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5 Eco-friendly Habits to Improve Your Car’s Carbon Footprint

As the damage caused by global warming becomes more apparent, people are looking for ways in which they can reduce their carbon footprint. Carbon footprint refers to an individual or group’s carbon dioxide production. For a vast majority of individuals, the automobile is the single greatest producer of their carbon footprint. Below are some habits you and your family can make in order to do your part and reduce this effect.

1. Only Drive When Necessary

While this habit may seem like a no-brainer, it is difficult to exercise regularly. Cars have greatly increased the ease by which humans can move from one place to another. Even when a target location is within walking distance, many people still decide to drive a car because of the sheer convenience. However, there are multiple habits that you can develop to reduce the amount of time you drive. For example, you can organize your daily errands to be accomplished in one outing. It is also important to consider carpooling with other people who are driving to the same location.

2. Conduct Regular Maintenance Checks

The only thing that produces more carbon dioxide than a running vehicle is a poorly functioning one. Cars that are poorly maintained end up guzzling more gas in the long run in order to run properly. Conducting regular maintenance checks on your car can ensure that everything is running correctly. Brake pads, oil and filters are all car components that should be routinely changed to ensure your car is running as efficiently as possible.

3. Take Care of Your Tires

You may be surprised to realize that simply keeping your vehicle’s tires properly inflated can help reduce its carbon footprint. When tires are inflated to their recommended pressure, the vehicle is optimized to run efficiently. However, tires that are below recommended pressure levels cause your car to burn more energy to run. Keeping your tires properly inflated can save 400–700 pounds of CO2 per year. Visit a tire center like Discount Tire Centers to get your tires serviced whenever they need it.

4. Improve Your Driving Habits

Another habit that can help reduce your car’s carbon footprint involves a few minor driving adjustments. A large percentage of MPG ratings are due to driving habits alone. For example, keeping a consistent speed when driving can help reduce a car’s carbon dioxide output. Additionally, slow and smooth accelerations have also been shown to benefit a car’s MPG rating.

5. Avoid Heavy Congestion

One of the more obvious ways to reduce a car’s carbon footprint is to avoid sitting in traffic for extended periods of time. While this may be unavoidable at times, there are a few habits that can help accomplish this goal. You can make an effort to run errands during times when not many cars will be on the road. This could be early in the mornings or later at night depending on the day of the week. Also, you can attempt alternate routes to usual destinations that may attract less drivers.

Reducing the world’s carbon footprint may seem like a daunting or even impossible endeavor. However, each person is responsible for the amount of carbon dioxide that they produce. With vehicle’s being one of the greatest producers of this toxic gas, any habit that can help to counteract this production is a worthwhile cause.

Tim Esterdahl

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