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‘Green issues’ and ‘carbon footprints’ may be media-friendly buzzwords thrown about by politicians and environmental campaigners, but whatever your opinion on global warming and climate change, there’s no denying that these are growing problems that affect everyone.

Taking steps to reduce your negative impact on the environment is not just about conforming to some new government legislation, but is a way to take responsibility for the consequences of your actions and lifestyle. Nobody is telling you not to take long-haul flights or to take the less convenient bus to work instead of your car, but taking time to evaluate your driving habits and requirements could offer some revealing insights into ways you could improve your green credentials, while also allowing you to enjoy huge savings on fuel costs.

The type of vehicle you drive plays a part in the way your motoring affects the environment, but just because you’re turning over a new green leaf in your driving ways doesn’t mean it’s time to abandon the van and buy an expensive hybrid model. Whatever vehicle you drive, you can reduce your energy use and CO2 emissions quite simply – the same way insulating your loft and switching the TV off standby can cut your home gas and electricity bills.

Your driving style will play a part in how much fuel you burn. If you’re stuck in heavy traffic and making lots of stops and starts, you will burn off more petrol than if you were cruising along at a steady speed, so if you have the liberty of planning your trip ahead it’s advisable to make journeys outside of rush hour. Flooring the accelerator to make rapid starts can release the same amount of carbon monoxide as 30 minutes of regular driving, and it isn’t particularly healthy for your brakes either when you have to slow down.

It’s also true that driving within the speed limit will improve your fuel economy, as higher speeds burn off more fuel proportionally than lower speeds. Accelerating and decelerating gradually and changing gear earlier are just some of the ways you can reduce your carbon emissions and fuel use while driving.

Even when you’re off the road, keeping up with regular maintenance can ensure your vehicle is operating at peak efficiency, as well as identifying any problems before they arise, helping you avoid breakdowns or accidents and making sure you continue to enjoy cheap van insurance in your green machine for years to come.

Paul Buchanan writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

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