23 Nov 2023

Reducing CO2 Emissions: sustainable driving practices

Many of us are now keen to know how to reduce our own personal carbon footprint and reducing CO2 emissions from the vehicles we drive and employing sustainable driving practices is a small step we can all take. While you may consider a hybrid or full electric vehicle as an alternative to a traditional petrol or diesel engine, if this is currently not an option for you, there are still steps you can take with your driving style to keep your CO2 emissions as low as possible.

Reducing CO2 Emissions: sustainable driving practices

Eco-friendly driving habits

Driving in a more environmentally-friendly manner doesn’t always have to mean investing in vehicles with greener power solutions; we can all make small changes to our driving habits to reduce our CO2 emissions and carbon footprint. Slowing down is the most straightforward – the US Department of Energy discovered that for every five miles you drive over 60 miles per hour, fuel economy is lowered by 7%.

Keeping your car lighter by emptying the boot and removing roof racks & other heavy accessories when not in use will also lower your car’s CO2 emissions.

Planning your route to avoid congestion and mitigating the need for any harsh braking or acceleration is also helpful.

Idling the engine while stationary should also be avoided; many newer vehicles now automatically turn off when stopped.

 Limiting your use of in-vehicle heating and air conditioning, especially when travelling at low speeds, will also reduce your fuel consumption and thereby reduce your CO2 emissions.

Choosing fuel-efficient vehicles

Opinions on the fuel economy and cleanliness of diesel have varied over the years, but despite this, new diesel vehicles are very clean and can be a good choice for those who regularly make long journeys. New diesel vehicles comply with the latest Euro 6 emissions standards and are therefore also ULEZ compliant.

Hybrid technology has boosted the sale of petrol vehicles, and plug-in hybrids offer many of the benefits of full electric vehicles, especially when it comes to lowering emissions over short distances.

Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular among drivers looking to reduce their carbon footprint. Not only are they more environmentally friendly, but EVs also involve lower running costs, receive taxation benefits, are not subject to congestion or ULEZ charging and can often be parked in areas more conveniently, free of charge. 

Check your vehicle regularly

Keeping your vehicle well-maintained also plays a vital part in reducing CO2 emissions. Having your vehicle serviced regularly can help reduce fuel consumption, keeping your tyre pressure constant can help create less drag and thereby use less fuel. Make sure tyre pressure is checked before any long journeys. Having your oil and air filter cleaned out & replaced regularly is also important.

As your vehicle ages, harmful deposits can accumulate in its engine with the potential to increase exhaust emissions. Cleaning agents can be added into the fuel system every few months to lower these emissions or you may want to consider using a premium fuel that already contains additives.