By Madeline Klein on February 18, 2020.
Shrinking your car’s carbon footprint isn’t reserved for hybrids and electric cars. Let’s take a drive to learn all the ways we can go green with our minivans and trucks, thanks to Popular Mechanic. All aboard!
Stop 1: Fill tires
When tires aren’t inflated properly, your engine has to work harder to get your vehicle moving. The result: more fuel burned. Since the correct pressure differs based on the make and model of your vehicle, we can’t tell you the exact pressure to fill your tires up. This number can be found in the owner’s manual or the inside of the driver’s door.
Stop 2: Offload extra weight
Maybe you’re one of those people who keeps your whole wardrobe in your backseat or just tend to avoid cleaning out your trunk. While this can be helpful for a quick change of clothes or if you need that random object you’ve kept in the back for months, but having extra weight in your car causes it to use more fuel.
Stop 3: Gas it up
“I’m just going to pump a little extra gas” – the famous words while filling up your car’s tank.
We challenge you to resist the urge to overfill your tank because an overfilled tank can release dangerous vapors or fuel.
Stop 4: Kick off A/C
Similar to under-inflated tires and extra weight, A/C forces your engine to use more fuel because it is working hard to keep you nice and chilly. By no means are we saying, “never use your A/C”. That would be crazy! Just remember to maintain your system so it can work at max efficiency.
Stop 5: Maintain regular maintenance
Between the radiator, fuel system, emission systems, tires, oil, and engine, there are numerous elements of your vehicle that should be reviewed at regular intervals. Keeping these in check can help reduce your car’s emissions and unnecessary harm to the environment.
Stop 6: Drive with care
As we mentioned in our tips on how to save gas during a commute, driving the speed limit, avoiding hard braking, utilizing cruise control on open roads, and keeping your cool can make a significant difference in the amount of fuel you burn on your trip.
While you can implement these tips to make your vehicle “greener”, the EPA tells us what makes a vehicle green and helps find SmartWay Certified vehicles in your area. A SmartWay vehicle is one that is rated by the EPA in terms of greenhouse gas and smog-forming emissions. These vehicles perform better than the average car.
If you love going green and want to know what we do to help the environment, check out Say’s green efforts!