Even if vehicle emissions are one of the main reasons for air pollution, there is no alternative to the car, especially for people in rural areas. One reason for this is the inadequate local public transport. But even if you are dependent on the car in everyday life: You can at least be aware of what that means for the environment – and at least protect it a little with one or the other measure.
Big cities around the world keep making headlines when they issue driving bans for cars. Your goal: in extreme situations in which the nitrogen oxide pollution is well above the limit values, to reduce the fine dust pollution in the air as quickly as possible. That protects the health of residents – and that of drivers.
A study found that the nitrogen oxide pollution in the vehicle with 117 micrograms of NO2 in the vehicle cabin is higher than at the measuring stations or in city traffic . During the test, there were even 447 micrograms in the car at times. Activated carbon filters can reduce the measurement results by 92 percent compared to the standard filter. The car manufacturers are also taking other paths to keep emissions as low as possible: They are increasingly relying on electric mobility and alternative drive technologies.
Driving together more often
In addition to professional advice, conscious use of the car in everyday life can also help to protect the environment and even save money. One of the basic rules is: ride with others as often as possible. After all, CO2 emissions have improved, but they still exceed the limit because more and more cars are on the road. If you drive in a car with other people, the passengers can leave their vehicle at home – one less car that emits pollutants into the environment.
If you are considering buying a new car, you should compare the typical vehicle emissions of the individual models on the one hand and the type of drive on the other. There are big differences here. Consumers can choose between fuel-efficient gasoline-powered cars, hybrid vehicles powered by a combustion engine and an electric motor, and electric vehicles.
The latter are much more environmentally friendly than diesel-powered vehicles because they emit smaller amounts of CO2. In addition, green electricity is considered sustainable. Even new cars with low fuel consumption have a positive climate balance, but only after about a year and a half. The reason: Greenhouse gases are generated during manufacture and disposal .
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Predictive driving in everyday life
Regardless of whether you drive a car that uses a sustainable energy source or not: Your own driving style is ultimately decisive for consumption. Environmentally friendly, conscious driving is generally possible with any car. The measures can be divided into two categories: on the one hand, the driving style and, on the other hand, adjustments to the vehicle itself.
Basically, it is advisable to always drive at a low speed and to shift up sooner rather than later. The car should be switched off when standing for longer periods, such as in a traffic jam or when waiting for other occupants. This also reduces noise pollution. Anticipatory driving also means not only avoiding hazards, but also, for example, leaving enough distance from the vehicle in front so that you have enough time to react. Letting the car roll to a stop at a red light, taking your foot off the accelerator more often and using the engine braking power are further examples of environmentally friendly driving.
And the car itself can also be adapted. Correct tire pressure reduces wear and tear, and lower rolling resistance reduces fuel consumption. Dirty filters result in higher fuel consumption, which is why they should be cleaned regularly. This also extends the life of the filter. You should also make sure that the vehicle is loaded as little as possible. On the other hand, those who constantly drive full crates of drinks around the area increase their fuel consumption. And if you leave your car behind and walk instead, you’re not only doing something for the environment, but also for your health.