There are many ways that you can become a greener driver. Even small changes such as removing a roof rack can improve your fuel consumption, therefore reducing your impact on the environment. Here are ten top tips to help you reach your goal in reducing your carbon footprint in 2021.
As people are looking to tackle climate change, it is understandable why many people are looking to improve their driving habits. The UK government has set out a plan to ban the sale of new cars and vans that are wholly powered by petrol and diesel by 2030.
This does not mean that you have to make the switch to a full electric vehicle straight away. Small changes such as saving fuel and maintaining your car can not only help you protect the environment, but can also save you money in the long term.
1. Checking your tyre pressure
Running your car with under-inflated tyres means that your car uses more fuel to turn its wheels. This leads to higher fuel consumption, higher emissions and means to you having to fill up more often.
The best way to address this is by finding the optimum tyre pressure for your car. You can check this either by looking in the log book of your car, finding the sticker at the bottom of the driver’s side door, or checking online.
Please be aware that you may have to factor in other elements that can affect your car, such as passengers and additional load in your vehicle.
2. Driving at a constant speed
Staying to the speed limit on the roads can help you save money at the pumps. Did you know that driving at 80mph can increase your fuel consumption by up to 25% than cruising at 70mph.
Heavy braking and bursts of acceleration will see your car burn more fuel than cruising at a constant speed, which means that planning ahead and anticipating what is coming ahead is vital if you are looking to reduce fuel consumption.
3. Turn off your engine
Surprisingly your car produces most pollution when it is running idle or at slow speeds under 15mph. Turning off your engine whilst sitting idle in your car is a simple solution for making your driving habits more economical.
4. Reduce unnecessary weight in your vehicle
Leaving your golf clubs in the garage can help reduce your fuel consumption. Did you know that a medium sized car’s fuel consumption will increase by 1% for every 25kg of additional weight that it is carrying, therefore it is essential to only carry the essentials if you are looking to become a greener driver.
5. Remove roof or bike racks
As mentioned above, additional weight can have a negative impact on fuel consumption. But have you considered what is on the outside of your car? Roof and bike racks can be helpful tools for those who need them, but most they just add weight to your vehicle.
However it is not just weight, they can also increase the aerodynamic drag of your vehicle. By extra items on the outside of your car can reduce fuel consumption by around 20% when driving at motorway speeds. You can also increase your wind drag by closing windows, especially when driving at higher speeds on dual carriageways and motorways.
6. Reduce your use of air conditioning
Although air conditioning is sometimes an essential luxury for comfort, it can increase your fuel consumption by up to 20%. Using the re-circulation option on your air conditioning can help reduce this. Other options to reduce the need for air conditioning while parked are to find shaded areas, or use a windscreen cover.
Driving with your windows open is recommended, but only at slower speeds up to 40mph. As outlined above, it is actual more fuel efficient to use your air conditioning at full power than having your windows open when driving at motorway speeds.
7. Plan ahead and combine trips
Instead of making multiple trips throughout the day. Instead of making multiple trips to the supermarket, school and gym and back why not plan ahead and combine them all into one journey.
Planning your journey for optimum fuel consumption by avoiding areas with heavy traffic, roadworks and traffic lights with the help of navigation tools and apps can help you have a greener journey.
8. Consider car sharing
Sharing a journey with someone else can help you reduce your carbon footprint. By picking up friends and colleagues, you are essentially taking another car off the road, and even share fuel costs meaning that you can save money.
9. Maintain your car
Keeping your car well maintained is not only good for the safety of you and your passengers, but can also improve the efficiency of your car. By having your car frequently serviced with oil checks and new air filters, it will help your cars performance.
As mentioned above, finding the optimum tyre pressure for your car can also improve your fuel consumption.
10. Making the switch to an electric car
With the UK government setting out plans to ban the sale of new cars and vans that are wholly powered by petrol and diesel by 2030, and the advancements in electric car technology, have you considering about switching to an electric car?
Electric cars are not only significantly cheaper than petrol and diesel cars, but are also often cheaper to run without sacrificing the comfort and performance of a fuel based vehicle.
With more and more electric vehicle charging points popping up around the country in places such as supermarket car parks, and electric car only charging stations, it is easier to keep your new electric car running. Of course you can cut out the need to charge when out and about as you can also recharge your electric vehicle at home.