The collective guilt about the environment that has descended upon much of the West has intensified to a great degree over the last few years, yet one thing’s for sure: it’s not a trend that’s set to change or, indeed, reverse over the coming years. After all, countless car manufacturers like Ford have started to create eco-friendly rides which dealerships like Evans Halshaw, are now catering to anyone, whether it’s singletons getting from A to B or families going on country-long cruises.

A greater acceptance of eco-friendly vehicles was ushered in, via celebrity acquisitions, with the second generation of the Toyota Prius in 2004. While similar highly-economical cars were comparatively standardised across Europe and Japan due to the desire for smaller engines (and vehicles in general), it was more of a rarity in the US. This exposure to global media – and their steady rise in popularity – also encouraged Europeans and the Japanese to redesign their own vehicles, therefore starting a slippery slope to an altogether greener future on the roads.

This trend continues today; whether it’s the Fiat 500 TwinAir, the Chevrolet Volt or Nissan LEAF, more people are tempted to trade up for these cost-effective models. However, is it really necessary to spend above the odds for a new car? Many people can’t afford it, and with this in mind, it’s worth remembering the ways that individuals can go green with an investment in their existing vehicles.

Laziness isn’t worth the hassle

Everyone is guilty of being lazy at one time or another, though there is the temptation to take a car for granted. Even if it’s a trip to the corner shop, people still feel the need to jump in the car. Short trips can really contribute to air pollution and CO2 emissions due to more acceleration and braking per mile compared to longer journeys. Consider doing shorter treks on foot instead.

Drive efficiently

The lower the gear you use, the more fuel you go through. Avoid revving gears and change up as soon as it is safe to do so; it’s usually the best bet to do it when the rev counter reaches 2,000 to 2,500 rpm. If you don’t need air conditioning, don’t use it; share a car if you can; and combine several trips into one with careful planning to save on petrol.

Convert to LPG

Pretty much any car can be converted to LPG to reduce its impact on the earth with this cheaper, greener and renewable fuel. LPG is now ubiquitous among petrol providers, so think about this short-term payment for long-term gain.