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Driving Carbon

How to reduce your carbon emissions whilst driving

Driving has become an essential part of daily life for many of us, but for those without an electric vehicle, it also contributes to carbon emissions and global warming. In fact, the transport sector is responsible for a staggering 24% of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, so it’s vital that we take steps to reduce our impact where possible. In this article, we explore some of our top tips and techniques that you can use to help you minimise your carbon emissions on the road.

Don’t leave your engine idle

Leaving your engine running while your vehicle is stopped is a significant source of carbon emissions. Whether you’re waiting at a traffic light or have stopped to drop someone off, turning off your engine can make a substantial difference. For example, idling your engine for just ten seconds uses more fuel than restarting it, so it’s a good idea to switch off your engine if you anticipate being stationary for more than a minute.

Fortunately, many modern cars now come with start-stop technology. This automatically turns off the engine when the car comes to a complete stop, and restarts it when the driver releases the brakes. If you’re fortunate enough to have a car with this feature, make sure that it’s enabled as it can significantly reduce your emissions without you even needing to think about it.

Leave plenty of space between cars

When you’re stuck in traffic, there can be lots of sharp accelerating and braking to keep up with the flow. This acceleration isn’t very economical for your car, and as a result, causes excess carbon emissions to be produced. To mitigate the need for this, leave plenty of space between your car and the one in front of you. This way, you’ll be able to set your own pace and have increased visibility of the road ahead.

Drive in high gears

If you have a manual car, it’s important to consider if you’re driving in the most appropriate gear for your speed. The higher the gear you drive in, the lower the engine’s revolutions per minute (RPM) will be, leading to decreased fuel consumption and consequently, fewer carbon emissions. Therefore, it’s a good idea to shift into a higher gear whenever it’s safe and practical.

Monitor your speed

Speeding not only puts you at a greater risk of accidents, but it also takes a toll on your engine. Your car is required to work much harder when driving at high speeds, resulting in more fuel being consumed and increased RPMs. Even driving just a few miles over the speed limit can have a big impact, so it’s always best to drive at or below the speed limit in order to reduce your carbon emissions.

A greener future

By reducing your carbon emissions while driving, you’ll not only reduce your impact on the environment but you can also save money on fuel costs. Every small effort counts, and by being a conscious driver, you can contribute to a more sustainable future.