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As we tackle our daily routines, a lot of us consciously make small decisions that we understand make a big difference to our environment, like recycling or switching off lights when we leave the room. Every little bit counts but did you know this is especially true when it concerns our vehicles, which emit greenhouse gases (GHGs) when burning fuel?

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, automobile and light‐duty trucks produce 13 per cent of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Canada and the average light‐duty vehicle produces roughly three times its weight in CO2 each year. That amounts to a great deal of emissions in a vehicle’s lifetime. Fortunately, there are some things you should do throughout the life cycle of your vehicle to reduce its carbon footprint:

Buy smart!
When purchasing a new vehicle, do your research. Along with considering size, style and cost when buying, consider the gas mileage and “green” features of a vehicle. Buying a more eco-friendly car will not only help in reducing your GHG emissions, it will also help you save money.

Don’t be hasty!
Believe it or not, your driving behaviour has a big effect on your GHG emissions. Aggressive driving can increase your fuel consumption by as much as 40 per cent and speeding increases the amount of gas you use by as much as 23 per cent. By slowing down and driving less aggressively, you can significantly reduce your CO2 emissions and stay safer when driving.

Part Replacement– the Ultimate Opportunity to Reuse!
Gradually, parts wear out and will need to be replaced, and in a lot of cases, you can buy remanufactured parts instead of new. Remanufactured parts work equally as well as new parts, but have the tendency to be cheaper and are better for the environment because less energy and resources are required to produce them.

Maintenance saves money!
Paying way too much at the pump? Simple vehicle maintenance like keeping your tires inflated properly can save you as much as 4 per cent on fuel and fixing serious mechanical problems can save you as much as 40 per cent. All of that and you are reducing your vehicle’s CO2 output!

So why not make a new commitment to reduce, reuse, recycle and repair?