These days, you can't talk about cars without someone bringing up the subject of harmful emissions. Yes, it's true; cars produce gases that are bad for the environment. Short of spending an insane amount of money on a brand new all-electric vehicle, are you in a position to improve the situation? Well, as it turns out, there are several ways for you to reduce CO2 and harmful emissions without investing in an e-car.
Practical Ways to Reduce CO2 & Harmful Emissions from Your Car
To reduce the harmful emissions from your vehicle, you can start by focusing on fuel efficiency, switching to eco-friendly alternative forms of transportation, using eco-friendly fuel, and keeping your car in top shape. Let’s take a closer look at each of these approaches.
Focus on fuel efficiency
If you consider yourself to be a car guy or girl, you’re probably the kind of person who values fuel efficiency. You understand that better fuel efficiency means that you’ll get much more out of a single tank of petrol, and you’ll spend less money on fuel in the long run.
Well, congratulations! If you’ve taken steps to improve your car’s fuel efficiency, that also means that you’ve reduced the harmful emissions from your vehicle, whether you realise it or not.
The best ‘side-effect’ of a fuel-efficient vehicle is that it reduces CO2 and other gas emissions that are bad for humans and the planet.
If you’re not sure yet how you can make your car more fuel-efficient, you can start embracing these simple steps towards a cleaner planet:
- Avoid unnecessary idling.
- Avoid high speeds.
- Make sure you've got good tyres, and always keep them well-inflated.
- Remove unnecessary weight from inside the car.
- Don’t drive aggressively.
Being an eco-friendly driver doesn't have to mean buying a brand new car. If you purchased your current vehicle in the last few years, you could rest assured that the manufacturer already built it with environmental friendliness in mind.
Mix in alternative forms of transportation
If you own a car and you'd like to reduce your carbon footprint, you can also switch over to eco-friendly alternative modes of transportation. Remember, there is no need for you to use your car all the time; there’s every reason for you to walk, take a bus, or ride a bicycle every once in a while.
With a little bit of planning and research, you'll find out that some of your usual destinations are easier to get to without your car. So, look for alternative transportation around your office, your favourite supermarkets or shopping malls, and wherever you usually hang out with your friends.
For example, you may find that your office is close to a train station that’s convenient (and probably cheaper) for you to use on your daily commute. Or, you may find that it’s cheaper to use rideshare service or taxi to get to your favourite mall (you’ll save on parking, too!).
Instead of using your car every single day, reduce your emissions with a combination of:
- Public transportation like buses, trains, taxis
- Bicycles; they're also a great way to stay fit!
- Popular rideshare services; basically, using other people’s cars instead of yours!
- Ferries and boats, if your area has them
Every time you use alternatives like these, you reduce the overall amount of harmful emissions coming from your vehicle. And that goes a long way towards helping the planet!
Use eco-friendly fuel
Where do emissions come from? They come from the combustion process that takes place in the engine, where air and fuel mix to produce power. If you want to reduce the harmful emissions from your vehicle, you can go straight to the source: your fuel. These days, eco-friendly fuels that burn cleaner are becoming more readily available at petrol stations. They might cost a little bit more, but the money is worth it.
When your engine burns better fuel, the emissions that come out the exhaust will also be much cleaner than before. Plus, some fuels offer excellent performance and maintenance benefits for your engine as well.
Which one produces more CO2: diesel or petrol engines?
Here’s a little plot twist for you. Most people assume that diesel fuels produce more CO2 emissions than petrol, but that’s not exactly the case. The truth is that diesel engines are also known as ‘lean-burn’ engines, using less fuel and air to produce the same output as petrol engines.
Try not to get confused or let anyone fool you about it: diesel fuel has more carbon in each litre, but diesel engines burn a lot less fuel to get the same job done. That means they have better fuel efficiency and produce less CO2 overall. However, diesels are also notorious for producing other toxic gases, such as nitrogen oxides. Read from an earlier post about why carmakers are phasing out diesel models from their 2021 lineup.
Keep your car in top shape to help reduce harmful emissions
As mentioned before, the odds are that your car is already miles ahead in terms of eco-friendliness when compared to previous models. For many people, buying a brand new electric vehicle with zero emissions is out of the question, mostly because of the cost. So what’s the next best thing you can do? You can focus on keeping your current vehicle in the best shape possible.
Take it for its regular maintenance and service so that it's always operating at 100%. If you want to take it a step further, ask your mechanic for recommendations on keeping your engine and fuel system in great shape. It will ensure that your engine burns fuel as efficiently as possible, emitting less CO2 as a result.
And of course, if there’s any part that’s faulty and needs replacing, get them replaced as soon as possible. If you want to reduce CO2 and harmful emissions, the most important thing to do is ensure that your vehicle is always operating at its best.
To find the car parts you need quickly, check out the Parts Finder on Carpart.com.au. All you have to do is fill in a form with all the details of the parts you need, and that request will go out to suppliers all across Australia. Soon, suppliers will reach out to you with quotations on the parts that you need.
By Ray Hasbollah