This is not another lecture on greenhouse gases. It doesn’t come packed with pictures of polar bears and warnings that we’re killing our planet.
If you’ve read beyond the headline, then you know all that already.
Realistically, are we ever going to stop using our cars? No! We need them. But we can cut the carbon cost of our driving by following some eco-driving tips. Here are five:
1. Accelerate Smoothly and Brake Slowly
Acceleration should be gentle and smooth, with a view to reaching your top gear as quickly as possible (but emphasis on ‘gentle’). Try and brake as slowly as possible. Rapid braking and overly rapid acceleration uses more fuel.
2. Pack Luggage Racks Sensibly
Only use luggage racks when really necessary and keep smaller items to the front and larger items laid flat to the back. The idea when packing your luggage rack is to absolutely minimise wind resistance. More resistance means more fuel is needed and more fuel means a higher carbon cost to the environment.
3. Car Sharing
An obvious one but a really great one that not many of us are really taking advantage of. Sharing cars with people going in your direction is a great way of saving money and cutting your carbon footprint down! Use organised car sharing groups in your area (check Google) to find out who’s involved and the general direction they’re driving in. Or, if you don’t feel comfortable car sharing with people you don’t know, ask around at work. See if there’s anyone else interested in starting a car sharing scheme at your place of work if one doesn’t exist already.
4. Use Accessories Carefully
Ok, ok, so we all like some music on during our commute. But just be mindful that things like the radio or car chargers, air con… in fact all accessories use battery power. And as your battery is charged by fuel, the more mindful you are of your usage, the greener your driving becomes.
5. Environmentally Friendly Cars
If you are due an upgrade on your car, make a major factor in your purchase decision the CO2 emissions and MPG of a vehicle. In the UK, drivers are incentivised to drive lower carbon emitting vehicles as every car with a 100g/km or less CO2 output is road tax free! But no matter where in the world you are, cutting back on your carbon output is a good thing for both your bank balance and the environment.
Take a look at this list of 63 cars with 100g/km or less CO2 emissions.
This was a contribution from 3research.co.uk, a UK website providing league tables of cars by CO2 emissions, fuel efficiency and by user reviews.