Everyone’s going green these days — even in the car.
The rise of flex fuel, environmentally friendly cars has helped millions of Americans go the extra mile in keeping our planet a little greener.
While I’m trying my best to stay eco friendly, I don’t currently have 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 F150 pickup truck. And, no – carpooling isn’t on this list of tips.
Here are 5 simple ways to go green inside your car:
#1 Save those extra napkins & condiments!
Normally, a run through the fast food drive-thru line means getting a handful of napkins, some superfluous condiment packages, and perhaps even an extra spork or two. 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 stashing it in the back seat. It will come in handy later.
Don’t want to tote them around forever? Check out these environmentally friendly ways to use leftover fast food condiment packets, napkins, and more.
#2 – Use a GPS instead of paper maps.
While I still like driving with a navigator whose last name is McNally, I have become fond of using a GPS when I need of some extra guidance while cruising the highways and byways.
Using a GPS is more environmentally friendly than using paper maps — which use natural resources and have to be discarded every year or so.
And here’s a fun idea for using a GPS in your car: go Geocaching!
#3 – Don’t be a litter bug – use a litter bag!
Ideally, you’ll want to locate your makeshift litter bag in a place that’s convenient to the driver’s seat. (Try looping a grocery bag handle around the corner of your closed glove box door.) Once the bag is full, discard it in a trash bin.
Or, if you’re handy with a needle and thread, you can make your own reusable litter bag!
#4 – Recycle the trash inside your vehicle.
Taking the above idea one step further, you could even use 2 or 3 grocery bags as separate recycling bins inside your car, 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)
- one for every other type of trash you accumulate in your car
Once each trash bag is full, you can easily deposit the contents into the appropriate recycling bins.
#5 – Clean your car 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 cuts through grease and grime on car windows (both the interior and exterior side) while imparting a beautiful, lasting shine on your windows at the same time.
Here’s a super simple DIY window cleaner recipe: just vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
As a bonus, you can also use vinegar to keep car windows from getting icy.
Of course, there are plenty of other ways to go 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.
- 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.
I’m a roller coaster junkie, a weather enthusiast, a frequent traveler, and a numismatist. My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I’m a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG). I’ve also been studying meteorology and watching weather patterns for years. I enjoy sharing little-known facts and fun stuff about coins, weather, travel, health, food, and living green… on a budget.