If you have older children it is likely that you have 3 or 4 cars on the road as a family which means collectively you will have a high carbon emission percentage. To reduce the emissions that are released from your family fleet, we have put together some top tips on reducing your carbon emissions and saving some pennies. These tips won’t mean drastically changing the lifestyle of your children or yourself so don’t worry on those snowy days you still aren’t getting the bike out to cycle to work!
First up comes parking. Every time you spend 10 minutes looking for a parking space you are emitting 5 pounds in CO2 so encourage your family to find a space and park up rather than hunt around for a few minutes looking for a place. Not only will this help the environment it will also save you time on your daily journey too!
If you can, use more left turns. Turning left means that you stay on the same side of the road as opposed to turning right which means that you have to cross two lanes to ensure you are facing the right way again. This means that idling at crossings occurs more and therefore more emissions are generated.
As mentioned idling can increase unnecessary emissions so next time you are in a traffic jam or your children are waiting to pick up a friend, encourage them to switch the engine off. The length of time when idling uses less fuel than restarting the engine is only 1 minute. Therefore for anything longer it is more efficient to switch the engine off and start again when it is time to move.
Whilst we aren’t suggesting that you let your vehicle become sweltering hot, on the days where you can, open the window instead of having the air conditioning running. This is because use of the air con unit uses extra fuel albeit not a huge increase but if everyone did it then it would add up to a sizable amount of fuel saved.
In many companies there is the opportunity for a more flexible working week. If you enquire you might find that you can work 10 hours a day for four days and then have a three day weekend. This not only means that you get an extra day at the weekend to do as you please but it also means that you have one less commute to the office everyday which is great for the environment too.
One of the easiest things you and your family can do is to simply drive slower. You can reduce the carbon footprint of every vehicle in your family fleet by 20 per cent by doing so. Driving smoothly also helps; accelerating slowly and breaking slowly will reduce the stop and go driving that is often seen today in cities.
The most obvious and the most expensive way of ensuring that your family is operating the vehicles in a green way is to switch to electric cars. You can get some second hand although there isn’t a huge market for second hand electric cars at the moment. Now if purchasing 4 Prius’ is out of your budget then the tips above will no doubt help to reducing the carbon footprint of your family.