How To Be A More Environmentally Conscious Driver

According to the International Energy Agency, transport accounts for around a quarter of total CO2 emissions, with most of it coming from road vehicles like cars and motorbikes (though on a per-mile basis, aviation is by far the most polluting mode of transport).

If you’re looking to limit your personal impact on the environment as a driver, then there are a few different steps you might consider.

Keep An Eye On Your Speed

The faster your vehicle is travelling, the harder the engine will need to work, and the more fuel you’ll burn. This means more exhaust fumes, and a greater contribution to climate change. Research by Transport for London suggests that the optimal speed for most cars is around 55-60mph. Going below this won’t hurt too much – but going above it will.

What matters most is keeping your speed as smooth and steady as possible. Getting a car moving costs less energy than keeping it moving, and energy that goes into your brakes is wasted as heat.

Consider EV

Electric vehicles have two major environmental advantages. They’re much more efficient than internal combustion engine vehicles, and the gap between the two is widening. Moreover, they don’t produce any emissions at the point of use, which means no harmful gases coming out of the tailpipe. In fact, there isn’t a tailpipe!

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Turning Off The Car In Traffic

If your car is off, then it will be producing less emissions than it would if it were idling. As such, it might be a good idea to turn your engine off if you’re waiting in traffic for a long time – and it’s certainly a good idea if you’re waiting to pick someone up, say, outside a school.

If your battery is nearing the end of its lifespan, then repeatedly sparking it might put you at risk of not being able to start the car again. This is a risk you’ll want to weigh.

If you’re driving a newer car, however, then it might come with a stop-start function which disengages the engine while the car is in neutral and your foot is off the clutch. Popular models like the Astra have had this functionality for more than a decade – so it’s worth considering the Vauxhall cars Norwich has to offer.

This will not only prevent the engine from stalling – it’ll also save you on fuel and emissions.

Don’t Drive

Finally, we should consider the most obvious strategy for would-be energy savers: don’t drive. It might be that many of the trips you’re taking could be taken either on foot, or by bicycle. Then there’s the practice of carpooling, where you share a ride to work with colleagues and thereby bring your emissions down.

Walking comes with a whole range of inherent health benefits, as well as environmental ones. You might think that you live too far away from work to effectively commute on foot – but remember that some of history’s greatest thinkers were also keen walkers. So, you never know; you might find the inspiration you need to tackle the day on the way in!

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