Quick Tips to Drive Down Your Carbon Footprint
Every so often we hear about the emission of greenhouse gases, global warming and many other concerns about the planet. Whilst global warming and climate change are gaining increasing traction with the UK populace and the political elites, enough is still not being done to overcome damage being done to the environment. Despite images and diagrams of the effects of greenhouse gases regularly seen on our social, print and news media, we are resistant to change, almost too oblivious to react. Maybe we are too busy to understand such apparently trivial matters, or maybe we have not comprehended the reality of one of the most pressing global issues of our time.
While we neglect this major global issue and fail to come up with a solution, our time is increasingly becoming shorter. Striking statistics like the fact that around a fifth of the UK’s greenhouse gases are emitted by cars and that car emissions in the UK alone cause around 24,000 premature deaths each year, should drive us to change. They should drive us to a better lifestyle that is mindful of the environment and our shrinking planet. We can implement small changes to what and how we drive to reduce or prevent toxic emissions and the amount of fossil fuel we individually burn. These changes do not have to cost us a fortune or affect the quality of our driving or our personal brand. And here’s how…
Low-rolling resistance Tyres
Tyres are arguably the biggest perpetrators in regards to a car’s drastic fuel consumption. They play a massive part in increasing the fuel consumption of a car as approximately 20% of a car’s fuel consumption is from the tyres alone. To combat this, low-rolling resistance tyres are beneficial as they prevent the tyres from resisting movement, thus using less energy to move and reducing fuel consumption. Within the UK car tyres are given a fuel efficiency rating between A (Most fuel efficient) through to G (Least fuel efficient) wherever possible buyers should purchase tyres that offer the highest fuel efficiency within their budget, ideally A-rated tyres.
Lightweight Alloy Wheels
If your car comes with black steel wheels as standard, then replacing your regular wheels for lighter alloy wheels means that less weight will be moving along with your car thus, less energy will be required. Not only that but good quality alloy wheels can also enhance the visual appearance and on road handling of stock vehicles, this means not only are you going to reduce fuel consumption and enjoy driving more, but your car is going to look good doing it as well.
More weight, more energy used. More energy used, more greenhouse gases emitted.
The more a car carries, the more energy it needs to move, which means the more energy it uses up and the more greenhouse gases being released into the environment. So, a very easy way to reduce fuel consumption is to get rid of excess weight internal and external of the car. And this could be done in different ways.
One way to trim some weight from your car is to replace your regular bulky-but-uncomfortable car seat, for a lightweight sports car, car seat. This may seem unusual at first but it is an all-around winner. The fact that you can have a seat that is better looking, more of a snug fit for you and lighter thus, fuel efficient too means there is nothing you would lose by switching to a sports car, car seat.
The most obvious way to reduce some weight from your car is to get rid of all that you don’t need. Cars have a reputation of being hoarding places. They are the places where we sometimes leave our shoes, clothes, random car bits and bobs that have always been there. And though this may seem normal and common, they can increase fuel consumption. Remember, for every 50kg you haul you will lose up to 2% energy efficiency. It’s not worth it, take the junk out and keep it in the garage or the shed.
Chipped, Modified and remapped ECU (engine control units) would normally be associated with cars tuned for enhanced performance and hp, but torque and hp increases are not the only benefits that can be derived from a remapped or chipped ECU. They can also be programmed to increase fuel economy and MPG; this is an ideal modification for drivers who rack up some serious miles. ECU chips can easily be purchased online but should really be installed and programmed by a skilled tuning professional.
Meta-Tek Number Plates
In today’s selfie society people love to personalise and stand out from the crowd, everything that we wear, the music that we listen to and the brands we buy say something about us and how we want to be perceived. For many people this also extends to their cars in varying extremes, in some cases, people invest heavily in modifying their vehicles bodywork and engine, whilst others invest in expensive private number plates and have special show plates made.
Even here there is an opportunity to opt for a more environmentally friendly option in the material choice for the number plate you buy. We recommend buying number plates made from Metatek material as not only is it a durable material but it is also 99% recyclable making it a much more environmentally conscious choice.
Other simple ways to be fuel-efficient:
Never drive at a speed more than what is absolutely required of you.
Stick to a healthy speed range that is not excessively high. The majority of cars attain their maximum fuel efficiency when they are being driven at around 30-50mph. Which means your car does not need to be driven at over 50mph on normal roads. Also, from 55 mph onwards, fuel consumption rapidly increases up to as much as 15% for every 10mph. Thus, when on the motorway stay at 60mph, the lower end of the range that you can legally drive on a motorway, to reduce your fuel consumption by 30% had you been driving at 80mph. Lower fuel consumption means lower levels of greenhouse gases being emitted and a cleaner air surrounded.
Start your car just as you are about to go.
Unless you really need to keep your car on and not moving due to emergency winter weather, don’t idle. Running the engine with your car not moving for even a couple of minutes can release 500 grammes worth of greenhouse gas into the air. How toxic! Always try to avoid idling as much as possible.
Open your windows for a cleaner breeze.
Air-con is not the best solution for cooling down. When your car is at low speeds, using air-con can increase your fuel consumption. Rather than polluting the air with unnecessary greenhouse gases, use the wind to cool you down when you are driving with your windows down.
When cars were first invented they were seen as a leap in the future, a revolutionary mode of transport. But only time has taught us that this supposedly revolutionary mode of transport has many flaws. But it isn’t inherently flawed. Though we may be using up resources and material in the name of scientific advances that are causing a rapid increase in greenhouse gases being emitted into our environment, not all scientific and technological advances are bad. Cars can be fuel-efficient if you equip them with revolutionary tools that make them 100% environmentally friendly. So, be fuel-efficient, money wise and ready to tackle global warming!