Whether it’s switching to energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs, or composting and recycling paper products, there is no shortage of opportunities to adjust our lifestyles and act more environmentally responsible. One area of daily life where most people can make a positive change is driving. When it comes to your vehicle, you can reduce your carbon footprint through simple changes in the way you care for and drive your vehicle.
Adjust Your Driving
Making small modifications to your driving habits can reduce the amount of fuel your vehicle burns. In addition to reducing your pollution contribution, it will also help you save money at the pump. Practical changes include:
• Avoid aggressive driving, including speeding and rapid acceleration and braking. It’s not only safer but better for your fuel efficiency. In fact, according to www.fueleconomy.gov, it can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town.
• Use cruise control and overdrive gears to maintain a consistent speed, and observing the speed limit will keep your vehicle moving at a steady pace.
• Remove non-critical items from your trunk or truck bed to lighten your load, reducing the amount of fuel you burn. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces the typical car’s fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent according to the Department of Energy (DOE). Of course, the less fuel you burn, the less waste your vehicle produces. Increased fuel efficiency also leads to fewer fill-ups
for your gas tank.
You should also pay attention to your tires and engine air filters. Under-inflated tires result in more rubber hitting the road. The DOE reports that keeping a vehicle’s tires inflated to the proper pressure can improve gas mileage by around 3.3 percent. As the vehicle’s lung, a clogged air filter will reduce the amount of air getting to the engine, thus reducing the engine’s ability to work properly.
Another tip is to make sure to use the proper motor oil. Experts say replacing your vehicle’s motor oil with the recommended grade and viscosity can improve gas mileage by 1 to 2 percent.
Evaluate Your Fuel Efficiency
Ensure you’re getting the maximum fuel efficiency. When getting your oil changed, many shops offer a free fuel efficiency review. Service technicians will check the vehicle’s tire pressures against the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations, inspect the engine air filter, and check if drivers are using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of oil for their vehicle.
Recycle Used Oil
Do-it-yourself (DIY) oil changes produce nearly 300 million gallons of improperly disposed oil every year, according to a recent study. While professional vehicle service stations commonly recycle used oil, the return rate from DIYers is much lower. Many local locations will accept your used motor oil for recycling. Be sure to call first to determine if your local center has available space in their DIY used oil storage container. Don’t mix other substances, such as gasoline, paint, solvents or cleaners in with used oil — these could make the oil un-recyclable.
Courtesy of ARAcontent