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Eco-friendly driving tips

Many people are looking for ways to lower their impact on the environment when they use their car. These driving tips keep the environment in mind.  Here are seven things you can do to help protect the planet.

Behind the wheel

two cars driving through lush greenery
FG Trade | iStock

Avoid idling

Running your car engine while parked burns one to two litres of gas per hour. But restarting your car uses only 10 seconds’ worth of fuel—so avoid running your engine when parked.

Don't speed

According to the laws of aerodynamics, the faster you drive, the more power you need to propel your vehicle through air. That means driving at 120 km/hr uses 20 percent more fuel than driving at 100 km/hr. By following the speed limit, you can greatly reduce how much fuel you use—and help keep everyone safe on the road.

Use cruise control (when it makes sense)

It’s easy to get a lead foot when you’re driving on long, flat stretches of road, says Ryan Peterson, manager of automotive services with CAA Club Group. A top driving tip? Switching to cruise control provides a smooth, consistent speed, which in turn is more fuel-efficient.

Car maintenance

two mechanices perform car maintenance

Tire check

Underinflated tires can increase fuel consumption, but so can low-quality tires. “If there’s an area to spend money, it’s tires,” Peterson says. High-quality tires are safer and quieter, and they also produce less rolling friction so you can save on fuel, which can add up if you commute daily.

Buy the right gas

Use the octane rating recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle. If your truck is designed for 91 octane and you fill it with 87 octane, you’ll end up pumping out more pollutants.It will also plug up your catalytic converter, which is expensive to replace—its production also has a large carbon footprint. “If your car doesn’t require higher octane,” Peterson says, “there’s no advantage to putting it in.”

Washing your vehicle

Family follows green driving ti[ and washes car together
Dean Mitchell | iStock

Green clean

When washing your car, opt for eco-friendly cleaning supplies. Expert driving tip: Peterson likes plant-based products like Goclean Inc. The Canadian company makes waterless products that can save up to 500 litres of water per wash.

Use recycled water

Choose a commercial car wash that uses water reclamation and filtration technology, which collects, cleans and reuses water. Look for signage that indicates they’re “clean” or eco-friendly.

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