There’s more concern than ever regarding taking proper care of the planet, and there are more ways than ever to do just that. Automobiles are a major source of pollution and waste, and this could be something you think about every time you get behind the wheel of your vehicle. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can do your part to save the planet while driving your car, all while saving yourself some money.

Stick to a Regular Maintenance Schedule

One of the best things you can do for yourself, your car, and the environment is to get regular tune-ups. When you keep up with auto maintenance, your car churns out fewer emissions. Additionally, you make yourself aware of car issues that could cost you a lot of money the longer they go unattended. Also, proper maintenance helps boost your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, saving you even more money while you save the environment.

Take Out Extra Weight

You may have extra boxes, equipment, or other items in your car doing little more than taking up space. Not only is all that extra weight taking up passenger and necessary cargo space, but it’s also cutting into your fuel efficiency and into the health of the environment. Lighten your load to give your engine and fuel efficiency a break.

Keep Your Tires Inflated to the Proper Pressure

You may not realize it, but your car’s tires make a big difference when it comes to fuel efficiency and your vehicle’s overall eco-friendliness. Get into the habit of checking your tire pressure at least once a month to ensure you have the right amount of air. Tires that are either underinflated or overinflated don’t roll like they’re supposed to, which results in burning more fuel to get you where you need to go. Look in either your owner’s manual or the sticker inside the driver’s-side door for the proper tire pressure for your make and model of vehicle. Another reason to keep your tires properly inflated is so they last longer.

Roll Down Your Windows

While you tweak your budget to eventually save money with a hybrid car, you can put extra money towards that endeavor but rolling down your windows rather than using your car’s air conditioner. When you use your air conditioner, it puts a strain on the engine, cutting into your fuel consumption. Invest in a quality sun shade for your windshield to keep out sun rays when your car is parked, and try to park your car under the shade in the warmest months of the year. Those two tips are sure to help keep your car cool while parked.

Go to the Car Wash

Rather than wash your car at home, do the environment a favor and go to a local car wash instead. When you wash your car at home, everything you spray off, such as exhaust residue, oil, and gas, goes into storm drains before it finds its way to wetlands, rivers, and streams.

Alternatively, commercial car washes have to drain all their wastewater off into sewer systems. The great thing about this is that sewer water has to be properly treated before it’s diverted back into local waterways. Another great thing about commercial car washes is that the nozzles and systems are programmed to use as little water as possible.

Carpool

If you and your coworkers don’t live too far from each other, look into carpooling. Doing so reduces the number of cars on the road, which reduces the amount of emissions pouring into the air and frees up space on the road. A second advantage of carpooling is you can make some extra cash by asking your coworkers or friends to chip in for gas.

Do what you can to help save the environment by being a conscious driver. A little effort is sure to go a long way.