7 Tips to Reduce CO2 Emissions While Driving

The CO2 emissions of most drivers can be reduced very easily. You arent only doing a good thing for the planet, you will also save fuel and money with our driving tips. Even if you are a straight-up “petrol head”, looking after our planet should always be somewhere in the back of your mind. I’m not saying you should sell your Cummins diesel. But a few changes to your driving can reduce your carbon footprint significantly. Here are 7 tips for reducing your CO2 emissions:

1. Accelerate and brake in a controlled manner 

Make sure you accelerate in low gears. In high gears, you should drive at a moderate speed – the more constant the speed, the less petrol the engine needs. Don’t shift too early and don’t shift too late. Listen to the engine.

By the way: from 80km/h (50 mp/h) the air resistance increases disproportionately to the speed.

To do this, you should switch gears up and down as early as possible. So you can use the full power of the engine braking. Anticipatory driving is also worthwhile for the environment and your wallet: stop-and-go driving practices lead to increased fuel consumption, so you shouldn’t accelerate or brake quickly. The least amount of fuel is consumed at a constant speed – so using cruise control is particularly worthwhile on the motorway.

Some cars now do this automatically, but with older models, you should switch off the engine manually after a few minutes while standing still.

2. Avoid traffic jams and reduce CO2 emissions

Check whether there is a traffic jam on the planned route using the radio, the internet, or the navigation system. Avoid them whenever possible. However, bypass routes that are too long are also counter-productive and often produce more fuel consumption and CO2 emissions than short traffic jams.

co2 emissions traffic jam

3. Switch off energy guzzlers such as air conditioning

… it is worthwhile to open the rear windows instead of the front windows, this creates suction and the heat disappears within a few minutes.

For the sake of the environment, the air conditioning should only be switched on during hot days. Additionally, only use the unnecessary seat heating when you are actually freezing – all of this reduces possible emission factors.

4. Check your tire pressure

With ideal tire pressure, you can save a lot of fuel and reduce CO2 emissions. ​​According to experts, you can save up to 6% on fuel and emissions. Tire pressure should be checked regularly, especially in the cold months. In addition, you are safer on the road with the correct tire pressure – a quick check at the petrol station is usually free.

5. Do not take unnecessary loads for a walk

Unnecessary weight and roof racks. You don’t always have to carry the whole household with you in the car – you leave unnecessary ballast at home. Also, use the roof rack only when needed and don’t drive around with it all winter. Good for the car and your wallet!

co2 is in the air

6. Buy an economical car

Various factors have an influence on the energy consumption and thus the emissions of a car. The weight is decisive, as is your driving. Before buying, be aware of the purpose for which you mainly want to use the car. In order to go on vacation once a year, you don’t have to own an SUV if you otherwise only drive in city traffic, for example.

Hybrid and electric cars perform slightly better than vehicles with petrol or diesel engines over the entire service life of a car.

7. Make carpooling opportunities

Whether you like carpooling or not, it is undeniable that removing mostly empty cars from the road is the best way to save money and reduce CO2 emissions. Know anyone from your area that has a similar daily route as you? Call him up and organize a carpool. To avoid conflicts, make sure to determine the details of your carpool beforehand. Just like in any relationship, communication is key!


To learn more about our atmosphere and why exactly is too much CO2 bad, we recommend this article by NASA. If you plan on buying an electric car to lower your carbon footprint, we recommend our electric car section.

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