In our society with the global climate change concerns we keep hearing the buzz words “Go Green”. People are more aware of how their daily choices really affect the environment. Whether it is the car we drive, or how much we drive, what kind of fuel we use, what kind of equipment we use in our homes, how we dispose of our trash, what products we choose to purchase and how they are manufactured, going green is really being environmentally conscientious and making good choices that will increase the quality of life on our planet in the future. We have lots of choices to purchase more environmentally vehicles, whether they are electric, hybrid or just extremely fuel efficient. Those choices are offered by many of the vehicle manufacturers, like Ford, GM, Toyota, or Honda just to name a few, you would have many great cars to choose from.
But if purchasing a new or barely used vehicle is not in your immediate future there are ways to make your current vehicle a little more green. Increasing the fuel efficiency of your vehicle is one of the #1 ways to “go green”. Keeping up to date on maintenance, properly inflated tires, clean air and fuel filters will all help the fuel efficiency of your vehicle.
Driving habits can also effect fuel efficiency, using cruise control or a more consistent speed while highway driving, braking slowly, and normal acceleration at stops can also help. Keep your vehicle repaired and within the DEQ guidelines. If your check engine light is on, if your vehicle is running rough, you have a poor exhaust system, or if there is smoke out the tailpipe, have your vehicle diagnosed and repaired. A vehicle with poor emissions has a huge impact on our environment. Fix any known leaks. If your vehicle is leaking oil, coolant, gear oil, power steering, transmission, or brake fluid these contaminate our environment. These fluids contaminate the ground and seep into our storm drains and contaminate the water. Hazardous waste has really been addressed in our generation and it would be great to lessen rather than increase the amount of clean up that needs to be performed.
Another way is to drive less. Our society has become so dependent upon our vehicles, we seem to have a hard time giving them up for an hour, let alone a whole day or two when it needs maintenance and repairs. But realistically the less you use your vehicle, when it is properly maintained, the longer it can last. Living close to where you work, using alternative transportation at times, combining errands to be more efficient, and carpooling are all ways to use the car less often, therefore lessening your carbon footprint. Making just a few of these simple changes can help make your vehicle a little “greener”, without buying a new car.