Driving an automobile can be hazardous to the environment, but most people find it difficult to avoid getting behind the wheel on a daily basis. However, even if you are dependent upon car travel, there are still things that you can do to reduce your carbon footprint by reducing your fuel consumption. And by using less fuel, you can even save yourself some money while doing your part to protect the environment.
You can, of course, opt to purchase a hybrid car or a fully electric vehicle in order to save gas. But if you don't want to go out and buy a whole new car right now, there are measures you can take to conserve fuel no matter what you are currently driving.
Tips for Drivers Who Care About the Environment
Once you are aware of which common driving habits cause you to burn more fuel than necessary, you can easily eliminate these habits and replace them with ones that save gas instead.
- Avoid "jackrabbit" starts and sudden braking.
According to a study that has been referenced by Natural Resources Canada, "jackrabbit" starting and hard braking can reduce travel time by four per cent and increase fuel consumption by 39 per cent. This is because a lot of energy is required to quickly get a vehicle up to cruising speed, and this energy is subsequently lost when the car is forced to slow down abruptly.
- Keep your tires properly inflated.
Obviously, you don't want to find yourself with a flat tire out on the road. But you will also want to keep plenty of air in your tires because proper inflation reduces rolling resistance by optimizing road contact area. This results in better traction, which ultimately leads to improved fuel efficiency. It is especially important to keep an eye on your tire pressure during the winter months when the colder air can cause pressure to be lost more quickly.
- Don't carry extraneous cargo.
Unused roof racks and/or heavy items in your truck create excess weight and increase aerodynamic drag on your vehicle, requiring more fuel for travel. In fact, tests have shown that for every 45 kilograms of extra weight you carry in your vehicle, fuel requirements can increase by two per cent. If you do need to use your roof rack, try to arrange items in steps, with the lower items in the front to help reduce drag.
- Slow down.
Fuel consumption increases substantially when you drive at speeds greater than 90 km/hr. In multiple tests, as a matter of fact, it has been shown that most cars use about 20 per cent less fuel when driven at 90 km/h, as opposed to 110 km/h. If you have cruise control on your vehicle, it may be a good idea to utilize it for highway driving. Maintaining a constant, reasonable speed will save gas and money. Just make sure to consult your owner's manual for instructions on safe cruise control use.
- Combine trips and consider carpooling.
When you own your own vehicle and have regular access to personal transportation, it can be all-too easy to just run out for something when it crosses your mind. However, you can save a considerable amount of fuel if you plan shopping trips and errands ahead of time and make strategic routes so that you drive less. Also, if you have coworkers who live near you, sharing rides to and from work might make sense. Sure, both of you may have to adjust your schedules a bit, but this is still a relatively simple way to help the environment by saving fuel.
- Consider using a block heater.
No matter which province you call home, every year you get to experience all of the fun and the challenges that come with a Canadian winter. This typically means a few months of very cold weather when it takes your engine longer to warm up. And until your vehicle does warm up, its engine can burn up to 50 per cent more fuel. This is where a block heater comes in handy. It will warm the coolant in the engine and allow it to reach an optimal operating temperature much faster.
And when it is time to replace your current car with a newer one, you don't necessarily have to choose a hybrid or electric model to be responsible about the environment. If a smaller car with a smaller engine will comfortably serve your needs, you will still be able to burn less fuel. Or if your lifestyle demands a larger vehicle, such as a truck, van or SUV, look for a model that has been made with high strength steel that weighs less than conventional steel, yet performs just as well.
When you do need to purchase a vehicle, regardless of your concerns for the environment, getting affordable financing should be your top priority. And if you have damaged credit, this may seem like a challenging task. Luckily, Canada Auto Loan can make auto loan approval quick and easy, no matter what your credit looks like. How? For absolutely no charge, we can connect you with a dealer in your area who is qualified to work with your situation. We work quickly and discreetly in order to get you into your car fast.
So, don't wait another second. Go ahead and fill out our simple, secure and obligation-free online application to get started today.