In recent years, people have become much more aware of how their daily habits affect the planet. We now try to recycle regularly, use less energy and convert our lifestyle to one that’s greener. Unfortunately, a big way most people contribute CO2 to the atmosphere is by driving their cars every day. Unless you drive a hybrid, your car runs on fossil fuels and adds to the CO2 clogging the air every time you drive it.
The good news is that you don’t have to save up to trade your car in for a hybrid model. Check out these five easy ways to make your car greener and minimize your daily pollution without giving up the car you love.
1. Fill Your Tires Regularly
Tire pressure can be tricky to keep track of. Dramatic changes in temperature will affect how quickly your tires lose air, so it may not be enough to fill them up two or three times a year. Checking your tires once a month is a green habit that’s easy to get into. It takes only a few minutes, but it’ll help you and your local landfills immensely.
Tires that are at the correct air pressure as designated in your car’s manual will last much longer than tires that are slightly flat. As a result, you won’t have to replace them as often, leading to fewer tires left to sit in landfills.
2. Lighten Your Load
Do you accidentally forget to remove things from the back seat of your car or the trunk? While things like bags of clothing and household items you want to donate will be fine sitting in your car for a while, they add extra weight that you have to drive around.
Extra weight increases the fuel your car burns since your car has to work harder to lug more weight around. Keeping only the essentials in your car will make it greener. Jumper cables, an external jumper battery and an ice scraper are some of the only essentials a driver needs to add to their car.
3. Replace Your Air Filters
Efficiency is so important to make your car greener, which is why you should replace your air filters with every oil change. Your car uses more fuel and releases extra CO2 when it’s trying to push air through clogged filters to regulate the internal temperature.
Clean filters will improve your car’s performance, which ultimately means using less fuel. Filters are cheap and take only a minute to switch out, which is why this is a green solution that anyone can take advantage of.
4. Pump Gas Correctly
Gas pump handles were made to sit deep in your car’s gas tank, which plays an important role in greener car efficiency. When you pull the pump handle out and let the last few drops drip into the gas tank, you’re actually allowing gas vapors to rise out of the tank and release into the atmosphere.
Instead, pull the pump handle out when your tank is full and immediately put the cap on. The emissions canister that your car was built with will capture the vapors and keep them contained.
5. Check Your Emissions
Most states require some form of emissions test to be presented at the DMV to renew your registration, but you can get yours checked more regularly throughout the year just to be safe. If you catch a failed emissions test before you wait for your annual DMV trip, you can fix your emission system and lower the environmental impact of your car.
Check up on Your Car
The best thing you can do to make your car greener is to check up on it regularly with inspections. If it’s regularly inspected and you’re aware of habits like pumping gas correctly and not adding extra weight to your car, your carbon footprint will decrease and prevent unnecessary pollution from your everyday life.
Scott Huntington, the author of this post is an Automotive YouTuber and Writer