How to Cut Down Your Carbon Footprint When You Own a Car

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Whether you own a brand new car or one of the 40 million used cars currently on the road, it’s likely that you’re thinking about ways to make your vehicle a little bit more environmentally friendly. If you want to be a more eco-conscious driver, here are a few tips to help you do just that.

Keep Up with Routine Maintenance

Keeping up with your vehicle’s regular maintenance might not seem like the best way to go green, but the truth is that vehicle upkeep plays a bigger role than you might think in being eco-friendly. One of the simplest, yet most important pieces of maintenance you need to perform regularly is checking your tire pressure and filling your tires with air. If your tires are under-inflated, then your engine will need to work harder to get them moving up to speed. And when your car needs to work harder to get somewhere, it means you’re burning more fuel and releasing more toxins into the environment. Being a more eco-friendly car owner really can be that simple! Of course, there are other maintenance tasks you’ll need to stay on top of. Car inspections, for one thing, can help make sure that everything in your vehicle is working properly and keeping your fuel use low. And when your engine starts to struggle, it might be time to get your car off of the road. A semi engine might be designed to go 1 million miles before a rebuild, but chances are that your sedan’s engine isn’t.

Carpool When Appropriate

If you own a car and live near other people who work at the same place you do, carpool! Why take three cars on the same route to the same office when you could all fit safely into one vehicle and use less fuel? This is typically something most drivers don’t think about. Whether they like the privacy of their own vehicle or they’ve never asked any coworkers where they live, most people go to work in their own car every day. If you’re unsure about carpooling with the same people every day, start small. Carpool with coworkers one or two days every week. You could even take turns driving if one person can’t drive every day. There are almost 6,200 coworking spaces operating in the U.S. currently. Carpooling should be a simple step to take from there!

Try to Limit AC Use

While it might feel nice to have your AC blasting during the summer months when you’re driving, the truth is that you could be harming the environment. When you have the air conditioning on high for an entire car ride every day during the summer, you’re forcing your car’s electrical system to work harder. In turn, your engine needs to work harder and burns more fuel in the process. It might not be feasible to avoid AC usage entirely, but it’s important to be mindful of how often you’re using your car’s air conditioning system and that it’s well-maintained.

Going green while you own a car doesn’t have to be a difficult task. With just a few simple changes to your routine, you can be a more eco-conscious car owner!

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