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Every day it gets a little bit easier to live a more environmentally friendly life. From the way we shop for groceries to the way we recycle to the way we get from A to B, it’s all moving in one direction. Less waste and more efficiency.

We believe everyone should embrace this earth-friendly trend with whatever means they’ve got. And it’s not always about drastic changes to lifestyle—though sometimes those help too. Small adjustments to daily habits can do much to shrink that carbon footprint from a size 13 down to a size 7.

Follow one or all of these ways to make your car more fuel efficient and your drive a little easier on ‘ol Mother Nature. Or don’t and just buy a hybrid.

Check the tire pressure

Here’s a freebee: a regular inspection of your vehicle’s various components is key to maximize the range of each drop of fuel. Start with the pressure of your tire. An under-inflated tire will increase rolling resistance significantly; with a drop of only 8 pounds of pressure in your tires, fuel economy might also drop by as much as 5 per cent

 

 

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And get the engine serviced regularly

An optimally performing engine is a fuel efficient engine. Back in the day, mechanics would “read” the spark plugs and adjust carburetors to optimize fuel delivery and replace what they believed needed replacing. Today, modern computers and fuel injection have eliminated the guesswork from the procedure, but it hasn’t removed the need for a regular tune-up. Technicians will analyze the various readings of the car’s sensors and perform a checkup of all components, changing things like filters and belts.

But not just the engine

While a choked engine is obviously bad for your fuel economy, it isn’t the only part of your vehicle that can affect fuel consumption. Things like bent wheels, worn axles bearings or shocks, and broken springs can all increase the drag on your engine, which will make your engine struggle and drink more fuel. Make sure all this is up to par.

Lighten the load

Open your trunk and take a long, hard look at everything that’s in there. When’s the last time you used those golf clubs? Do you really need TWO spare tires? If you see anything that you don’t need on your daily commute—other than safety gear, obviously—leave it at home. Dead weight will increase your fuel consumption.

Including the add-ons

Same goes for the roof rack or bike rack or any other storage attachments. That aerodynamic drag makes your car drink more than it needs to.

Drive smart!

The way you drive your car actually has a decent impact on the amount of fuel it consumes. It may seem obvious, but accelerating and braking hard, revving the engine as high as it’ll go in each gear and generally shooting around as fast as you can is NOT the right way to drive, both for safety’s sake and for the sake of your gas bill. Accelerate and brake gradually, anticipate traffic and do the speed limit—it’s the safest and most eco-conscious way to drive.

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Make sure you’ve got the right tires

Those big, knobby tires on your SUV look awesome and aggressive, no doubt, but they almost certainly also increase your fuel consumption because they are harder to turn. Make sure you’re using tires with highway-efficient tread if fuel economy is your goal.

Go old school and turn off the AC

The air conditioning of your vehicle is a source of drag to the engine, which means it will increase fuel consumption when used. The solution is simple: turn it off when you don’t need it, just like your grand daddy did! Obviously, if it’s the middle of a summer and you’re stuck in traffic, keep yourself cool—Mother Nature will understand.