As hybrid and electric vehicles grow in popularity, you may feel the urge to buy one and go green. Driving a lower emissions vehicle can be eco-friendly, but the actual impact of your decision may not be as clear-cut as you think. According to The Guardian, the carbon footprint of manufacturing a car – even a green one – is so great that you may be better off keeping what you have. Eventually you will need a new car, and then you should buy green. It’s actually more environmentally friendly to drive what you have until it no longer works.
With this in mind, focus on making the vehicle you currently have more environmentally friendly. Recycled materials, sun reflectors and more efficient tires can green your car. You may be practicing eco-friendly auto habits already, so keep reading.
Auto products you use to keep your car running and well-maintained are now available in recycled versions. Valvoline, a popular motor oil manufacturer, claims that recycled motor oil is every bit as good as new motor oil. Purchase it at your local auto shop, and you’ll also save money. Wiper blades are another frequently replaced accessory that you can buy recycled. TripleEdge Green is a popular brand, and it’s available at most auto parts stores and online at thewiperstore.com.
The interior of your car can heat to incredibly hot temperatures on a summer day. The air conditioner can cool it down eventually, but it also drains your vehicle. ThinkProgress.org claims that almost 6 percent of the oil consumed by cars is for air conditioning, and most vehicles experience an average mpg reduction of 26 percent when the A/C is on. By using a simple sunshade, you can cool your car and lower your A/C usage. Auto parts stores carry sunshades, and at Amazon.com, they range from around $8 to $20, depending on whether you want a graphic on the front or a simple reflective surface.
For tire replacements, don’t hesitate to buy the best quality you can afford. High-quality tires feature more advanced designs, which will reduce the tread wear and provide higher performance, including a better response while driving and reduced fuel consumption. Look for mid- to upper-range tires, such as Kumho tires or Nitto Tires at Tirebuyer. As with auto manufacturing, the initial carbon footprint of tire manufacturing is the most significant. Buying longer-lasting tires will limit your impact.
A car performs best when it is in tip-top shape. The engine runs more smoothly and efficiently when the oil is changed, the spark plugs are tuned, and the air filter is clean. The tires create less resistance when they are filled to specifications. Your paint will last longer and protect your car when it is regularly washed.
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