3 ways to be an eco-friendlier driver

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Spring weather has arrived surprisingly early this year. This is one of the many tangible signs that global warming is a very pressing concern, according to The Guardian. While shorter winters might seem like a positive effect of climate change, the negative consequences certainly outweigh the positives. Among other things, the Great Barrier Reef is under threat, Venice is in danger of being flooded, and food chains are already being disrupted. So, it’s vital that we all assess how our daily habits and routines could be contributing to global warming.

Passenger cars and vans are responsible for 17% of the UK’s total carbon dioxide emissions, according to the Committee on Climate Change. Therefore, if you want to adopt a greener lifestyle, assessing your driving habits is a great place to start. We’ve put together a list of three easy ways you can drive more efficiently and reduce the amount of pollution your car emits. Read on to find out more.

Be more mindful

Putting more thought into the way you drive will help you to travel much more efficiently. For example, accelerating and braking smoothly, using higher gears where possible, and avoiding revving your engine can drastically lower how much fuel you use, according to the Energy Saving Trust. Therefore, by being more mindful of the way you drive, you can become an eco-friendlier driver, as well as save money on fuel.

Remove excess weight from your car

Does everything in your car serve a purpose? It’s incredibly easy for unnecessary clutter to accumulate in your vehicle and, while it might not seem like a big deal on a day-to-day basis, it can have a significant effect on how much fuel your journeys typically require. In fact, every extra 50kg you’re driving around with will increase your fuel consumption by about 2%, according to the RAC.

By simply removing large items from your boot and taking any unused storage boxes or bike racks off your car, you can reduce how much pollution your car emits. The lighter your car is, the greener it will be. So, look to have a little clear-out every three months or so.

Follow your vehicle’s service schedule

There’s a whole host of reasons your car needs to be serviced regularly: it will reduce the risk of your vehicle breaking down, can help to prevent accidents, and will ensure that your car is running as efficiently as possible. But, it’s surprising how many people still neglect to have their vehicles serviced on a regular basis.

It’s also vital that you maintain your car between services. This includes checking your oil level and topping it up if necessary, monitoring the condition of your tyres, and replacing your air filter when it’s worse for wear. All of these things will go a long way to keeping your car running efficiently all year round. If you aren’t confident about carrying these jobs out, Lookers has a wide range of how-to guides that will talk you through them.

Plan your journeys

If you’re looking to become an eco-friendlier driver, you should try to avoid traffic jams as much as possible. In order to do this, you’ll need to put more thought and planning into your journeys.

The AA has a handy route planner that can help you plan a journey that avoids the likes of roadworks, queuing traffic, and incidents that might hold you up. So, if you’re planning a particularly lengthy journey, or simply want to ensure you use the best route for your commute, it’s best to assess what the roads are like before you set off.

And there you have it: three tips that will help you to become a greener driver. If you want to do your bit for the environment and help to reduce the effects of climate change, making these adjustments is a great place to start.