When you think of sustainable living, first thing that you associate it with, is the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from your car. Automatically you tend to focus on the fuel system of the car. Other than choosing an electric vehicle over gas to make your car eco friendly there are many other ways to reduce your carbon footprint which are not related to car’s fuel source.
One such obvious and overlooked example concerns making gas powered cars more sustainable by making road trips less harmful to the environment. Before taking a road trip, you should make sure your tires are fully inflated to increase fuel efficiently. According to fueleconomy.gov, properly inflating your tires to their proper pressure can improve mileage by about 3.3%. Having under-inflated can reduce mileage by 0.4 percent for every one PSI drop in pressure of all four tires.
Forrest Patterson, Michelin North American technical director said that Michelin found 86% of the tires impact on the environment is closely related to how it affects fuel consumption. He further said the 12% carbon dioxide emissions from the tires come from the raw materials used in manufacturing. At the start of the 20th century auto manufacturers started using sustainable resources to make tires. Previously tire manufacturers used latex sap from rubber trees as the de-facto technology and when ingredients were changed to crude oils and synthetic rubbers, it was to increase profit margins. While the decision made shareholders happy, we regressed environmentally greatly increasing our carbon footprint.
Few companies worldwide have implemented these environmentally friendly changes. Sumitomo Rubber industries is such company leading the way. Their line of rubber tires in 2006 used around 50% synthetic rubber. Sadly these tires had less traction and didn’t work well so they developed a way to give these treads a more firm grip. Now these Enasave tires that rely on vegetable processing oil in place of petroleum and plant cellulose has been integrated. In 2008 these tires were significantly improved; 97% free of petroleum. The aim is to eradicate petroleum fully by 2013.