Collectively, drivers in the U.S. put seventy billion hours in their vehicles each year—the most of any country in the world. However, because of the heavy reliance on automobiles, air quality is negatively affected by overproduction and harmful automobile emissions. Cars are responsible for approximately one-third of air pollutants in the U.S. and contribute to contaminated soil, dirty water, and poor air quality, escalating the effects of climate change.
Despite the adverse environmental effects, the vast majority of Americans believe owning a car is essential. Over the last decade, surveys found between 75-90% of U.S. citizens believe owning a car is a necessity rather than a luxury. Based on this demand, it’s unlikely the number of vehicles on the road will lessen anytime soon. However, individuals can take simple steps to reduce their vehicle emissions and maximize fuel efficiency.
Opt for auto transportation services when relocating
Car shipping offers a more eco-friendly alternative to a cross-country road trip. Car transportation services carry vehicles in freights, taking carpooling to new heights by decreasing fuel usage and limiting emissions. The more people who opt to ship their vehicles, the more these benefits increase, effectively reducing pollutants.
Keep up with regular maintenance
Make sure your vehicle is running smoothly while helping the environment with consistent tune-ups. Getting an oil change every 5,000 miles and regularly checking essential parts like spark plugs and the oxygen sensor will improve your car’s lifespan and fuel efficiency. Keeping up with routine maintenance is a simple way to limit gasoline consumption even if you’re not ready to invest in an electric car.
Limit unnecessary trips
Once your engine is up and running, it will operate more efficiently. As a result, taking one trip to run all of your errands rather than multiple short excursions allows your car to work at maximum capacity. Be more mindful of where and when you need to go out and limit last-minute or spontaneous trips. In addition, carpool when possible to limit harmful built-up emissions from short trips.
Check tire pressure
When you have underinflated tires, your engine is strained, working harder and using more gas for same-length trips. The correct pressure varies from model to model, so review your owner’s manual for the recommended PSI and engage in consistent check-ups. For the best fuel economy, check tire pressure monthly and be wary of colder climates as tires lose pressure quicker in low temperatures.
Mindful driving keeps you, those around you, and the environment safe. By using cruise control and obeying the speed limit, you’ll use less fuel while also reducing wear and tear on your vehicle, lessening the likelihood of a speeding ticket or accident.
The bottom line
Though environmental change comes from widespread initiatives and holding pollutant-heavy companies responsible, individuals can take steps to reduce their carbon footprint. By following simple, straightforward carbon-footprint-reducing tactics, everyone can do their part to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions, extend the life of their vehicle, and lower their gasoline bill all in one go.