installed in your vehicle can also cool off the inside without emitting harmful gases.
Look for a Hybrid
It does not matter if you are looking for a two-door car or a large sport utility vehicle—car manufacturers are creating hybrid models for all types of vehicles. There are many benefits to owning a hybrid vehicle that include saving on gas, letting off cleaner emissions, and offers better gas mileage. At times, hybrid models can cost a little more than regular vehicles, but you have to weigh the gas savings and your reduction of harmful emissions to understand the advantage. Keep this in mind when shopping for a new car.
Keep Your Vehicle Maintained
Your fuel economy plays an important role in how much of a carbon footprint you are leaving. The less gas you use, the better. To help save on your vehicle's fuel economy, you want to make sure your tires are fully inflated. A low tire will force your vehicle to use more gas. Additionally, you want to keep your vehicle tuned up regularly and have your air filter changed consistently. Your vehicle's manual will provide how often this should be done.
Drive More Efficiently
If you can use an alternate mode of transportation like walking or riding a bike, this is much better for the planet. This means fewer greenhouse gases are being emitted into the atmosphere. You may also opt for public transportation or shared ride programs. By riding with others, you are saving money, using less gas, and reducing your carbon footprint each time. Driving the speed limit can also help use less fuel and ultimately reduce greenhouse gasses. Next time you are in a hurry, consider if speeding is really going to help you more or hurt the planet more.