Eight ways to be a Greener Driver #EarthDay

We have some  tips for driving on a greener path writes Geraldine Herbert

1) Go electric – If changing your car why not consider a plug in hybrid or an electric car? If you do a mix of urban and motorway consider a plug-in hybrid and dip into the electric car experience of plugging your car in overnight. Ideally, buy the greenest option you can afford – and don’t underestimate how good electric cars are. Ireland is currently let down by an unreliable network of charging points but things are changing, private charging suppliers are also investing the market and the ESB are halfway through a €20 million investment into the existing network and plans to roll out new fast and high power electric vehicle charging stations at around 100 locations nationwide.

2) Reduce your speed – You can reduce your emissions by reducing your speed. So stay within the speed limit and when stuck in traffic switch off the engine.

3) Get a Service –  No-one enjoys taking their car for a routine service, especially when often the car comes back feeling and looking the same as before. Even so, cost-cutting on maintenance is a false economy.  Taking good care of your car is an easy way to prolong its driving life and cut costs so do regular checks on the oil, fluid levels, tyres it will pay huge dividends in the long run.

4) Share With Friends – Sharing your car is a great way to save money.  While the current pandemic has rendered carpooling unsafe when it is safe to do so give it a try,  carpooling with neighbours, friends or colleagues will not only reduce the fuel you use but also the wear and tear on your car.

5) Lighten your load – You can save money and be more eco-friendly by simply ensuring your tyres are correctly pumped up and avoiding carrying unnecessary clutter in the boot.

6)  Plan trips in advance. – Consolidate your shopping trips and use the car prudently. The more you drive, the more fuel you use especially on short trips.

7) Smooth driving -Driving style has the greatest impact on exhaust emissions so control your acceleration and braking. To drive more efficiently don’t rev the engine and change up into a higher gear as soon as it is possible, correct use of gears can save you up to 15% of your fuel bill. Plan ahead, anticipate stop signs and lights, the less you have to stop, the better your fuel economy. Remember driving just 8 km/h over the speed limit can affect fuel consumption by 23%, the most fuel-efficient speed is 75-80 km/h.

8) Leave the car at home – Commuters can make significant savings on Dublin Bus, Bus Eireann, and Irish Rail services by purchasing tickets through the Taxsaver.ie scheme. Designed to encourage people to use public transport to travel to and from work its worth considering if fuel and parking costs are making your daily commute unaffordable. Consider also a combination of bike and public transport for those longer commutes. The Cycle to Work scheme means your employer can buy a bicycle and safety equipment for you. This will not be a taxable benefit-in-kind


Geraldine Herbert


Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring Editor and Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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