Cars release toxic fumes that hurt the environment. Hence, environmentalists and sustainability advocates promote walking and traveling by bicycle. But it’s not easy to let go of the habit of driving and buying new cars. In any angle, driving is more convenient than walking, commuting, or cycling. In the car, it’s private, the air is cleaner, and you’re in control of the wheel.
But then again, cars aren’t the friendliest to the environment. Hybrid or electric cars may be better, but producing them still leaves a significant carbon footprint. Luckily for you, you don’t have to give up your love for cars to help the earth. These hacks will make auto care and ownership a lot greener:
1. Choose Fuel-efficient, Low-emission Autos
Almost all vehicles released today are fuel-efficient and low-emission, so you shouldn’t have a problem choosing one. This is the least you can do to make your driving eco-friendlier. Plus, you can save on gas.
To know if your car options meet the standard for fuel efficiency and emissions, check out EPA’s Green Vehicle guide.
2. Avoid Driving Recklessly
Aside from risking your safety, reckless driving also increases your gas mileage and carbon footprint. Hard accelerations, slamming on the brakes, and staying idle for more than 30 seconds are the top driving habits that harm the environment. Avoid doing those and you’ll notice a big difference.
3. Stay Updated With Maintenance
Maintenance is the costliest part of owning a vehicle, so some owners skip it. But this only results in higher expenses. Poorly maintained vehicles break down easier, and their issues are often more expensive to repair.
Key maintenance includes oil changes, checking the tire pressure, and testing the engine. Of course, don’t forget to test the brakes and steering wheel, too. A well-maintained car will drive without issues, optimizing your fuel efficiency.
4. Use Eco-friendly Tires
Next time you’re due for new tires, check out eco-friendly types if you’re not using them yet. Eco-friendly tires are made from synthetic rubber blends and other sustainable materials. They have better rolling resistance than regular tires. As such, they reduce emissions and boost fuel efficiency.
5. Refrain from Topping Off Your Pump
Every time you refill your gas, stop as soon as the automatic nozzle shuts off. Topping off your pump makes the gas prone to leakage, which creates a fire hazard, and, of course, harms the environment. Gasoline can seep into the groundwater and contaminate fresh water sources.
6. Use Portable Car Wash Bay
A high-quality portable car wash system can help you conserve water while you give your autos a bath. It has a bunded perimeter wall that retains wastewater and a pump that transports wastewater for treatment. Simply put, it lets you recycle runoff. You can hit two birds with one stone, saving water and reducing your water bill.
7. Use Eco-friendly Car Wash Chemicals
Instead of buying hydrofluoric acid and ammonium bi-fluoride, find eco-friendly alternatives. Harsh chemicals don’t just emit fumes, but also have side effects on your health, including eye, throat, skin, and nose irritation, eye and skin burns, rhinitis, and lung problems.
In fact, the International Car Wash Association already issued a warning against using harsh chemicals. Though harsh chemicals are only common in professional settings, you can still be part of the problem if you support businesses that ignore warnings. So if you’d truly like to make a change, switch to eco-friendly car wash products, and ensure that the car wash businesses you support use them, too.
8. Save Water
If you haven’t got a portable car wash bay yet, explore other ways to conserve water while washing your car. You can buy a pressure washer, since it releases less water than a garden hose. A pressure washer also cleans faster, and can be used for other heavy items around your home, such as your A/C compressors and garden pavers.
If a pressure washer is beyond your budget, just equip your garden hose with an automatic shutoff nozzle. It can save you up to 70 gallons of water.
There’s also a waterless car cleaner. True to its name, it doesn’t have to be rinsed off after being sprayed all over your car. You can buy it from Amazon or any auto parts store.
And finally, you can go to a car wash that uses water-efficient techniques, along with eco-friendly car wash products.
Last but not the least, try carpooling if you and your colleagues drive to work every day. Reducing the number of cars on the road can improve traffic flow, decreasing toxic fumes from idle cars. And of course, it saves you money on gas.
By using these hacks, your love for cars won’t ever have to come at the expense of nature again. Be consistent in using them; make it a lifestyle. By doing so, you can influence other auto enthusiasts to do the same.
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