Tackling Climate Change - How Can Drivers Help?
In the past year alone, more awareness has been brought to the impact of climate change than ever before. The ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising and over 12 million tonnes of plastic enter the sea each year. It’s impossible to ignore the fact that the way we live is taking its toll on the planet.
You might be thinking it’s impossible for you to make a difference. It might even seem pointless to try. But if you follow these five simple steps you can certainly minimise the amount of damage you might be doing to the earth when you’re on the road.
1. Avoid Plastics
One of the biggest changes you can make is reducing your plastic usage. Globally, one million plastic bottles are bought every minute, 91% of which are not recycled.
Always try to go for the reusable option. Invest in both a reusable water bottle and coffee cup. That way, whenever you feel the need to stop and quench your thirst you needn’t buy a new one.
This also has financial benefits. Many coffee shops offer discounts for every customer who purchases a drink with a reusable cup. Whilst it’s only a small saving, those pennies add up. You’ll also be doing your bit for the environment.
2. Dispose of your rubbish properly
It’s always depressing to see fast food wrappers blowing along in the wind when it has been thrown out of a car window. Quite frankly, it’s disgusting.
Also, when we throw something away, we don’t always think about what will happen to it after we put it into a bin. In fact, almost 80% of the rubbish we bin will end up in landfill and not recycled.
Take the time to hang onto to your wrappers, old bottles, cans or anything else you have picked up on your journey and dispose of it in the appropriate bin so that it can be recycled properly.
3. Pre-pack your food
Whilst grabbing a ready-made sandwich or drive-thru option is easy if you’re travelling a lot, it can be extremely expensive and have a massive impact on the environment.
It’s very easy to forget that food has a huge journey before it reaches the shelves of the service station or the grills of fast food restaurants. You might have some of it in your trailer!
Why not try making a sandwich or bringing the leftovers from the night before in a thermos to eat on the road? Or if you can, you could even invest in a portable cooker for a spot of roadside cooking.
4. Drive Green
Whilst this may be easier said than done, there are lots of ways to make your vehicle more ecologically friendly and in many cases more financially viable.
Always perform basic checks before you set off. This includes
- making sure your tyres are at the correct pressure
- ensuring nothing is leaking
- checking that your oil and water levels are topped up
Making sure that everything is working correctly invariably makes your vehicle perform more efficiently, saving on both fuel and money.
If you’re looking for an upgrade on your vehicle, consider investing in an eco-friendly option such as a hybrid model. In fact, a hybrid model can turn out to have financial incentives as well, including reduced road tax, fuel costs and a greater longevity in the life of the vehicle itself.
5. Plan your journey
Whilst it can be time consuming to plan your route beforehand, planning the quickest and most fuel-efficient route will save not only your time, but also reduce the emissions that are dispensed into the air.
Equally, having the foresight to route check may save you getting stuck in a three-hour traffic jam caused by roadworks that could have been easily avoidable.