With the rise of companies like Tesla and the emergence of zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV’s), many people point to a future where many cars become vastly more environmentally friendly and produce substantially less pollution. Even freighting has begun to experiment with zero-emission models, seeking better boats and vehicles to avoid damaging the natural environment. This is an exciting time, with many industry-wide players progressing towards a “zero-emissions” standard. On a personal scale, how can we reduce the pollution we make in day-to-day life?
There are, fortunately, quite a few ways to reduce your emissions, and none of them need to be as expensive as buying a new zero-emissions car.
- Keep your vehicle well-tuned and spiffy. While not maintaining your car can not only cost a quite a bit, it can be damaging to the greater environment as well. Whether it’s having an oil leak, or low-tire pressure causing your car to burn more gas, not keeping up on routine car maintenance can introduce many pollutants into the air, soil, and water.
- Practice ridesharing or carpooling. With Uber, Lyft, Ride Austin and plenty of other organizations, there are more ways than ever to practice ridesharing. By practicing carpooling or hailing a driver, not only do you cut emissions via splitting the emissions of one vehicle between multiple people, but you also help reduce traffic around town. Even if you rideshare alone, this still reduces total emissions, with fewer vehicles trapped in otherwise slow-moving and environmentally damaging congestions.
- Take off some weight (don’t worry, you look great, it’s your car that needs to change). Many studies now point out that by reducing the weight of a car you increase its overall fuel-efficiency. While it may be small, try and reduce the weight you’re routinely carrying in your car— you might be surprised by the difference it will make over time.
- Resist using a car altogether. While there are many fancy zero emissions vehicles coming to the market, none are quite as cheap as the originals; walking and biking. By using your legs rather than your engine, you can enjoy the weather, burn calories and reduce the pollutants emitted by your vehicle. Although it’s certainly not fit for every journey, choosing to walk rather than drive in your neighborhood will reduce your emissions drastically.
While it’s often difficult to get around Texas without the use of a vehicle, there are many ways you can reduce the negative effects of using a car. In general, try and make the journeys you take by car as efficient as possible, whether by taking a ride with someone else or maintaining your own ride properly. If you can, taking your bike or taking a walk instead of driving are great ways to get fresh air and keep air fresh.
Hopefully, these tips helped you to find things that will help you reduce your vehicle emissions where you can!