In recent years, more and more people are realizing the importance of eco-friendly practices in our daily lives. From reducing food waste to using less single-use plastics, each person can make a positive impact on the environment, but nothing helps individuals make a bigger impact than eco-friendly driving. 

Did you know that the average passenger vehicle emits around 4.6 metric TONS of carbon dioxide per year? We can significantly shrink our carbon footprint and also save money by following a few eco-friendly driving tips. 

Maintenance is Key 

Making sure you are always up-to-date with your vehicle maintenance is a great way to keep your car running longer, reduce its impact on the environment, and also keep your gas mileage high.  

Neglecting maintenance on your vehicle can reduce its life span by 500 miles or more! Additionally, poor maintenance habits can increase wear and tear on parts of your vehicle, resulting in frequent costly repairs.  

Keep reading for a few easy things you can do to maintain your vehicle to improve eco-friendliness: 

Keep Your Tires Inflated 

Driving on low or flat tires adds a larger contact area where your tires are touching the pavement and increases the friction that wears down your tires. All that friction means it takes your vehicle more effort to get up to and maintain speed, which creates significant wear throughout your vehicle and reduces gas mileage. 

Maintaining the proper air pressure in your tires will help reduce drag on your car, and it will help both your tires and wheel components last longer.  Refilling your tires is an easy thing to do yourself, too!  

Get Regular Oil Changes 

Oil maintenance is one of the most important things you can do for your vehicle. It keeps your engine running smoothly and maintains good gas mileage. Old oil in your vehicle will force your engine to work harder, so it will use up more gas and components will wear out a lot faster. Completely neglecting to change your oil cans cause serious damage to your engine, requiring a full rebuild or engine replacement. 

Whether you choose to change your oil yourself or go to the mechanic, be sure you’re using the proper motor oil for your vehicle by consulting your owner’s manual. Most modern vehicles are switching over to fully synthetic oil, which is much more efficient, but some still require traditional oil. 

Regularly Check & Replace Air Filters 

Your air filter is the first line of defense to keep dirt and debris out of your engine, but a dirty or clogged air filter can seriously inhibit the airflow into your engine, causing poor acceleration and lowering your fuel economy. 

It’s recommended to change your air filters once a year, but you should check them regularly and replace them when they get dirty. If you want to be even more eco-friendly and reduce waste, you can opt to pay a little more for a reusable air filter. These are typically silicone or similar material that can be rinsed off once dirt starts to build up.  

Get a Tune-Up 

The “traditional tune-up” used to include replacing or re-gapping spark plugs, and replacing your car’s air filters, but today most mechanics will do a more thorough inspection of your vehicle’s major parts that affect its performance. This includes the spark plugs, as well as looking for faulty hoses, and checking your ignition and emissions systems. 

Getting a tune-up helps your engine start and run smoothly, keeps your vehicle performing efficiently, and improves your gas mileage. Your car’s manual will tell you how often you should take it in for a tune-up, and you can even have it done during a routine oil change to save a trip to the mechanic. 

5 Tips for Eco-Friendly Driving 

You don’t need a brand new, fully electric vehicle to help the environment. Just follow a few simple steps for maintaining and driving your vehicle to improve your gas mileage and overall emissions. 

1. Don’t Speed 

It’s a good idea in general but sticking to the speed limit actually helps your gas mileage! Contrary to popular belief, gas mileage decreases once you exceed 50 mph in most vehicles. On average, for every 5mpg you drive over 50mph it’s like you’re paying $0.18 per gallon more for gas. Driving fast means you also use gas fast! 

Not only is it better on your gas mileage and emissions when you drive the speed limit, but it’s also safer for you and others around you. Don’t Speed! 

2. Avoid Road Rage 

You should ALWAYS avoid road rage, both for your safety and for your carbon footprint. Quickstarts and stops, speeding, waste a lot of gas, and seriously cut down on your gas mileage. To use a similar comparison as speeding, aggressive driving can use gas so fast that it costs the equivalent of $0.25-$1.00 per gallon  

Road rage is seriously costly across the board from both a safety perspective and environmental. We can all get frustrated when driving, but it’s not worth it to drive aggressively. 

3. Avoid Idling 

Another tried-and-true method for eco-friendly driving is to avoid idling as much as possible. Generally, it’s better to turn your car off if you’ll be parked for more than ten seconds. It takes less energy and uses less fuel to start your engine than it does to let it sit idling.  

4. Take Advantage of Cruise Control 

When you’re driving on long stretches of highway, cruise control can be your best friend. Not only will it help reduce your fatigue as a driver, but it can help reduce wear on your car too! As much as we try to maintain a steady speed on the highway, our speed will inevitably fluctuate if we’re in control of it. 

Using cruise control lets you maintain a constant speed, which can help you save gas in the long run. 

5. Don’t Drive When You Don’t Need To 

Running vehicles are one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gasses, so it only makes sense that one of the easiest ways to be an eco-friendly driver is to try not to drive when you don’t need to. 

  • Try walking instead of driving short distances  
  • Carpool as much as possible 
  • Take public transportation 
  • Telecommute for work 

Granted, everyone’s circumstances are different, and it might not be possible for you to cut down on how much you drive, but it can be an easy, cost-effective way to reduce your carbon footprint. 

Conclusion 

There are many ways to be an eco-friendly driver, but they all center around fuel economy. Properly maintaining your vehicle and the way you drive directly contributes to your gas mileage, which can help or hurt your vehicle’s overall emissions.  

Disclaimer: Use at Your Own Risk 

The information provided in all blog articles is for educational purposes only. Pass Drivers Ed is not a licensed automotive expert, and any information regarding automotive repairs or maintenance should not be taken as professional automotive advice. Pass Drivers Ed is not responsible for any damages or injuries resulting in following the information provided.

In recent years, more and more people are realizing the importance of eco-friendly practices in our daily lives. From reducing food waste to using less single-use plastics, each person can make a positive impact on the environment, but nothing helps individuals make a bigger impact than eco-friendly driving. 

Did you know that the average passenger vehicle emits around 4.6 metric TONS of carbon dioxide per year? We can significantly shrink our carbon footprint and also save money by following a few eco-friendly driving tips. 

Maintenance is Key 

Making sure you are always up-to-date with your vehicle maintenance is a great way to keep your car running longer, reduce its impact on the environment, and also keep your gas mileage high.  

Neglecting maintenance on your vehicle can reduce its life span by 500 miles or more! Additionally, poor maintenance habits can increase wear and tear on parts of your vehicle, resulting in frequent costly repairs.  

Keep reading for a few easy things you can do to maintain your vehicle to improve eco-friendliness: 

Keep Your Tires Inflated 

Driving on low or flat tires adds a larger contact area where your tires are touching the pavement and increases the friction that wears down your tires. All that friction means it takes your vehicle more effort to get up to and maintain speed, which creates significant wear throughout your vehicle and reduces gas mileage. 

Maintaining the proper air pressure in your tires will help reduce drag on your car, and it will help both your tires and wheel components last longer.  Refilling your tires is an easy thing to do yourself, too!  

Get Regular Oil Changes 

Oil maintenance is one of the most important things you can do for your vehicle. It keeps your engine running smoothly and maintains good gas mileage. Old oil in your vehicle will force your engine to work harder, so it will use up more gas and components will wear out a lot faster. Completely neglecting to change your oil cans cause serious damage to your engine, requiring a full rebuild or engine replacement. 

Whether you choose to change your oil yourself or go to the mechanic, be sure you’re using the proper motor oil for your vehicle by consulting your owner’s manual. Most modern vehicles are switching over to fully synthetic oil, which is much more efficient, but some still require traditional oil. 

Regularly Check & Replace Air Filters 

Your air filter is the first line of defense to keep dirt and debris out of your engine, but a dirty or clogged air filter can seriously inhibit the airflow into your engine, causing poor acceleration and lowering your fuel economy. 

It’s recommended to change your air filters once a year, but you should check them regularly and replace them when they get dirty. If you want to be even more eco-friendly and reduce waste, you can opt to pay a little more for a reusable air filter. These are typically silicone or similar material that can be rinsed off once dirt starts to build up.  

Get a Tune-Up 

The “traditional tune-up” used to include replacing or re-gapping spark plugs, and replacing your car’s air filters, but today most mechanics will do a more thorough inspection of your vehicle’s major parts that affect its performance. This includes the spark plugs, as well as looking for faulty hoses, and checking your ignition and emissions systems. 

Getting a tune-up helps your engine start and run smoothly, keeps your vehicle performing efficiently, and improves your gas mileage. Your car’s manual will tell you how often you should take it in for a tune-up, and you can even have it done during a routine oil change to save a trip to the mechanic. 

5 Tips for Eco-Friendly Driving 

You don’t need a brand new, fully electric vehicle to help the environment. Just follow a few simple steps for maintaining and driving your vehicle to improve your gas mileage and overall emissions. 

1. Don’t Speed 

It’s a good idea in general but sticking to the speed limit actually helps your gas mileage! Contrary to popular belief, gas mileage decreases once you exceed 50 mph in most vehicles. On average, for every 5mpg you drive over 50mph it’s like you’re paying $0.18 per gallon more for gas. Driving fast means you also use gas fast! 

Not only is it better on your gas mileage and emissions when you drive the speed limit, but it’s also safer for you and others around you. Don’t Speed! 

2. Avoid Road Rage 

You should ALWAYS avoid road rage, both for your safety and for your carbon footprint. Quickstarts and stops, speeding, waste a lot of gas, and seriously cut down on your gas mileage. To use a similar comparison as speeding, aggressive driving can use gas so fast that it costs the equivalent of $0.25-$1.00 per gallon  

Road rage is seriously costly across the board from both a safety perspective and environmental. We can all get frustrated when driving, but it’s not worth it to drive aggressively. 

3. Avoid Idling 

Another tried-and-true method for eco-friendly driving is to avoid idling as much as possible. Generally, it’s better to turn your car off if you’ll be parked for more than ten seconds. It takes less energy and uses less fuel to start your engine than it does to let it sit idling.  

4. Take Advantage of Cruise Control 

When you’re driving on long stretches of highway, cruise control can be your best friend. Not only will it help reduce your fatigue as a driver, but it can help reduce wear on your car too! As much as we try to maintain a steady speed on the highway, our speed will inevitably fluctuate if we’re in control of it. 

Using cruise control lets you maintain a constant speed, which can help you save gas in the long run. 

5. Don’t Drive When You Don’t Need To 

Running vehicles are one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gasses, so it only makes sense that one of the easiest ways to be an eco-friendly driver is to try not to drive when you don’t need to. 

  • Try walking instead of driving short distances  
  • Carpool as much as possible 
  • Take public transportation 
  • Telecommute for work 

Granted, everyone’s circumstances are different, and it might not be possible for you to cut down on how much you drive, but it can be an easy, cost-effective way to reduce your carbon footprint. 

Conclusion 

There are many ways to be an eco-friendly driver, but they all center around fuel economy. Properly maintaining your vehicle and the way you drive directly contributes to your gas mileage, which can help or hurt your vehicle’s overall emissions.  

Disclaimer: Use at Your Own Risk 

The information provided in all blog articles is for educational purposes only. Pass Drivers Ed is not a licensed automotive expert, and any information regarding automotive repairs or maintenance should not be taken as professional automotive advice. Pass Drivers Ed is not responsible for any damages or injuries resulting in following the information provided.

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