Today’s green lifestyle doesn’t just revolve around cloth shopping bags and eco-friendly clothing. Many Americans choose to make their daily commute a little more eco-friendly through hybrids and electric cars. So far, more than 400,000 electric vehicles have found their way onto U.S. driveways this year, according to statistics from the Electric Drive Transportation Association.
As an eco-conscious car lover, you’re probably looking for ways to stay on Mother Nature’s good side. However, you don’t have to find yourself behind the wheel of a hybrid or an electric vehicle to do just that. There are plenty of accessories and upgrades you can give your current car to give it some green cred and shrink your environmental footprint in the process.
Derived from crude oil, conventional motor oil isn’t all that environmentally friendly. The Clean Air Council notes that the oil from a single oil change has the ability to contaminate 1 million gallons of fresh water. Switching your car to eco-friendly engine oil not only does your car plenty of good, it also helps the environment.
Derived and refined from conventional oil, synthetic oils are a better alternative, but only because they tend to last longer between changes than conventional oils. Non-synthetic alternatives include Green Earth Technologies’ G-Oil. This particular oil differs from petroleum-based oils thanks to its tallow-based origins. According to a CNet report, the company claims that users can even dispose the non-toxic oil at home with the help of its biodegrading G-disposoil additive.
A set of green tires, such as the N’Blue ECO line from Nexen tires, can help you reduce your environmental footprint by improving your car’s overall fuel economy and performance. Nexen’s high-performance passenger tires tout a full silica compound for low rolling resistance and computer-designed tread blocks for longer tread life. These improvements over conventional tires will help you not only save money on fuel, but also help you save on tire replacements based on their longevity alone.
Solar panels aren’t just for hybrid-electric cars looking for an extra boost. By powering accessories that normally drain your car’s battery and fuel, such as its climate control and infotainment systems, a solar panel retrofit can help your car use less fuel and produce fewer greenhouse gases. Such a system can help on those hot days when you need your air conditioning most. A recent study showed that idling the average vehicle for 10 minutes a day consumes an average of 26.4 gallons of fuel per year.
Waterless Car Wash Soap
Eco-conscious car owners, especially those living in drought-prone areas, can especially benefit from waterless car wash soaps. Kaady Car Washes notes that the average homeowner may end up going through 80 to 140 gallons of clean water per year. Several companies, including Eco Green Auto Clean, now offer biodegradable soaps that take the rinsing out of the car-wash equation.