6 Tips on How to Be an Eco-Friendly Driver
Whether you’re driving to work, heading to the mountain or running some errands around town, driving has become second nature to most of us. We hop in the car, drive off, park, head to our next destination and repeat without thinking too much about it. Unfortunately, the gas-powered cars many of us drive daily emit pollutants as well as waste like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide which are harmful to the environment. However, if we all took a few minutes to be a little more mindful of our driving habits, we could make drastic changes.
Here are some tips to eco-friendly driving:
1. Buy Eco-Friendly
The most obvious solution is to buy an eco-friendly vehicle. However, electric and hybrid vehicles often come with a hefty price tag. Fortunately, many vehicles in the Subaru lineup fall into the category of Partial Zero Emission Vehicles (PZEV). While PZEV vehicles still run on regular unleaded gas, they generate less harmful pollutants and help reduce the amount of smog emitted. PZEV vehicles are the cleanest running gas powered cars on the market and they are able to create environmental benefits while still sustaining performance. PZEV vehicles include: Crosstrek, Impreza, Legacy, Outback and Forester.
2. Drive the Speed Limit
We all get in a rush at times, but speeding causes your vehicle to utilize more gas, which makes fuel efficiency drop drastically. Freeway driving can have a huge impact on your vehicle’s fuel consumption, with fuel economy rapidly decreasing at speeds above 60 mph. Save money at the pump AND help save the environment – don’t speed!
3. Remove Unnecessary Cargo
Additional weight has a negative effect on fuel economy, so ditch the unnecessary cargo in the back seat. If your car has a roof rack or basket that isn’t being utilized, removing it will help decrease drag and increase fuel economy.
4. Utilize Cruise Control
Driving at a consistent speed also helps to increase fuel economy and decrease emissions. If you’re on a flat road or highway, turning on cruise control will help you sustain a constant speed. Leaving cruise control on while driving on hilly roads can cause your vehicle to use more fuel, so make sure to turn cruise control off if you’re driving on roads with hills.
5. Cool it on the A/C
Running the air conditioning can use large amounts of energy, so try to avoid using your car’s air conditioning system when driving at low speeds. However, it may be more beneficial to run your air conditioning when driving at higher speeds, such as the freeway. Rolling down your vehicle’s windows at higher speeds creates excessive drag, which can have a negative effect on fuel economy. Check out this video by “Mythbusters” to learn more.
6. Keep Tires Inflated
Proper vehicle maintenance also plays an important role. Your tires can have a big impact on fuel efficiency. Follow your vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule to ensure your car is running optimally. Under-inflated tires can cause up to 3 percent of an increase in fuel consumption!
Who’s ready to save the earth, one grocery trip at a time?!