(ARA) - Green driving is easier and more important than many people think. It's important because, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, highway vehicles account for 28 percent (1.5 billion tons) of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions each year.
The good news is that you don't have to buy a new car or dramatically change your lifestyle to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. Just follow these easy steps:
* Upgrade lubricants. Next generation lubricants such as Royal Purple motor oil are formulated with unique advanced additive technologies that allow for longer intervals between changes. This means fewer oil changes which saves you time and money, and helps the environment. Additionally, Royal Purple motor oil has been reported to improve fuel economy by as much as 5 percent compared to ordinary lubricants. It's also been reported to increase horsepower and torque, so you can switch to an environmentally friendly product without sacrificing performance.
* Take care of your tires. Underinflated and/or misaligned tires can increase fuel consumption by as much as 4 percent, according to the U. S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Making sure your tires are inflated to the manufacturer's recommended pressure will maximize fuel economy and improve the safety and longevity of your tires.
* Replace a clogged air filter. If you have an older vehicle with a carbureted engine, replacing a clogged air filter can improve your fuel economy by up to 6 percent. Air filters keep impurities from damaging the interior of the engine, so replacing the dirty filter will save gas and protect your engine.
* Stay tuned. Keep your car in shape by following the manufacturer's recommendations for maintenance. Fixing a vehicle in need of a tune-up can improve gas mileage by up to 4 percent.
* Recycle. If you do your own oil changes, find a place that will accept your used motor oil by visiting www.earth911.com.