Keep your car for longer than 5 years

It’s the best-kept secret in the car business. No matter how swish your new car is, no matter how long you’ve wanted that particular brand, model, engine note, after a couple of weeks the novelty wears off and you’re left with … just another car.

Something that is often overlooked when working out your carbon footprint is what we called the embodied energy of something. That is the energy that actually goes into making (in this case) the car. As long as you started off with something reasonably efficient and you’ve kept it in good nick, a car’s overall environmental impact decreases over time. It is certainly better than forking out for a new one every couple of years or so. And if you’ve taken the savings on repayments and new car insurance and stuck that money in your bond, the financial savings are huge.

It’s like getting paid a second salary to be a bit greener.

This tip appears in “Going Green: 365 Ways To Change Our World” by Simon Gear and is provided courtesy Penguin Books.

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