by Greg Barber of Eco-Friendly Printer
Our vehicles are one of the biggest detriments to the environment, with the burning of fossil fuels like gasoline and diesel releasing nitrogen gas and excess carbon dioxide (CO2) that warms the atmosphere and, in turn, disrupts the climate. It is estimated that greenhouse gas emissions from transportation alone are responsible for about 29% of total emissions, more than any other sector.
To help, there are some things that you can do to lower the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in your household.
- Drive a car with good gas mileage. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires auto manufacturers to add a label displaying both the fuel economy and estimated fuel costs for all new cars and light trucks. This label also includes ratings that show a vehicle’s greenhouse gas and pollutants, helping you to find a make and model that is kind to the environment.
- Properly inflate your tires. Many drivers are surprised to find that tire pressure can affect gas emissions, but Sustainable America reports that low tire pressure wastes over 4 million gallons of gas each year.
- Change your oil regularly. Regular maintenance of your car can not only improve gas mileage by four percent but can also improve fuel efficiency by up to 40% with routine care.
- Replace filters. Your car’s air filters help keep your car running efficiently, so be sure to replace them regularly and keep your air conditioning on low (or put the windows down instead!) to prolong their life.
- Take the shortest route. Sometimes a longer route can save time due to traffic and other issues on the road, but the extra miles can take a toll on the environment over time, so try to combine errands into one single trip and find the shortest, most efficient route to get to your destination.
- Don’t speed. Speeding and aggressive driving can cost you up to 30% more in gas when you are on the highway, so instead, take it easy on the gas and avoid the brakes when possible.
- Activate cruise control. When you drive above 50 miles per hour, each additional five miles per hour costs an additional 18 cents per gallon (which means you are using more gas and emitting more pollution), but cruise control can help maintain a lower speed for you.