This guest post is by Tami Therone of www.carinsurance.org.uk.
The green movement is one of the most important aspects of modern life, but just because green tech is all the rage, it’s not always easy for someone to minimize his or her carbon footprint. This is especially true in the realm of automobiles where hybrids are still more of a luxury than a practical solution for most people. What can they do to help the planet while they own and maintain a conventional car? The good news is that they have plenty of options, and the best part is that they stand to save a lot of money by using them.
This is such a small thing that most people overlook it, but maintaining the right amount of tire pressure can reduce fuel consumption by 15 percent. Not only does this reduce monthly and yearly fuel fuel costs, it prevents wear and tear on the tires, and it puts less stress on the engine.
Changing the oil every 3,000 miles may seem unnecessary because a car will usually run pretty well far beyond that point, but there’s a reason that it’s the standard suggestion. Oil picks up dust and debris, and not only does that degrade engine performance and reduce fuel economy, it puts a lot of stress on the engine as more gunk accumulates within it.
Speeding and Stopping
Forcing an engine to run at higher RPMs is tougher on the engine and it burns more fuel in the process. What that means is that it’s better to gradually accelerate afeter coming to a dead stop than it is to push the gas pedal all the way to the floor. Similarly, hard stops wear on brakes much more quickly than approaching traffic lights or stop signs while gradually slowing down, and it’s less wasteful to boot. A vehicle that’s moving quickly while approaching a stopping point is just burning fuel that could be put to better use further down the road.
It’s also a good idea to travel under the speed limit whenever possible. This isn’t always a good idea, of course; engines tend to work at optimal efficiency between the 55 and 60MPH mark. Anything beyond that isn’t worth the sacrifice in fuel economy or the extra wear and tear on the vehicle.
Some people let their cars run for 15 minutes or more when getting ready to leave for work. That’s carbon that goes straight into the atmosphere; there’s not even a practical advantage to doing it as long as their vehicles have functional heating and cooling systems. Cars should be left idling for a minute at most when they’re not on the road.
This is something most people will never think of, but the soaps that are used to clean a vehicle are just as important from an environmental perspective as everything else. Many industrial cleaners include chemicals that shouldn’t be allowed to seep into the ground. They can be poisonous to animals, and they can damage any plants that take root in the soil. Vegetable-based soaps are usually the best solution for the eco-conscious consumer.
Nobody is going to save the world by adopting greener habits, but it’s a start. What matters is that people do what they can. In the bigger scheme of things, every little bit brings society closer to a permanent solution, and the practical benefits for those jumping on board with the green movement add plenty of incentive for those who would otherwise be disinclined to do anything. Everyone needs to do their part, and those that do reap financial and personal rewards that far exceed the effort they expend on greener living.
This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers..