With spring’s arrival in Ontario, people in Mississauga are getting ready to hit the road more frequently and for longer periods. You’re also probably making plans for what to do now that the temperature is warmer, and the days are getting longer. However, beyond giving your vehicle a much-needed spring maintenance, there’s another thing you can keep an eye on this year: a need to go green!
The environment, unfortunately, is facing an accelerated rate of change beyond anything that that earth has seen before. While scientists are doing all the heavy lifting in terms of understanding how our world is changing and why, it is still up to each of us to play a part in trying to keep the environment sustainable for future generations of Canadians and global citizens alike. If you want to do your part, your car is a great place to start, and here are a few things you can do to increase your eco-friendliness on the road this spring.
Try Eco-Friendly Tires
It might take a bit more research and investment on your part, but yes, it's true, eco-friendly tire solutions do exist! Eco-friendly tires come in a variety of different forms to help the environment. Some tire manufacturers are now using more sustainable methods to build tires, such as using soybean oil in the rubber compounds to both boost performance and avoid harsher, more environmentally demanding chemical compounds. Other tires make for a more eco-friendly vehicle by using better materials. These tires are designed from more efficient, synthetic rubbers that are easier to produce, without the same high industrial demands that older assembly methods required.
Keep Your Tire Pressure Up
In keeping with eco-friendly tires is the practice of making sure that your tire pressure is normal. It might seem like a little thing, but tire pressure can be important in maintaining an eco-friendly vehicle by cutting down on waste. As tire pressure lowers, this impairs the performance and traction of your tires. When this happens, you end up using a lot more gasoline to compensate for the inefficiencies generated by the more difficult driving you’re subjecting your car to. Keeping the tire pressure up keeps your performance up.
Don’t Abuse the AC
This is a tough one to go green for, especially when everyone knows just how hot it can get in Ontario during the summer. However, air conditioners are a significant drain on energy, in addition to emitting a lot of heat as a natural by-product of cooling down a car.
Try driving using the fan or with the windows down to keep air circulating. By not always resorting to the AC, you can make a big dent in the kind of harmful emissions your car generates when you’re on the road. Excessive AC use also drains your car’s energy, which causes you to consume gasoline at a faster rate so that can hurt your fuel efficiency.
Get a Tune-Up
Always a good idea after winter driving, a tune-up replenishes the important components of your car, such as brake fluid and oil. It also involves an inspection of different parts to ensure that everything is operating efficiently. Anything that needs to be tweaked back into acceptable parameters gets the attention it needs.
Efficiency means that your car is not wasting any energy while it performs, and that means you're making better decisions for the environment. It can even increase your gas mileage if you maintain this habit diligently.
When your car is operating at peak condition, there is still one thing that has a huge impact on environmental contamination, and that is your driving style. Constant, sudden acceleration, especially in a city setting, for example, makes unnecessary demands on the performance of your car that result in extra emissions and hurt your fuel efficiency.
Think about using the cruise control function when you’re on the highway. This not only makes it a little easier to drive but also helps maintain fuel efficiency since cruise control does a better job holding your speed steady. This means less accelerating and decelerating, resulting in more fuel efficiency. In the same way, if you’re sitting still, don’t idle the engine, turn off the car until you’re ready to go again.
Empty Your Trunk
It’s easy to forget that you may have left stuff in your trunk. Sometimes, people regard the trunk of their car as an extra, convenient, mobile closet. However, leaving things in your trunk unnecessarily, especially if they are heavy objects, hurts your efforts to go green.
Remember, your vehicle is designed to move you around, and anything that adds to the weight of the car means that more fuel and power must be expended to get from one destination to the next safely. If you leave your trunk loaded with extra gear, you're increasing the amount of gasoline you need to use to travel around. Keep things light, and only use your trunk for storage when necessary.
Use the Car Wash
This might surprise you, but a car wash is a great choice for a more eco-friendly vehicle. When you wash your car at home, using a hose, it's quite typical to go through litres of water while doing so. This is a huge waste, as this is drinkable water that's now going straight down the drain.
If you use a car wash, especially the modern, more eco-friendly services, not only is less water used in the process, the water used is often recycled. Since it doesn't need to be used for drinking, this "grey water," is perfectly safe to redirect and use for cleaning and rinsing. And of course, this also means less work for your vehicle can be a more eco-friendly vehicle when you hit the roads around Mississauga this spring.