You may be one of those people who are interested in protecting the environment but do not want to purchase a hybrid or electric car. Fortunately, you can make your current vehicle, no matter how old or big, more environment-friendly.
Hybrid and electric cars are the best options for the environment regarding individual vehicle at the moment, but let’s face it: They are not for everyone. Their prices are pretty steep compared to traditional cars that only run with internal combustion engines. Moreover, it is hard to charge your car outside the comfort of your own home because the infrastructure in India is not complete to fully support hybrid and electric cars.
However, it is so lucky that you can get more mileage out of a conventional car, thereby decreasing the money that you have to spend at gas stations and also the nasty carbon footprint that you do not want to leave behind at best. The great thing about turning good old gasoline car into an environment-friendly one is that it does not cost an arm and a leg like purchasing a new hybrid or electric vehicle.
1. Drive smart
The first way and easiest, almost no-brainer, way to make your car more environment-friendly is to drive smart, or smarter. Your driving habits greatly influence how much fuel the car consumes. If you are guilty of any of the following habits, you are practically spending more money on fuel and damaging the environment more than you should. Here are some environment-unfriendly driving habits:
Making sudden starts and stops
Going back and forth between home, work, school, and supermarket multiple times a day,
Challenging neighbour cars to a short race of the light
Wandering aimlessly around the city on the car
Rapid accelerating before the red light like no tomorrow; etc.
If you have ever committed any of the above, you are charged with the crime of damaging the environment as well as unknowingly destroying your car. The general suggestion here is that you should be more mindful and gentle when handling your car. When you drive, drive at a consistent speed as much as you can. When you have to go around the city to run errands, plan the trip so that you can take care of as many stuff as possible in one go. Also, please refrain from driving at the speed above 89 km/h (55 mph) because most cars lose fuel economy and emit much more exhaust fumes at this rate. You may sometimes feel like being a speed god (or speed demon depending on your preference) and travel with the wind, but since it is not good for the environment and for your own car, you should limit it a bit.
Changing some small driving habits can benefit the environment
In the scorching heat of summer, it definitely is tempting to blast air conditioning and enjoying the crisp cool air flowing to your skin. When you turn on the air conditioning, do you hear the engine running a tad bit louder than usual? That happens because using air conditioning strains the car’s engine and electrical system, which, in turn, increases fuel consumption. This is not to say that you should not use air conditioning at all and steam yourself inside a metal box under the sun, but rather choose a temperature that is as high as possible, just enough to cool you off. This will be a serious battle with willpower, but staying in an enclosed space with cold air conditioning for a prolonged period of time is not very good for your health anyway, so resist the temptation to blast air conditioning on full power. When the weather is not that scorching hot, you can roll down the window and let the air flow in instead of using air conditioning.
Also, it is recommended that you take care of your air conditioning system on a regular basis. If the air conditioning is clogged with dirt and dust, it will take more power to give you the cool breeze, and thereby reducing the efficiency of the engine and increasing emission.
Take care of your car’s air conditioning, take care of the environment
3. Reduce the extra weight
How you have to put in the extra strength to carry a heavy bag is the same as how your car is forced to work more and use more fuel when the load is weighty. It is recommended that you get rid of all the junk in your trunk and keep nothing but spare tyres and a first-aid kit. If you have a family, especially one with small children, it is more likely to have a lot of stuff which are permanent residents in the car. In that case, while it may take an extra couple of minutes to prepare before going out, it is better if you remove those extra loads from the car when you are not travelling with your children. That way, you can save some fuel, and at the same time, save the environment.