5 Easy Ways to Lessen Your Car's Emissions

5 Easy Ways to Lessen Your Car's Emissions

We all know car emissions lead to air pollution. And a polluted air not only contributes to environment problems, but also to health problems like respiratory inflammation and infection, lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurological disorders like slow reflexes and complete immobility.

Here's the good news: it only takes a bit of effort (and time) to lessen your car's emissions. Here are ways to do this without breaking a sweat--except perhaps for Tip #1:

Tip #1: Parallel park--whenever possible.

It takes roughly five to 15 minutes to find a parking space at a regular mall. And once you reach the 10th minute, then your car has already spewed out around 3-5 pounds of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) into the air.

Unfortunately, CO2 is one of the most common pollutants in the environment today, and contributes to the greenhouse effect, acid rain, and drastic climate change.

You can lessen the amount your car emits while parking by doing a parallel park instead of looking for a pull-in parking space. Studies show that doing a parallel park takes up less time, since you don't have to drive around for a couple of times hoping for a vehicle to get out of a parking spot. Besides, not everyone likes to parallel park. Some would even avoid it like the Bubonic Plague, Part 2. So this means less competition (and more available spaces) for you.

Tip #2: Consume less fuel by driving smart.

Unnecessary acceleration--especially when done on highways--can lower your gas mileage by up to 30 percent. Put in another way, you'd be consuming more fuel, thus emitting more Carbon Dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.

Avoiding unnecessary acceleration is just one of them. A general rule here is to practice good driving skills that can help you save up on fuel. Things like maintaining an even speed, avoiding heavy loads, planning the nearest route to your destination, and many others can go a long way in lessening your car emissions. And please--no unsupervised drifting on vacant parking lots after a stressful day. Leave that to the steroid-binging guys in "Fast and Furious."

Tip #3: Lessen your use of the air conditioner.

Yes, we know. It's difficult NOT to use the air conditioner when you're getting crispy inside. However, you can try to turn it off even for just a few minutes--like five to 10--every time you drive. It might not sound much, but it can pay huge dividends over time.

Here's an example: If you use your car from Monday to Saturdays, and turn off your air conditioner for six minutes each time you drive, you save an hour of fuel that powers your air-con. That's four hours per month, and 48 hours per year. And you just started with six minutes here--generally far less time than shaving your beard using an electric shaver. Imagine that.

Tip #4: Avoid idling your car for more than a minute.

Idling is a common practice among many drivers. It's easy, and can impress your date when you need to make a fast (and hopefully quiet) getaway from nosy parents, friends, and scary by-standers.

That is not a good idea, though. When done daily for a year, it only takes around five minutes of idle time for a four-cylinder vehicle to dump around 220 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere.

That's why you should ditch the habit of keeping your vehicle on standby. Ideally, you should keep your idle time to less than 20 seconds. If you can't, then try not to exceed a minute of waiting time here. Hopefully, your date will understand.

Tip #5: Become a "green" driver.

Do you like to drive short trips? Why not use your bike instead of your vehicle from time to time? It's good exercise, and allows you to enjoy the scenery more.

If you don't have a bike, then hitching a ride--or carpooling--can do wonders in lessening your car's emissions. Besides, it's good to have someone who will listen to you while you rant about how polluted the country is today.

Final Word

It takes only a small effort on your part to lessen your vehicle's emissions. Not only will you make Mother Earth smile, but you'd also save on fuel expenses, and contribute to an environment that supports good health. That's hitting three birds in one stone, here. But ditch the stone--it's too violent. Save those helpless birds by squirting water to them, instead.

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