Go Green This Spring: 5 Vehicle Initiatives
With everyone telling you to think green, go green, and everything else, it’s easy to conceive that it would take a huge, overwhelming lifestyle change to live a more eco-friendly life – especially when it comes to the car you drive. The truth is, there are many small things you can do that can have a great impact on the efficiency of your vehicle.
Here are some ways you can make sure car maintenance is good for the environment, good for your vehicle and good for your wallet.
Carpool As Much As Possible
The age-old, go-to green advice. Carpool! While it’s pretty obvious, it’s the one thing you can do that makes the biggest impact. It saves you money in gas and tolls, puts less wear and tear on your car, and helps you make friends! Yes, the carpooling journey might take you a little out of your way now and then, but it’s worth it!
According to the EPA and the Rubber Manufacturers Association, 290 million tires are discarded in the United States each year. More than 80 percent of those tires are reused or recycled in some way, and that’s great. When tires aren’t recycled, they can do major damage in landfills. They take up tons of space, create a breeding ground for mosquitoes and disease-carrying critters, and when burned, emit a toxic, black smoke. When recycled, shredded tires can be made into playground flooring, running tracks, speed bumps, vibration-reducing material for railway lines and much more. They can also be used as road or construction material when mixed with asphalt or concrete. Be sure to always take your unused tires to a service station or other facility that accepts old tires.
Use a Professional Car Wash
Washing your vehicle at home might seem like a good way to save money (and a fun activity to do with the kids in the summer), but it’s actually a big waste of water. Professional car washes use water efficient equipment and high-pressure nozzles and pumps, which clean cars thoroughly while conserving water. Professional washes are also required to send dirty water to water treatment plants or drainage facilities that are designed to protect the environment. Many times, when you wash your car at home, polluted water is released directly into the environment, or into storm drains intended for rainwater, which can pollute rivers, lakes and streams.
Embrace Eco-Friendly Products
If you do need to wash your car at home, or do any type of cleaning, just be sure you’re using eco-friendly products. Many companies offer products from interior cleaners to wax to air fresheners that are chemical free and easy on the environment.
Maintain Proper Tire Pressure
According to FuelEconomy.gov, you can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Not to mention, properly inflated tires are safer and last longer! The proper tire pressure for your specific vehicle can usually be found on a sticker in the driver’s side door jamb or glove box, and in your owner’s manual.
Other small things like air filters and air conditioning systems should be checked by a mechanic regularly for efficiency. Be sure to schedule an appointment at your local Sears Auto Center for a checkup today!