8 Tips for Being More Environmentally Friendly Behind the Wheel

While some people are willing to give up car ownership to protect the environment, not everyone will go that far. And neither should they have to. From getting a fuel-efficient vehicle to ensuring your car, truck, van, or SUV is well-maintained to maximize efficiency, you can do things to be environmentally friendly behind the wheel.

According to Forbes, there was a combined tally of 278,063,737 personal and commercial vehicles registered to drivers in the United States in 2021. That’s up 3.66% from 2017 to 2021.

Consider, as well, that the U.S. is in the top three on the list of countries with the highest C02 emissions in 2020. The list is as follows:

  1. China – 9.9 billion tonnes of C02 emissions
  2. U.S. – 4.4 billion tonnes of C02 emissions
  3. India – 2.3 billion tonnes of C02 emissions

If you own one or more vehicles and want to learn how to operate them more eco-friendly, continue reading to see eight tips for accomplishing just that. It’s easier than you think.

1. Get the Right Vehicle


You don’t necessarily need an EV to be an environmentally friendly driver. But it’ll be harder to achieve this objective if you drive a gas-guzzler. Before choosing the right vehicle, consider your needs.

Do you have a long commute to and from work? Do you make a lot of long or short trips? How many people do you typically travel with? Once you figure out what you need in a car as far as space and features, look for something that’s fuel efficient. Perhaps you already have a vehicle that’s perfect for your needs. In that case, you won’t need to upgrade.

2. Keep Your Vehicle In Good Shape

Preventative maintenance will keep your vehicle in good running shape. If you have a car with an internal combustion engine, regular oil and filter changes, tire rotation, and other things recommended in the owner’s manual are necessary. You’ll have a reliable vehicle and ensure your car is running efficiently, which will be better for the environment.

Don’t think that you don’t have to worry about vehicle maintenance if you have an EV. While an EV has a lot fewer moving parts than a vehicle with an internal combustion engine, you’ll want to inspect the brakes, inspect for fluid leaks, check the suspension, and more.

3. Get Rid of Excess Weight

Do you have a lot of stuff in the trunk of your vehicle? You might be surprised at how a trunk that is jam-packed with “stuff” can negatively impact your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. So, do yourself — and the environment ─ a favor by removing bulky items you don’t need from your trunk.

Your car won’t be loaded down, which means you’ll get better gas mileage for your car or more range for your EV. You’ll also feel better if your vehicle isn’t cramped.

4. Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated


Were you aware that you can boost your gas mileage by an average of 0.6% — and as high as 3% — if you ensure your vehicle tires are properly inflated? Meanwhile, you can take a 0.2% hit in gas mileage for every 1 psi drop in tire pressure.

While these percentages might not look like a whole lot at first glance, they will add up over time. If you keep your car tires properly inflated, you can maximize fuel efficiency, which will benefit the environment.

5. Drive Within the Speed Limit

If you want to maximize fuel efficiency, you should be mindful of your speed. Speeding and aggressive driving aren’t only potentially dangerous. They can also lead to less fuel efficiency. So, instead of driving too fast to make it to an appointment, try leaving home sooner.

And avoid aggressive driving, which often leads to aggressive braking. Correcting these errors will ensure you, other drivers, and pedestrians are safe. And you’ll burn through less fuel.

Speeding and aggressive driving are among the primary causes of car accidents, so you help keep yourself and others safe by simply respecting the rules of the road. Unfortunately, accidents happen every day on U.S. roads and highways.

If you’re ever involved in one, you should contact a car accident attorney like to find out your options. A vehicle accident can be life-changing in a bad way. A lawyer will let you know if you have a case, explain the options, answer your questions, and represent you.

Driving cautiously and taking care of your vehicle will reduce the odds of accidents. But that doesn’t mean that bad things can’t happen out on the road despite your best efforts.

6. Take the Shortest Route

Be more purposeful when it comes to route planning. Instead of taking a roundabout way to get to the shopping center or your place of employment, find the shortest route. You can use a GPS on your phone ─ if your vehicle doesn’t have one ─ to find the most optimal travel route. You’ll get to and from your destination faster, reduce carbon emissions, and save on gas.

7. Get More Done on the Road


Instead of heading out three or four days of the week on errands or to attend appointments, why not try to get everything done on a single trip? You’ll be able to get things done, maximize your time out and about by getting more done, and potentially cut down on time spent on the road. So, try to do everything you need on a single day of the week to cut down on travel time.

8. Use Cruise Control

Another way to reduce fuel consumption is to use your car’s cruise control function. Activate cruise control if you’re traveling on the highway and there’s light traffic. You can travel at a steady speed without needing driver interaction — unless you need to slow down, stop, or speed up. Reducing speed fluctuations will be better for your wallet and the environment.

These are some of the things you can do if you want to be a more eco-friendly driver. Most of these tips won’t require you to spend anything to accomplish, so there’s no excuse.

For instance, setting the right tire pressure or eliminating excess weight is easy. You’ll see you don’t have to give up your car to be kinder to the environment.

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