Not ready to trade in your ride for an electric car? We think you'll be surprised at how simple it is to make your daily drive a little greener.
Take care of your car
Noah Gordon, creator of the Car Care Check mobile app that helps customers diagnose their vehicle's problem before visiting the mechanic, says, “You don’t have to drive a hybrid to drive green.” Gordon explains that the average driver who logs 15,000 miles per year can save 56 gallons of gas annually by maintaining properly inflated tires, keeping a properly tuned engine and using the appropriate engine oil. "Since every gallon of gas burned emits a whopping 19 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, that's a reduction of 1,064 pounds of greenhouse gases for each conscientious driver," he says.
Put your car on a diet
Have you seen those grueling competitions on The Biggest Loser where competitors have to strap on extra weight while slogging through obstacle courses we wouldn't wish on our worst enemy? That additional poundage makes the challenges ridiculously difficult and turbocharges their "burn rate." The point we're trying to make (in reality-TV terms) is that more weight requires more energy — or in the case of our vehicles, additional gas consumption. Remove all the junk from your trunk to lighten your load and reduce your fuel consumption.
Be a smooth operator
If you tend to accelerate and break with a lead foot, you're not just annoying your passengers, you're burning additional fuel. “The best way to save at the pump is to become a light-footed driver,” says fuel-efficiency expert Dan Gray of MPGomatic.com. “Once you become cognizant of the pressure you exert on the accelerator pedal, you unlock the potential in your vehicle, no matter the technology under the hood.”
Sell your car
If you can swing it, sell your car and join a car-sharing service like Zipcar, Car2Go or Hertz On Demand. How does car sharing work? Users pay a small fee to join, reserve a car on the web or with a mobile app and then pay by the minute or hour for use of the vehicle. With the car-sharing model of transportation, trips are planned and consolidated, leading to less drive time and a reduction in emissions.