If you're dedicated to reducing your carbon footprint, there are a number of ways you can make your daily driving more environmentally friendly. Driving any car comes with a carbon footprint, even if it's a low-emission vehicle. Here are some tips to help you become more aware of how you drive.
How to reduce your carbon footprint when driving a car
Go easy on acceleration and braking
Eco-friendly driving is all about going soft on your inputs. This means braking early and gently when you need to slow down or stop. The same goes for acceleration; use smooth pressure on the gas pedal to get you up to speed. This is particularly important when pulling away from lights or junctions.
Not only will this reduce the amount of CO2 your car is kicking out but it'll also help you save on fuel.
Choose the right tires
As with any manufacturing process, CO2 is produced in making tires so it makes sense to choose the tires that will last the longest. The life span of your tires should be a key consideration if you're keen to reduce your carbon footprint but another thing you need to consider is the tire rolling resistance.
Typically a concern of larger vehicles searching for efficiency, this is also something to take into consideration in your road car. Tires such as Goodyear's EfficientGrip Performance 2 is a great example of tire that lasts longer (up to 50% longer compared to its predecessor1) with good low-rolling resistance for summer use.
Check your tires
Underinflated tires can have a big impact on the emissions your vehicle produces. Check your tire pressures regularly to make sure they're pumped up. You can find your car's optimum tire pressures in the vehicle handbook. Running on under-inflated tires can make the car difficult to drive while increasing both fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions.
Don't overload your car
The heavier your car, the more power it'll need to move around. Remove anything from your car that you don't need for a trip. Carrying around heavy items unnecessarily can increase your carbon footprint but doing so can also cause wear and tear on your vehicle.
Roof boxes cause drag that can significantly increase your carbon emissions. If you're not using a roof box, or could carry items inside your car, remove the box from the top of your car. This will help you increase the overall efficiency of your car for a journey.
Use cruise control
On long drives, you should use cruise control if you are able. Letting the car take over some of the hard work reduces severe inputs such as hard acceleration. A steady speed is much more efficient from a fuel consumption point of view than regularly changing speed.
Drive with the windows up
While it can be nice to drive on country lanes with the windows down, at higher speeds this has a huge impact on the emissions your car produces. To combat against the increased drag caused by open windows, your car will use more fuel and therefore produce more carbon.
Get your car serviced
Ensuring your car is in full working order will help it stay as efficient as possible. Small issues could turn into bigger problems that might mean your car is using more fuel than necessary.
Reducing your carbon footprint is all about being aware of what activities could produce more CO2. With a few small changes to your driving behavior and how you maintain your car, you can successfully reduce your carbon footprint while out on the road.
 Internal estimates. Compared to predecessor EfficientGrip Performance. Tire size: 205/55R16 91V; Car: VW Golf 7; Location: open roads in Luxembourg and France