Drive a “Green” Machine
When it comes to your individual ability to minimize your impact on the environment, you’re in the driver’s seat. The choices you make regarding vehicle maintenance and driving style can greatly impact the environmental impact your vehicle may cause. Here are some easy and effective ways to drive “green.”
Maintain Your Vehicle
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), vehicles and trucks contribute significantly to carbon monoxide pollution and ground-level ozone, a major component of smog. By properly maintaining your vehicle, you can improve your fuel economy, prolong the life of your vehicle, and prevent it from leaking emissions that can harm the environment. The following are easy ways to maintain your vehicle for optimal performance and to minimize environmental impact:
Follow the proper maintenance procedures outlined in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. It will not only pay off for the environment, but for you as well—making your vehicle last as much as 50% longer, according to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).
Keep your engine properly tuned. According to the ASE, one misfiring spark plug can reduce your fuel efficiency by as much as 30%.
Properly inflate and regularly rotate your tires. By keeping your tires in check, you can prevent uneven wear, which can shorten the life of your tires and make your engine work harder. You’ll also save money by avoiding unnecessary wear and tear on your engine.
Dispose of used motor oil properly. Fast lube oil change service centers, like Jiffy Lube®, do this for you if you bring your vehicle there for service. Do-It-Yourselfers should also take their used oil to a Jiffy Lube® service center or another collection facility for proper disposal. Just one gallon of improperly disposed motor oil can potentially contaminate one million gallons of drinking water.
Think you’ve done everything you can to make your vehicle a green machine? The choices you make while driving can actually improve your fuel economy, too. Here’s how to drive wisely:
Drive at the speed limit. According to the EPA, driving at 55mph rather than 65mph can improve your gas mileage by as much as 15%.
Use cruise control. Utilizing cruise control on the highway will help you maintain a constant speed, which will in most cases improve your fuel economy.
Don’t idle. It actually requires less gas to turn the vehicle back on than to let it idle.
Reduce the vehicle’s weight. Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2%, according to the United States Department of Energy.
Carpool. It may sound simple, but carpooling not only preserves gas, but it also eases congestion on heavily traveled roads during rush hour.
Maintaining your vehicle, driving smart and taking your used motor oil to a designated collection facility are three easy things you can do right away to drive a “green” machine and make a real difference in protecting our environment. Environmental stewardship can greatly impact the life of your vehicle, your pocketbook, and keep our planet healthy for future generations to enjoy!