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Motorists can Follow these 5 Simple Steps to Keep their Auto Use Eco Friendly

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People tend to be more concerned about getting the highest trade-in car value or learning how to keep their cars running smoothly for years to come

Unfortunately, the conversation rarely transitions from one of money and efficiency to one of sustainability and protecting the environment. Because of this, the vast majority of stereotypes surrounding sustainable vehicular use are shrouded in extreme measures, asking people to trade in four wheels for two.

Truth be told, however, this kind action isn’t required to make the world a cleaner place. In fact, the reality of the situation tells a completely different story. Care to listen? Though certainly small steps, below, you’ll find five tried-and-true tips for everyday motorists just like you to keep their auto use as eco-friendly as possible—no bike helmets required:

1) Avoid Idling at All Costs

The term “idling” refers to what takes place when a driver leaves the engine running, even though their car isn’t moving. The idling of your car alone isn’t enough to deplete the entirety of the earth’s ozone shield, but with over one billion cars in use all over the globe, idling quickly becomes a problem.

Because of this, when at a standstill for more than 10 seconds (unless in traffic), simply turn off your car. Why 10 seconds, you ask? Research suggests that the amount of gas used to start/stop your car is equal to the amount used when idling for only 10 seconds. Case in point? Avoid idling at all costs. Otherwise, you’ll be giving off unnecessary emissions.

2) Keep Your Car Neat and Tidy

Almost seems like too simple of a step, doesn’t it? There’s a reason for this, though—with every extra pound your car carries, it’s fuel economy takes a hit. The key culprits here are obvious: trash, boxes, tools, etc. Still, less apparent culprits exist.

For example, if you have a roof rack mounted to the top of your car year-round, consider taking it down during the seasons in which you use it less frequently. By so doing, you’ll improve the aerodynamics of your car, preventing the burning of excess fuel.

3) Automotive Maintenance Is a Must

Here’s what’s best about this tip—you don’t have to be a “gearhead” to make it happen. The environment doesn’t ask that you go above and beyond the call of duty to become a more eco-friendly driver,just that you follow through with your car’s routine maintenance schedule.

Whether it be an oil change at 5,000 miles or ensuring that the pressure in each tire is where it should be, a well-maintained car can reduce fuel consumption by three to four percent.

4) Resist the Urge to ‘Floor It’

Most of us aren’t “adrenaline junkies,” but should you be, know now that you’re not doing the environment any favors by pushing your automobile to reach new, daunting speeds.

Not only is it extremely dangerous for those with whom you share the open road, but believe it or not, petrol mileage increases drastically above 60 mph. Interestingly enough, for every five mph increment above 60 mph you push your vehicle, you pay nearly 10 cents more in fuel (USA).

5) When Possible, Car-share

This one goes without saying, but it’s by far one of the most effective ways to minimize the impact your automobile has on Mother Nature, while still getting out and about. So, if you and a friend or family member are headed the same direction, share a car.

Initially, coordinating with others might be somewhat frustrating, but once you’ve hammered out the logistics of a regularly scheduled car share, you’ll be surprised at how much greener you’re driving habits will become—and how much gas money you’ll save, too.

Wrapping Things Up

Having read through each of the above, it should be clear that becoming a more eco-friendly motorist needn’t require that you walk everywhere, dust off the bicycle in your garage or purchase an expensive, more environmentally-friendly vehicle.

However, if you are looking to purchase a car there are a number of different options available to you which you may not have considered. The Money Advice Service can provide advice on alternatives to diesel and petrol cars – why not go for an electric car or a diesel hybrid?

Simply lift where you stand, doing the best you can with the resources you have access to—in this case, no matter the make or model, that’s your car.

Environment

Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness

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Connect With Nature

Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.

How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature

Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.

While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.

When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness.  Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.

4 Practical Ways to Disconnect

If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:

1. Switch to a New Phone Plan

It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.

One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.

2. Get Rid of Social Media

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).

If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.

3. Create Quiet Hours

If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.

4. Build Community

Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.

As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.

Untether Your Life

If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.

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Environment

6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move

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Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.

6 Tips for a Greener Move

Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.

1. Maximize Each Trip

When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.

If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.

2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep

The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.

3. Reuse Moving Boxes

Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.

4. Get Creative With Packing

Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.

5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies

Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.

6. Forward Your Mail ASAP

Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.

Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful

Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.

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