Fortunately, there are many ways in which consumers can reduce the amount of pollution that their vehicles generate-and save money at the same time.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay program offers the following tips and suggestions for reducing the impact that your vehicle has on the environment:
Use the EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide as a resource in selecting your next compact car, midsize sedan, or sport utility vehicle.
The guide provides air pollution scores and greenhouse gas scores for all vehicles. The higher the scores, the better it is for the environment.
Compare the scores of different vehicles or just look for the SmartWay certification mark to find the superior environmental performers.
You may be surprised to find that even if you need a larger vehicle, you have cleaner choices. The better the fuel economy, the more money you’ll save at the pump, while also reducing the nation’s dependence on oil.
• Be aware of your speed. Obeying highway speed limits can save fuel as well as prevent pollution.
• Avoid rapid accelerations and braking, which burn more fuel.
• Use cruise control and overdrive gears.
• When you aren’t in traffic, turn off the engine rather than idle for more than 30 seconds.
• Remove excess weight from your trunk, and if you have a removable roof rack and aren’t using it, take it off.
Take Care Of Your Vehicle
• Your vehicle is designed to perform best when maintained according to the instructions found in the owner’s manual. A poorly maintained vehicle can be more polluting and less fuel efficient than one that’s well maintained.
• Keep your tires properly inflated. Low tire pressure means lower fuel economy.
• Replace your air filter regularly. A clogged air filter can reduce fuel economy significantly.
Use Your Vehicle Less
• When possible, combine activities and errands into one trip.
• Take advantage of public transportation and carpooling.
• Bicycling or even walking can be a suitable (and healthy) transportation alternative.
For additional tips on how to be a more environmentally conscious driver and to see how your current vehicle performs, visit www.epa.gov/smartway.
An EPA program helps drivers choose more environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient vehicles.