It is no secret that vehicles contribute to a large portion of pollution and overall damage to the environment at varying degrees. Understanding the contributions that owning a vehicle can make to our planet and learning how to be conscious of them so you can make considerate decisions is an independent way to contribute to the greater cause. For some, completely abandoning the reliance on motorized transportation is the answer, but for most that is not an option. Having said that though, if not owning or relying on a vehicle is not an option for you, that does not mean you are not out of options for ways to help.
Before You Buy
Your biggest ally in making an earth smart car choice is going to be research. Making a list of what you need out of a vehicle and comparing it with the most planet safe options is the best way to figure out what help or hurt your specific car choice means for the environment. Size is a significant factor, the notion of buy small, rent large is one to be considered to get the most efficient vehicle possible. If your day to day needs are not indicative of a large vehicle, but you feel you need it for the occasional road trip you take as a family requiring more space, consider buying small and renting large. This will not only save on emissions that affect the environment but will also save you money in gas, monthly payment, and maintenance.
As an Owner
Once you have made your purchase you have an opportunity to learn how to care for your car in a way that also cares for the environment. Small strides like finding green products to use when caring for your car can really improve the overall contribution it makes. You can research a complete guide to waxing and washing your car that will teach you how to not only do these things yourself, but how to be as green as possible when you do it. The amount of water you use to wash your car yourself VS the amount that would be used having it done professionally is a significant difference. That is a really simple way to control resources and keep a green perspective as an owner. Fuel consumption is another way to independently control what your vehicle contributes to global warming. Finding alternatives to driving your car when possible, consolidating routes/errands, and even ride sharing with family and friends are small ways that add up to creating eco-friendly habits for yourself.
In the Future
As the world changes and what is considered beneficial and what is considered damaging subsequently evolves, so should your habits concerning your vehicle. The good thing to remember here is that your lifestyle needs and overall knowledge about environmentally friendly car ownership may have also evolved as well. Take the information and experience you have gained and apply it to all your vehicle purchases moving forward. Once you know better, you can do better, and that is one significant way to monitor your treatment of the planet use a green focused mindset to evaluate where you can and cannot cut back in the future.