The new year is approaching, and with it, everyone is hoping to change for the better even if it is a little bit. New Year’s resolutions are already flooding the news feeds of social media, as it happens around this time every year, but the difference now is that among the extra gym sessions, and cut down on carbs, people set targets to cut down their carbon footprint.
If you are one of these great guys, but you wonder where to begin, here is a hint- start with the car. Here are ten ways to green it up.
1. Opt for an eco-friendly vehicle.
Yes, unfortunately, it does mean that you might have to sell the good old diesel and get an EV or a hybrid. But to be quite frank, the sacrifice is not going to be big at all, especially since the market nowadays offers hybrid cars that can fit to any taste and any budget. However, if none of these is an option for you, do have a look at vehicles that run on alternative fuels.
2. Drive smart.
There is yet another reason for you to stick to the speed limit (if road safety and legal matters are not enough). If you follow the rules, reduce sudden stops and starts to minimum, and generally drive wisely, you will maximize the fuel efficiency of your car and ultimately reduce your car’s carbon emissions.
3. Regular maintenance is the key.
Making sure that your vehicle functions properly, does not have any gas leaks and has clean filters will not only save you money, but will also ensure minimal emissions. Of course, do not forget, the less trash you transport with you, the lighter the vehicle, hence the less fuel is consumed.
4. Keep track on your emissions.
Numerous apps and online services are now available for you to estimate and keep track on the emissions your vehicle is producing. If you are aware of these, you are not only more likely to take note and try to cut these down, but also you might be encouraged to give recycling or energy efficiency at home a boost.
5. Why not share a ride with the neighbor?
There are many ways you can take part in a car sharing or car pooling programs, but the easiest of all would be to share a ride with a neighbor or a co-worker. Ask around a bit and you will be surprised how many people actually live/work close by you.
6. Have a car-free day
If you devote one day a week to using public transport instead of your car, you will already be way closer to cutting down your carbon footprint. Walk, ride a bike, use the metro- you might even realize that it takes you less time to reach your destination than if you were behind the wheel being stuck in a traffic jam.
7. Do not go all the way.
OK, not many of us are lucky enough to be living close by an underground station, or at a convenient distance to work. But surely, half way through there is at least one good connection with a train or public transport. Here is an idea, how about parking the car there, and using the service for the rest of the journey?
8. Give the air con a break.
There are many ways to cool down the car, including opening the windows and parking in the shade. You can also get yourself a solar fan or a widow shade, which might not necessarily keep the car very cool, but at least it will take less energy to bring down the temperature to the desired level. Less air con, higher fuel efficiency- that is the golden rule.
9. Work from home
How about exploring the option of working from home one day a week? Yes, it is still a luxury for many companies, but a surprising number of employers are now looking into letting their people do it. The reason is, the fewer people occupy offices, the lower the building energy consumption. And the benefit for you will be- tick off the no-car day. Besides, you will be so much closer to the good coffee machine.
10. How about ditch the four wheeler all together?
For some people this is something completely incomprehensible. But I can assure you that going completely car-free is much easier to do than you might think. It is a bit tougher in winter, I must admit, but if you opt for walking or biking, you will feel the benefits on your body immediately. Give it a try today.
Image (c) Getty