This article is meant to be a collection of ways to be more environmentally friendly if you have to drive. Obviously the best thing to do is to walk, bike or take public transportation.
- Buy an efficient car, e.g. which uses less than 5 litres per 100 km and has particle filtre
- Drive together, especially when commuting
- Empty your car, free it up from things and weight that must not be carried. You know, a fully loaded Truck empties your burse.
- Sell your second car and step into a local car pool club, equipped with efficient cars with particle filtres
- Drive the speed limit. It saves gas, reduces emissions, and may also reduce the risk of accidents.
- Tune up your car. Regular auto maintenance, including tune ups and filter changes, allows cars to run cleaner and more efficiently and can also reduce the risk of breakdowns.
- Drive better. Most safe driving techniques, such as accelerating slowly and smoothly (and avoiding rapid starts and stops), also improve gas mileage, which reduces emissions.
- Check your tires. When you keep your tires properly inflated, you can save 300-700 pounds of carbon dioxide per year while also helping to keep you safer on the road.
- Choose a gas sipper. The next time you buy a car, choose a super efficient model (41+ MPG). Plus, if your household has two cars, use the car with the highest MPG for commuting and running errands around town (of course, combine trips whenever possible).
- Buy a hybrid
- Use biofuel or Diesel gas
- If you have to drive a vehicle that burns fossil fuels, offset your carbon emission.
- Buy an electric car and use electricity from renewable energy (even using a 60% efficiency coal power plant to create electricity and using an electric motor with 95% efficiency is better than using a 20% efficient internal combustion engine)
- Be aware how much your emission can be embodied in terms of a geographical area - an idea proposed in Joshua M. Pearce, Sara J. Johnson, and Gabriel B. Grant: "3D-Mapping Optimization of Embodied Energy of Transportation", Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 51 pp. 435-453, 2007.
- Avoid using or owning a car in the first place, and instead use mass transit, bicycles, scooters or motorcycles. All of those choices use less energy, have less land use implications, and get you out of the box on four wheels.