Carbon is an organic element that is the basis for life on Earth. The ocean releases and absorbs carbon dioxide. Plants use carbon dioxide in photosynthesis to make oxygen. Humans and all animals release carbon dioxide when they exhale. CO2 is also a greenhouse gas that is released into the atmosphere when fuel or energy is burned.
In the atmosphere, CO2 absorbs radiation and prevents heat from escaping. As CO2 emissions from the use of cars and other fuel-burning machines increase, more and more heat is trapped in the atmosphere, which leads to changes in weather patterns, higher temperatures, and changes to the climate. Reducing your car’s CO2 emissions is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to the fight against global warming.
Taking care of your car will reduce its CO2 emissions. Make sure that you change your oil according to the recommendations from your car’s manufacturer. Oil lubricates the engine, cleans it, cools it, and prevents unnecessary wear and tear on the car. The more efficiently your engine operates, the lower its carbon dioxide emissions will be.
Check your tyre pressure every month. Tyres can lose pressure over time and low tyre pressure decreases fuel efficiency. Your car will consume more fuel and increase its emissions if your tyre pressure is low. Check the tyre manufacturer’s recommendations and make sure that your car’s tyre pressure is where it should be.
Change your car’s air filter when it gets dirty. A dirty air filter reduces airflow to the engine and deposits will build up. This will decrease your engine’s efficiency and cause it to release more CO2 emissions. Keep your air filter clean and your car will both run better and reduce its CO2 emissions.
Use cleaning agents to keep your engine clean. Cleaning agents will reduce deposits that build up in your engine. Premium fuel has cleaning agents added and it can improve the overall performance of your engine. Improved engine performance decreases the amount of fuel needed to run your car. Try using premium fuel three or four times to see if this makes a difference for your car. You may decrease the amount of fuel you use and reduce your CO2 emissions at the same time by using a higher-grade fuel.
Change How You Use Your Car
A number of factors affect how much fuel your car consumes each day. Extra weight creates drag on your car and this will increase fuel usage. Although the air conditioning system uses some energy, opening the windows creates a greater drag and it will reduce your fuel efficiency. Use your air conditioning system but turn it off when you can. Avoid travelling with the windows down. Using the sunroof for fresh air creates less drag, which makes it a better choice.
Roof racks are great when you need extra storage for a trip. However, they add weight and bulk to your car and they create drag, which will increase fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Try to purchase an aerodynamically shaped roof rack and remove it when you don’t need it. Make sure that you don’t travel with unnecessary items in your car. The more you reduce the extra weight your car is carrying around, the lower your emissions will be.
Reduce the time that your car idles. When your car idles for more than ten seconds, it uses more fuel and energy than turning it off and restarting it. Don’t leave your car running at the store or at your house. Turn it off whenever you can and your emissions will decrease.
Change your style of driving. Sudden braking and acceleration increase fuel consumption and emissions. Make a conscious effort to drive more steadily and don’t push your car to its limits. Speeding, hard braking, and unnecessary acceleration all reduce your car’s fuel efficiency and increase CO2 emissions.
Be thoughtful about how and when you use your car. Try to combine your errands so that you reduce the time you drive. Use cruise control to keep your car at a steady rate of acceleration. If you can avoid driving during times of heavy traffic, you will use less fuel and reduce your emissions.
Whenever it is possible, walk or use your bicycle. If you need to travel a further distance, you can carpool. Although the car still gives off emissions, two drivers in one car will cut their emissions output in half. If it is possible, use public transportation. This reduces the emissions per person and it lowers your carbon footprint.
If you have an older car, consider looking at more modern vehicles. Newer cars are becoming more and more environmentally friendly and they tend to have lower CO2 emissions. Electric cars are becoming more and more popular as a viable alternative. Manufacturers are working to increase battery time. If you travel smaller distances on a regular basis, an electric car may work well for you.
If you need to drive further distances, explore the possibility of a plug-in hybrid car. These cars can go quite a distance without burning any fuel. However, they still have the fuel option as a backup. Fuel motors are more efficient at higher speeds but electric motors are better at low speeds. You can have the best of both worlds, save money on your energy costs, and reduce your carbon dioxide emissions all at the same time by driving a hybrid vehicle.
There are many ways to lower your carbon footprint and do your part in the fight against global warming. Your car is a great place to start. There are inexpensive options such as keeping the windows closed during a drive, maintaining your car regularly, and changing your style of driving. There are also more expensive options, including using premium fuel, buying a more modern car, or switching to a hybrid car. Every little bit has an impact so any of these choices will allow you to reduce your carbon footprint.
Last Updated On: November 23, 2019.