As you know, vehicle emissions are a huge environmental concern. Carbon dioxide from car exhaust is over 30% of our nation’s carbon output. It also pumps all kinds of toxic substances (for example benzene) into the air.
What are some simple steps you can take to reduce your car’s smog and it’s impact on the environment?
There are a few driving strategies you can learn to help reduce your car’s smog.
First, get in the habit of turning off your engine when you’re stuck in traffic. When you burn gas while idling, not only are you wasting money, you’re also creating pollution for no good reason.
Learn to pick your driving times. Avoid peak traffic when you’ll have to start and stop often. If you can do your grocery shopping late at night rather than during rush hour, that’s a great way to reduce some emissions.
Finally, pick roads that are relatively flat. Driving on flat roads rather than hills that go up and down will also help reduce your emissions.
Fill Your Tank at Night
Did you know that a big source of pollution isn’t just from cars being driven, but from gas evaporation?
Try to fill up your gas tank at night, so that less gas evaporates when you have your tank open.
Also don’t try to top up your tank. This often results in spillage, which translates to more gas evaporated.
Keep Your Car Well Tuned
Make sure your tires are fully inflated at all times. If your tires don’t have enough air, it takes more kinetic energy to move your car as the tires generate friction, which means more gas burned.
Make sure your tires are aligned. Constantly correcting a car that’s veering takes gas. Having two tires slightly pointing away from each other also takes gas.
Make sure you get a smog check regularly. Talk to your mechanic about possible improvements to help reduce your emissions.
Finally, the ultimate way to reduce your car’s smog and pollution is to simply drive less.
Plan your trips to the grocery store so you only shop once a week rather than 2-3 times. Carpool whenever possible. In general, make as few car trips as possible.
Reduce your car’s weight. Take off things like ski racks and bike racks when not in use. Make sure there aren’t extraneous objects in the trunk or back seats when they serve no purpose.
Try to plan your routes so you do multiple things at once. For example, instead of coming home then going out to the grocery store, just swing by the grocery store on your way home from work.
It takes a little bit of time and attention to develop an environmentally-conscious mindset about driving. However, once you’ve put in the effort and gotten used to saving gas, you’ll be saving money and reducing pollution for the rest of your life.