Most of us know that carbon dioxide is an unhealthy toxin which can affect one’s physical well-being. Yet at the same time most of us are dependent upon vehicles which produce carbon dioxide and pollute our direct living environments, every time we fire up their engines. While it is easy to say we should all use eco-friendly vehicles with zero emissions, that is easier said than done.

There are, however, ways to reduce one’s carbon footprint and to decrease the quantities of toxins emitted by one’s vehicle, while we wait for a completely eco-friendly solution to roll off the lines. Lets face it, not all of us can afford an expensive Hybrid, or the latest Tesla Car (which is entirely electric and sells for about $100,000 USD). I, for one, certainly can’t.

So lets look for some ways to reduce the toxins in our environment right now, at no cost, saving money in the meantime.

“Hypermiling” is a new term, which means “reducing fuel consumption and getting the most miles per gallon out of your vehicle.”  This subject has only started to become popular recently. I think it is safe to assume that the price of oil and the attendant rise in fuel costs have helped bring this subject to popularity.

“So,” you say, “What does this have to do with non-toxic living?” Well if you use less gas or drive less wastefully, there will be fewer toxic pollutants going into our immediate living environment.

There are two key factors to hypermiling; the first is the way you drive your car, and the second is ensuring your car is not using more gas than needed due to vehicle-related factors.

An examples of getting better gas mileage by driving correctly would be avoiding rapid acceleration and breaking (as this causes the vehicle to use more gas than needed, and adds toxins). Sticking to the speed limit on highways also helps, as most vehicles have an optimum fuel-to-mileage consumption at around 55-60 mph. Every 5 mph faster than 60 mph adds about an extra 30 cents per gallon in wasted fuel.

Two other effective ways to cut toxic CO2 emissions from one’s vehicle are as follows:

  • Remove any unnecessary materials from the car. Added weight results in extra fuel consumption, which in turn leads to increased toxic emissions. Every 100 pounds of weight removed will result in about 2 percent additional fuel efficiency.
  • Have the tires inflated to the correct tire pressure.  This will also result in more miles per gallon, and thus decreased emissions and a reduced carbon footprint.

Neither of these steps cost you anything.  They will actually save you money.

There are vehicle maintenance points which “cost” a little bit of money, but the savings in increased fuel efficiency will pay for these costs within a few months.