When you’re taking steps to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, it’s easy to feel guilty about still needing your car. Fortunately, you don’t have to ditch your ride to be more eco-friendly in your day-to-day life. Here’s how you can make your car work for your new, greener lifestyle.
Whenever possible, carpooling should be your primary choice for transportation. Going on a weekend trip with a few friends? One sedan can fit a driver, three additional passengers, and typically all of their luggage. Driving separately might seem more convenient for everyone if you’re on different schedules, but making the small effort to take one car instead of three or four can make all the difference in your environmental footprint and in your gas expenses. The same is true for work carpools. If you live close to a few of your coworkers, take turns driving into the office. Everyone can pitch in with a little bit of gas money if the commute is longer and you can have some peace of mind knowing that you’re contributing less to environmental waste. The benefits of work carpools don’t stop there, either. This could also be a great opportunity for you and your coworkers to get some bonding time in. Take turns buying morning coffee! Collaborate on a playlist! You can even brainstorm ways for your workplace to be more eco-conscious. Regardless, carpooling makes good use of your car and can help you live a little greener.
Walk or Bike When Possible
There are some errands you’re going to need a car for. If you don’t live very close to your workplace or to a grocery store, it’s possible that driving is going to be the best mode of transportation to get you from point A to point B. That being said, not every errand is a driving errand. Headed to a friend’s house a few blocks away? Walking might take a little bit longer, but it’s going to keep you from starting up your car. If you really want to be more eco-conscious but need to get somewhere in a hurry, bicycling is another excellent option to consider. Not only is it faster than walking, but a good bike can often last you a lifetime. Not to mention it can save you almost a lifetime’s worth of gas if you use it often enough! Americans used almost 142 billion gallons of gasoline in 2019 alone. The less fuel you use, the better.
Keep Your Car in Good Shape
One of the most important eco-conscious things you can do while you still own a car is to take excellent care of it. The better your car runs, the less fuel it will use. The less fuel it uses, the less waste it will feed into the environment. Not to mention that you’ll be saving money in the long run! When you take excellent care of your car and make tune-ups and regular maintenance top priority, you’re making sure that you make a minimal impact on the environment with your fuel use and your car’s waste. And sometimes maintenance can be as simple as getting new windshield wipers. They’ve come a long way since they were invented in 1903, and they can make a big difference in your car’s performance. When you car finally meets its end, some of the money you saved on major repairs through regular maintenance can go towards a hybrid or electric model. It’s all about the big picture!
Being more environmentally friendly doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get rid of your car. Simple acts like carpooling, using alternate means of transportation, and keeping up with good car care habits can help you be a little greener when it comes to being a vehicle owner.