While I’m trying my best to stay eco friendly, I haven’t currently the financial means to go buy an electric vehicle, and frankly I love having ample horsepower under the hood to play around with.
However, there are many other ways that I can be environmentally responsible without having to go out and buy a Smart Car. In fact, the tips I’m about to share are as useful if you drive a 2013 Honda Prius as they are if your set of wheels is a 1980 Ford F-150 pick-up truck. And, no – car pooling isn’t on this list of tips.
Here are five simple tips for going green in your car:
Save those extra napkins!: Normally, a run through a fast food drive-through line means getting a handful of napkins, some superfluous condiment packages, and perhaps even an extra spork or two. But, instead of tossing those extra items to the trash like yesterday’s hamburger, why not save them and use them for a future meal on the go?
If you have more napkins, ketchup packs, and coffee stirrers than your glove box can tolerate, consider storing these bonus items in a plastic shopping bag and stash it in the back seat.
Use a GPS instead of paper maps: While I still like taking to the roads with a navigator whose last name is McNally, I have become fond of using a GPS (global positioning system) when in need of some extra guidance when cruising the highways and byways of this great land. Plus, using a GPS is more environmentally friendly than using paper maps, which both use natural resources and have to be discarded every year or so.
Don’t be a litter bug – use a litter bag!: Instead of flicking banana peels on the road like Donkey Kong in Mario Kart, keep your waste in a little shopping bag that you hang in your car. Preferably, you’ll want to locate your bag in a place convenient to the driver’s seat. One possibility for hanging a litter bag in your car is looping a grocery bag handle around the corner of your closed glove box door. Once the bag is full, you can discard it in a trash bin.
Or, if you’re handy with some thread and a needle, you can stitch your own litter bag!
Recycle your trash: Taking the above idea one step further, you could even utilize two or three grocery bags as separate garbage collectors, each designated for certain types of trash: one for paper (such as napkins and straw wrappers), one for plastic (which can include cup lids and dipping sauce tubs), and another for any other type of trash you accumulate in your car. Once each trash bag is full, you can easily deposit the contents into the proper recycling disposals.
Clean your windows using vinegar: This one may leave you pinching your nose a bit, but, hey – it works, and it’s a great tip for staying green in your car. Vinegar not only cuts through grease and grime on your car windows (both the interior and exterior sides), but it will also impart a beautiful, lasting shine on your car windows, too.
Of course, there are a plethora of other ways for staying green in your car, such as saving gas by lightly tapping on the gas every few seconds instead of keeping your foot down on the accelerator for long durations. Or, leaving the car windows up to reduce drag while driving – another technique for saving some gas while on the road. No matter how you are staying green in your car, though, your little efforts will contribute vastly to the global cause of keeping our planet as healthy as possible, both for our generation and for that which is currently driving cars and trucks manufactured by Fisher-Price.