You’ve passed your driving exam and have finally gotten your license – or, maybe you’re still racking up hours of practice with your learner’s permit. Either way, the open road is calling your name and you can’t wait to get behind the wheel on your own. But, as we’ve all learned from Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility.
As you know, car exhaust is the number one contributor to smog and air pollution. But don’t fret! Because here are tips on how to keep your ride clean (air clean, that is):
- Drive the speed limit. Once you hit 60 mph, the amount of gas you’re using rapidly increases. So, by sticking to the speed limit you’ll not only stay safe, you’ll save on gas and decrease the amount of exhaust you expend into the air.
- Don’t idle. This is a big one. Idling, or leaving the engine running while the car isn’t moving, emits 20 times more pollution than if you were travelling at 30 miles per hour. It also burns up gas that you’re not getting any miles out of. So as tempting as it can be to indulge in some AC while waiting in the car, turn off that engine if you’ll be sitting for more than 30 seconds.
- Keep up with maintenance. Make sure your tires stay properly inflated and replace your air filters regularly for a more efficient ride. A more efficient ride means less air pollution. And don’t forget to get regular oil changes – you can even opt for more efficient motor oil! Just check for motor oil that says “Energy Conservative” on the API performance symbol.
- Plan, plan, plan. Think ahead and try to take the shortest or most efficient route to get where you’re going. Try to trip chain and map a route where you’ll be able to stop by several places in one trip.
And, of course, it goes without saying (but we’re going to say it anyway!): Always wear your seatbelt, keep both hands on the wheel, follow the speed limit, and don’t EVER text or talk on your phone while driving.
Do you have your license or learner’s permit? Let us know what you think about green driving in the comments below. And don’t forget to log your air-friendly driving in the AirCreds tool for points and prizes!