Eco-Friendly Driving Resources
No one expects you to go buy a hybrid and call yourself a green driver. Just as with any vehicle, there's a lot to consider -- there's just a little more to consider with green vehicles, given their mission to help the environment!
The following federal resources can help start you on your path to greener driving.
- fueleconomy.gov: Need helping finding a fuel-efficient vehicle? Want to learn how to save money on fuel or compare the pros and cons of different green vehicles? Head to fueleconomy.gov.
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Use the EPA website to learn about laws designed to protect the environment, including those related to vehicles such as the Clean Air Act .
- Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC): The AFDC provides everything you need to know about alternative fuels, including all the federal laws and incentives.
First, be sure to check out our Green Vehicle Laws and Regulations section for information specific to your state.
Second, as we mentioned above, the AFDC is a one-stop shop for all things green(er) vehicle-related. There, you can check out the State Laws and Incentives map, which lets you pick your state and read about laws and incentives specific to your state. The AFDC even provides Laws and Incentives by User section, which lets you know if a law or incentive applies to you as a regular vehicle owner, fleet owner, or even a fuel producer.
Clean Cities is one of the biggest local resources for green drivers to date, working to advance “the nation's economic, environmental, and energy security by supporting local actions to reduce petroleum consumption in transportation."
Buying Green: Tips for Buying Fuel-Efficient Vehicles
Thinking of buying green? Consider comparing green vehicles online before you hit the car lots. The Find and Compare Cars tool from fueleconomy.gov makes it easy for you to get started. You can search by make, model, year, class, and price range -- and even compare vehicles side-by-side.
- If you're buying a used car, order a vehicle history report. A VHR helps you avoid hidden and potentially costly problems down the road.
- Some car insurance providers offer discounts for green drivers. Check our “Green Vehicles and Car Insurance" section below.
Green Driving Tips
Even if you're not ready to buy a more fuel-efficient vehicle right now, there are still plenty of green driving tips for you. Take a look at these Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tips.
- Green Vehicles
- Reducing Emissions from Transportation: Find out how you can reduce vehicle emissions even if you aren't ready to buy a greener car.
Some cities and states even offer ride share programs. Although they vary by location (and program), typically they hook up people traveling in the same general vicinity. Sometimes, these programs make the vehicles eligible for High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes (sometimes known as “carpool lanes") which means not only are you saving gas and vehicle wear and tear, but you're also beating some traffic!
Saving Money: Cost Calculators
Let's face it: we love Mother Earth, but saving money is still one of the biggest perks to driving green. Check out these fueleconomy.gov calculators to determine how much coin you can save by going green:
- Can a Hybrid Save Me Money? On the fence about whether buying a hybrid vehicle will actually save you cash in the long run? Use this tool to compare hybrid vehicles to their non-hybrid counterparts.
- Save Money: Whether you're comparing your current car to another greener vehicle or you're in the market and need a help making a decision, this calculator can help you calculate fuel costs and compare savings among different vehicles based on fuel price, average miles per gallon (MPG), and even whether you plan to drive more highway or city miles.
- My Tip Calculator: My Trip Calculator not only provides directions, but it also helps you determine the type of fuel you should use and price you can expect; the MPG you'll get; and even how much fuel you'll use. Use this tool to compare up to three different vehicles to save the most money (or, determine which new green vehicle is right for you!).
Emissions and Carbon Footprint Calculator
Ever wonder about the emissions in your lifestyle? Look at these EPA resources for calculations and other vehicle references:
- Individual Greenhouse Gas Emissions Calculator: The Individual Greenhouse Gas Emissions Calculator will help you better understand the emissions produced from various lifestyle factors, including your vehicle.
- Household Carbon Footprint Calculator: The Household Carbon Footprint Calculator helps you understand your current emissions, how you can reduce those emissions, and how much money reducing emissions can save.
Green Vehicles and Car Insurance
Some car insurance companies offer green vehicle discounts such as:
- Hybrid auto discounts.
- Alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) discounts.
- Economy car discounts.
- Low-mileage discounts.
- Pay-as-you-drive discounts.
Discounts vary by provider, so it's important to shop around for the best rates. Your current auto insurance company might offer a small discount for driving a hybrid vehicle, while another provider might offer much more substantial savings for earth-friendly vehicles and green driving habits.
Check with your current auto insurance provider for information about possible discounts; if the company doesn't offer them, refer to our section on Car Insurance and search for providers that can give you even better rates for driving green.
Transportation & Climate Initiative of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States
The following 12 states participate in the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI):
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- Washington, D.C.
This collaboration of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic jurisdictions aims to grow the clean energy economy, shrink oil dependence, and reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. As an eco-friendly driver, you might be interested in TCI's efforts to enhance the environment.