When it’s time to get a new family car, what’s on your checklist? Is it the size of the car, such as the seats? How large is the trunk? How about smart technology? What about mileage? How about the aesthetics? Chances are, all of these play a pretty big role when you’re shopping for a car, right? But what about sustainability and being eco-friendly in general? Honestly, now more than ever, it’s becoming more and more important.
While yes, it’s going to get to a point soon enough where EV cars will be one of the only options out there, until then, it’s still best to focus on helping the world become a better place and fight back against climate change. Even decisions like this, which feel like they make no impact, truly do. So, when it’s time to do some shopping for a new car, it’s best to be eco-friendly about it. But how can you? Well, here’s everything you need to know!
Why Is This So Important?
As you already know, the automotive industry significantly contributes to environmental issues, from greenhouse gas emissions to resource depletion in the manufacturing process. It’s just not good in the slightest, and things are only slowly changing. The importance of eco-friendly car shopping extends beyond personal preferences; it’s a collective effort to reduce your carbon footprint, minimise pollution, and of course, preserve natural resources. This is both when you outright buy your car, but even during the shopping process itself, it’s still best to stay eco-friendly with that, too.
How You Can Ensure You’re Making a Green Choice
If you think about it, almost any decision you make, you’re going to impact the environment in some shape or form- even if it’s not intentional. So, why not make sure that all of the choices you make are nothing but the best for the environment? Here’s how you can get a car that no only meets your needs but has minimal effect on the environment, too.
Do You Want Fuel-Efficient or Electric?
So, one thing you need to keep in mind when buying a car, any car, is the fact that you really need to think long-term. For example, the EU is going to ban the production of fossil-fueled engines in 2025, and chances are high that other parts of the world will follow, too. So, there’s a high chance that this could create a chain reaction, so is this something you’re willing to put up with? When it comes to an EV, will you be able to charge it easily? What can you afford?
Consider the Size and Weight
Size does matter, even the weight of cars too. Smaller, lighter cars generally consume less fuel and produce fewer emissions. When browsing through options, you might want to consider your actual needs for space and size. Choosing a vehicle that suits your lifestyle without excess can contribute to a more sustainable choice.
Consider the Emissions Rating
Not a lot of people do this, but this is something that you could consider, too. So, if you have the time, go ahead and check the emission ratings of the cars you’re interested in. Vehicles with lower emissions are gentler on the environment (the obvious). Plus, nowadays, many countries have emission standards in place, and choosing a car that adheres to or exceeds these standards contributes to a cleaner atmosphere. It seems like annually, more countries are laying this on more strictly.
Buy Second Hand
Depending on the car itself, you could save a lot of money, and you could also help the environment out at the same time. It’s a win-win, especially with more eco-friendly cars, like EVs, being pretty pricey if you buy them brand new. Nowadays, it’s a lot easier to get your dream car, even if it’s the the SsangYong Musso pickup truck because most models and brands are usually out there on the second hand market far cheaper than they would be if sold at a car lot. So just keep this in mind: you can be green and save money if you go this route.
Check for Eco-Friendly Features
While older models of cars (such as ten or even twenty years ago) lack eco-friendly features, more newer car models tend to have at least a small handful of eco-friendly features. So you might want to look for energy-efficient lighting, regenerative braking systems, and other innovations that enhance fuel efficiency and minimise resource consumption. These are just a few ideas to look into.
If you have the resources, such as time, why not consider this? Some car manufacturers are actively working on usign recyclable materials and are actively trying to make positive environmental changes; others, unfortunately, not so much. It can probably be hard to try this out because a lot of manufactures are far from being transparent in their sustainability report or will try greenwashing tactics to fool consumers.
Keep it Local
Why local? Well, if you have to go far to check out a vehicle or to shop for a vehicle, than that’s usign precious resources. Of course, if you’re using public transport like a tram or bus, it’s not so bad, or evne walking. But in general, if you can, just try to keep your search local so you don’t have to travel far to check out cars to potentially buy.
Plan for Longevity
This was somewhat mentioned earlier when it came to choosing fuel-efficient versus EV, but it’s still going to go beyond that. If you want to be eco-friendly, then you need to think of using your car and any of your possessions for as long as possible. In general, you’re going to want to choose a car known for durability and longevity.
A vehicle that stands the test of time reduces the need for frequent replacements, thereby decreasing the overall environmental impact. Plus, there’s the whole aspect of maintenance, too. So, be sure to follow a regular maintenance schedule to ensure optimal fuel efficiency and minimize emissions.
It’s a newer model, and it’s mostly only available in major cities, so this might not even be right for you. These services promote resource efficiency by allowing multiple users to utilise the same vehicle, reducing the overall number of cars on the road. It can be a good thing, but it can also be bad since it’s not really your car; instead, it’s just a subscription where you “borrow” a car temporarily.
Understand That Second-Hand Isn’t Always Eco-Friendly
Last but not least, it’s best to understand that secondhand isn’t always eco-friendly. When it comes to cars, at least, there can be this grey area on how a used car can actually be a bad thing. For example, if you get a car from the 1980s, chances are high that it has bad mileage and the exhaust system is going to be bad. The same thing goes for getting a secondhand car that looks like it’s not going to last much longer; it’s going to get to a point where a brand-new car is probably going to be more eco-friendly and cheaper in the long run. So this is something to think about.
When it eventually comes time to part ways with your vehicle, choose environmentally responsible methods for disposal. Many components of cars are recyclable, and proper disposal ensures that materials are repurposed, further contributing to sustainability. So, it’s not only about making eco-friendly choices to buy a car, but it’s also important to be eco-friendly about how you get rid of your current car.