I don’t literally mean a green car! That would be easy, just paint it! I’m talking about eco-friendly green. In an ideal world, we’d all be able to afford to run out and buy the latest hybrid green car that saves on gas as well as saves the environment. For most people, though, that’s just not in the budget. Besides, it’s a little wasteful to dump a perfectly good car in favor of a new one, even if it is more eco-friendly. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make your existing car a green car without much effort!
Easy tips to make your current car a green car
- Ease up on that lead foot! Yes, I’m looking at you, Speed Racer! Did you know that speed limits were not originally set to keep you safe? They were created to help conserve gas because research showed that certain speeds are better on gas mileage. Keeping it under 100 KPH (or 60 MPH) helps reduce drag, which in turn gives you more miles to your gallon. Is the extra gas money and drain on natural resources really worth getting to your destination five minutes earlier? If you want a green car, this is probably the most important tip of all!
- Lose the junk in your trunk. The more stuff you carry around in your car, the harder it has to work. Obviously, if you’re heading on a family road trip, you can’t very well leave behind your bags! For every day driving, though, take out as much stuff as possible. Keep an emergency kit, your spare tire and a few lightweight essentials, and then get rid of the rest.
- Tune it up. A well-tuned car conserves on gas way better than one that hasn’t seen the inside of a mechanic’s bay in years. Even a simple oil and air filter change can make a huge difference. Bonus: tuning up your car helps it last longer, which means you’ll save money too! Talk to your mechanic to find out if you can use synthetic oils in your car. These oils not only save on gas; they also help save natural resources, making your car a green car twice over!
- Keep your tires full of air. While being full of air yourself isn’t exactly comfortable, your tires need it! Make sure they’re inflated properly by checking the air frequently, especially before a long trip. Don’t overinflate, though, as that can be just as bad. Your car’s owner manual will tell you the right pressure for your vehicle.
- Go for the windblown look. Unless it is incredibly hot you don’t need to crank up that AC every time you get in the car. Roll down the windows and let the fresh air in. If you’re that concerned about your hair, bring a brush! On the other hand, if you are driving on the highway, your AC may actually be more gas-friendly, as the wind can create drag.
- Be a planner, not an aimless driver. If you are heading out for a day of running errands, plan your route so you can get the most done using the least amount of gas. If you’re heading out of town for a vacation, take advantage of CAA’s road maps and TripTik® Travel Planners to plan your route. Make sure you add in a few stops for food and leg-stretching along the way!
- Take the CAA Autogreen Challenge! Challenge yourself to make changes in your daily life that can add up to huge savings for the planet. Driving a green car is just one way to save resources.
About the CAA Autogreen Challenge
The CAA Autogreen Challenge is a fun contest designed to educate the public about vehicle-related green options. CAA knows that even the smallest changes can make a huge difference. They want to know what your eco-promise is for 2013. Answering that simple question gives you a chance to win one of 8 weekly prizes of a $400 Apple Store gift card! Wow, you can buy a lot of tunes with that for your next road trip! Plus, your answer could appear on the eco-tree if it’s one of the most popular answers. You can help get it up there by liking your favorite answers.
You’ll also have a chance to earn bonus entries by showing off your green knowledge by answering daily eco-questions. This contest is open to everyone who lives in a CAA South Central Ontario club territory and is 18 years of age or older. So share your green car tips or any other way you plan to go green in 2013!
This post is brought to you by CAA! All opinions are ours!