Driving is not often categorized as an eco-friendly activity. But driving is often the most reliable transportation option for people who live outside of cities or in areas without accessible public transportation. Eco-friendly motorists who need to drive can employ various strategies to reduce their carbon footprints while behind the wheel.
• Plan trips in advance. In lieu of making several separate trips in a vehicle, plan ahead and use car trips to accomplish more than one goal. For example, resolve to do some grocery shopping on your way home from the gym, or order takeout when leaving your office so you wonÕt have to go back out to pick up dinner after arriving home. Combining tasks into a single car trip is a more efficient use of time and fuel.
• Adhere to vehicle maintenance recommendations. Auto manufacturers recommend vehicles be taken in for routine maintenance at certain intervals. Some manufacturers may recommend drivers have their vehiclesÕ oil changed every 3,000 miles, while others may advise tires be rotated every 5,000 miles. Drivers should learn these guidelines and adhere to them, as sticking to maintenance schedules can help vehicles operate more smoothly and efficiently, conserving fuel as a result.
• Become an eco-conscious car buyer. When buying their cars, many motorists choose the most vehicle they can afford or a car or truck they have long wanted to drive. But the biggest or prettiest vehicle may not be the most practical, especially for drivers who want to reduce their carbon footprints. Drivers who want their driving to be as eco-friendly as possible should choose vehicle models that suit their needs and driving habits. If the bulk of your driving is commuting alone to work, then a small, fuel-efficient vehicle may be more eco-friendly and practical than a large SUV. Investigate electric cars and hybrid models to determine if either option is suited to your driving habits.
• Carpool to work. Working professionals who work in large office complexes can no doubt find neighbors with whom they can carpool. Begin by posing a carpool to coworkers, expanding your search to nearby businesses if coworkers are lukewarm to the idea. Carpools not only save fuel, but also can be a great for drivers to extend the life expectancies of their vehicles.