You recycle. You compost. Heck, you even wash and reuse plastic sandwich bags!
When it comes to cars and the environment, though, staying eco-friendly can sometimes be a challenge. Luckily, there are several things you can start doing TODAY that will help to reduce your ecological footprint!
1. Avoid Idling
Keeping your car running at a stoplight or busy intersection is understandable, but there are plenty of instances in which drivers really should just cut the engine.
This statement from the Green Action Centre in Canada explains why:
“...the bottom line is that if you anticipate that you will be idling for more than around 30 seconds, other than when you are in traffic, it is best to shut your vehicle off and restart it. Excessive idling wastes money and produces unnecessary CO2 emissions which contribute to climate change.”
A good example of this has been mentioned in a previous blog and has to do with that annoying situation in which you get stuck behind a train. While most people hope that the train will be a short one, the reality is that you are likely to be stuck for at least a few minutes. Shutting off your engine is the best option, and also gives the people behind you a break from sucking in all your exhaust.
2. Calm Yourself
Driving like a maniac is a very effective way to add unnecessary wear to your engine.
Aggressive behavior, like revving your engine at a stop light or putting on a huge burst of speed in order to pass another driver, are not only fuel-wasters, but they are also hard on your car parts. Revving can be especially detrimental in cold weather, before the engine has had a chance to warm up.
Keep your speed consistent and your temper in check when driving and you will find that everything goes a lot more smoothly!
3. Carpool or Use Public Transportation When Possible
This habit will not only cut down on unnecessary carbon emissions, but it can also save you some gas money and make your car last a little longer!
Public transportation in Colorado has grown by leaps and bounds, especially since the introduction of the RTD light rail in 1994. Nowadays, you can get nearly anywhere you need to go by rail or bus, and at a very reasonable price.
Carpooling is another great option when it comes to cutting down on air pollution. It just makes sense to combine one person in four different cars into four people in one car—plus you can take turns driving.
4. Consolidate Errands and Walk When Possible
When you know you’re going to need the car to run errands, it’s a good idea to make a game plan. Figure out all of the places you need to go that day and see if you can make it into a loop. You’ll save on gas, time spent driving back and forth, and imagine how great it will feel to get all of your errands done in one fell swoop!
If your errands happen to be within walking (or biking) distance, that’s also a great opportunity to combine two things on your to-do list: errands and exercise! Oh, and instead of burning fuel, you’ll be burning fat!
There are many little things that all of us can do, every single day, to continue the healing process of our environment. Like everything else, we just have to take it one step at a time!
From all of us at Quick-Set, drive safely out there!