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AutoRepairKey.com > Auto Repair, Auto Maintenance, and General Automotive Blog > How to Drive Green and be Environmentally Responsible

How to Drive Green and be Environmentally Responsible

Ten Ways to Drive Green

With the New Year fast approaching, it’s time to forget our broken resolutions and make a slew of new ones.  But why not keep the resolutions simple, and therefore actually keep them, by aiming to drive greener.  By following some or all of these tips you’ll be polluting less, which is healthier for you, the earth, and generations to come.  Who would have thought saving the world is easier than hitting the treadmill?

1. Don’t Wash at Home.  While you might think washing your car yourself will save money, you’re probably wasting a lot of water and pouring harmful detergent and filth into the sewers and ground.  Professional car washes contain the detergent and usually use recycled and filtered water so head there when your car needs a cleaning.

2. Don’t Top Off.  Topping off gas increases the risk of fuel spillage and the likelihood that harmful fumes will evaporate into the environment.   Take care to close the cap snugly to avoid these problems and in hot weather fill up during the coolest part of the day.

3. Stick to Regular.  Unless your car manual instructs otherwise fill up with regular, not premium gas.  Using premium when not directed offers no improvement in performance or fuel economy and it appears to allow more unburned gas into the environment.

4. Avoid the Need for Car Warm up/Cool Downs.  By doing so you’ll cut back on harmful exhaust.  In the winter, make the extra effort to scrape the frost or snow from your windows instead of warming up your car on defrost.  In the summer, park in the shade or put up sunshields in the windows to avoid your car from becoming excessively hot and forcing you to crank up the air conditioning.

5. Have a No Drive Day.  Make it a goal to have one day a week that you’re car free.  Ask your boss if you can work from home once a week, or biking and walking can be great weekend activities.  If a whole day without a car seems impossible, start small and limit your trips on a certain day or don’t drive after a certain time.  The environment will thank you.

6. Keep Your Car Healthy.  The better shape your car is in, the healthier it is for the environment.  Don’t wait to fix problems and be sure to keep up with all regular maintenance, like oil changes and tune-ups.  Pay special attention to your fuel economy.  If you notice yourself going through more gas than usual, pay a visit to a reliable mechanic to have it checked out.

7. Leave Work Early.  While this probably means you’ll have to go in an hour earlier, by doing so you’ll save yourself the hassle of rush hour traffic.  And you’ll save the environment, and yourself, from the harmful emission your car lets off while idling in traffic.

8. Drive With Care. This means no jackrabbit stops and starts and no speeding.  Why?  Safety aside, these driving “techniques” waste a lot of gas, meaning more pollution.  Saving on gas is good for the environment and your pocket book.

9. Recycle.  If you change your own car oil and fluids, be sure to recycle the liquids, filters, batteries, bottles, etc properly.  Proper recycling of liquids like oil and antifreeze saves nonrenewable resources and ensures they don’t end up where they shouldn’t, like the water system.  Service stations and quick lubes will often accept the materials free of charge.  Or check with your city for pick up/drop off options.  Decide to splurge on a new set of tires?  Great, and added bonus, the old ones can be recycled into anything from fuel to kitty litter.

10. Buy Green.  If the New Year means a new car add “green” to your list of musts.  And no, that doesn’t mean you need to get a Prius.   Car companies are focusing on the environment more than ever, so there are lots of options.  Some even offer interiors made of recycled products and plant based synthetic leather.  Remember to keep fuel economy as a top priority, as well as the fact that smaller engines burn less fuel.  For the environment that’s a good thing.  Happy and Clean Driving from AutoRepairKey.com!

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