The Time Has Come For All Drivers to be Eco Friendly
In the 27 years since the UN began bringing together the countries of the world for global climate summits or Conference of the Parties’ – abbreviated as COPs – climate change has grown from being something of a fringe concern to a massive and vital global conversation.
The 2021 conference, which took place in Glasgow, marked a pivotal moment in the fight against climate change. In essence, the conference aimed to deliver on a handful of key changes in the global effort to counteract the effects of climate change. Countries were being asked to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets (NDCs) with the goal of achieving net zero by approximately 2050.
Essential to deliver on these ambitious but admirable targets, countries will need to hasten the continued phase-out of fossil fuels and, accordingly, speed up the switch to electric vehicles. The advantages of electric cars will only become more obvious as these ambitions make their way into legislation.
The Irish delegation committed to do their bit in the fight against global warming and pledged a 51% reduction in our emissions. Marking us out as at least amongst the most ambitious nations in attendance. Though, there was no shortage of stark statistics on offer at this year’s summit. Most notably, Climate Action Tracker – the most reliable climate mapping authority in the world – making the assertion that no commitments made at COP26, even if delivered upon, would go far enough to counteract the ever worsening situation of global warming. With the gravity of the situation reasserted, it was agreed nations would return next year to further strengthen their so far inadequate targets on emissions cuts.
With all that big picture stuff in mind, we should all take a moment to consider ways to be more eco friendly in our own lives. As previously alluded to, some major changes in motoring are set to be a big part of the more environmentally friendly future.
So, what does eco friendly driving mean to you? From major changes like making the move to an electric eco friendly car, to more immediate and manageable ways to conserve energy – there are tonnes of ways to become a more environmentally conscientious motorist.
Here’s just a few tips, suggestions and things to consider as we all work together toward a brighter, greener future.
Consider purchasing a greener vehicle
We might as well get this one out of the way first. It should almost go without saying that the most effective way to practice eco friendly driving is to purchase a more eco friendly vehicle. Don’t forget that half of Ireland’s gross emissions from vehicles come from privately owned cars. The engines found in electric vehicles create next to no exhaust emissions of their own. If a significant segment of society were to embrace the benefits of electric car ownership, we could expect to see a significant reduction in Ireland’s emissions as a whole.
Change your fluids regularly
Regular and thorough vehicle maintenance doesn’t just improve quality of life for you, it also stands to make a considerable environmental impact. Studies suggest that only will regular oil changes increase your car’s mileage, they can also improve fuel efficiency by nearly half.
The way you drive everyday has a major influence on your carbon footprint. When you drive at a smooth, even, slower pace you not only improve your mileage but also release much fewer greenhouse gasses. Even a 10km/h reduction in your motorway cruising speed has been shown to reduce emissions by anywhere between 12 and 18 percent.
Use Cruise Control
If you are going to be travelling by motorway for long distances, maintaining a constant steady speed is by far the best way to conserve energy and reduce your emissions. If your vehicle is equipped with cruise control, use it whenever the situation presents itself.
Make your car more aerodynamic
Roof racks, bikes, and storage boxes all increase the drag on your car and are absolutely terrible for your fuel efficiency. In the interest of eco driving, do your best to keep additional items to a minimum and remove any roof boxes and such when they’re not strictly necessary.
Ditch an excess weight
Empty the boot and get that rubbish out of the back seat! Don’t forget, excess weight means excess fuel consumption which means more unnecessary emissions.
Leave lots of room between you and the car in front
More space means more time to anticipate when to accelerate and decelerate. The smoother your driving the less excess fuel you are burning.
Properly inflate your tyres
You might be surprised to find out just how much your tire pressure can affect your car’s emissions. The truth is startling – low tire pressure burns millions of euros worth of fuel every year. Check your manual to find out the correct tyre pressure depending on the number of passengers you would normally have in your vehicle. While you’re at it, you might as well check the tread depth on your tyres. Good tyre health makes for an eco friendly vehicle.
Replace your filters
Your car’s air filters are essential to keeping your car running at its most efficient. If you’re striving to reduce your own emissions as best you can, it’s best to replace them regularly and keep your air conditioning use to a minimum.
If you’re stopped. Stop the engine
If it looks like your car is going to be stationary for more than 30 seconds – turn off the engine. Leaving your car running for more than 30 seconds or so will burn more fuel and release more emissions than stopping and starting your engine.
There are no shortage of small changes we can all make on the way toward a greener future, but eco friendly driving should be a priority for all drivers.
Be sure to check the Allglass® / Autoglass® blog again soon for more hints, tips, explainers and guides for all things automotive.