Driving Economically to Offset Your Carbon Emissions

Published on 10 December 2019

The climate emergency has prompted individuals, governments and countries to look at what changes they can make to reduce their carbon footprint. According to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)*, transport is by far the largest source of energy related CO2 emissions in Ireland and private cars are largely to blame. They accounted for 41% of transport final energy demand for 2017.

Making changes in how you get around can reduce fuel costs and offset your carbon emissions. 

Electric Car

If you're in the market for a new car, consider buying a hybrid or electric vehicle. Ireland doesn't have an adequate number charging points yet, so if you are making a lot of long journeys especially in rural areas, a hybrid would be more suitable. At the very least, consider a fuel efficient car.

Other Travel Options

In an effort to cut down on your carbon emissions, think about walking, taking public transport, carpooling or cycling some days. Perhaps your employer would let you work one day a week from home.

Car Maintenance

Regular maintenance and servicing improves the efficiency of your vehicle, and therefore can reduce your fuel consumption. Check that your types are properly inflated to ensure optimum fuel efficiency.

Smooth Driving

While driving, avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration. Aggressive acceleration and sudden breaking leads to greater fuel consumption so aim to drive more smoothly.

Combine Errands

Consider combining trips or errands because once the engine is warm it will operate at its most efficient. Breaking it up into separate trips results in several cold starts for the engine, which will increase fuel consumption even if the distance is the same.

Lighten your Load

Another easy way to save fuel is by reducing your car’s weight, so have a look at the content of your boot and remove the non-essentials. 

Reduce Drag

Remove items such as roof racks and boxes, and keep your windows closed while driving to reduce aerodynamic drag. This slows the vehicle down and results in greater fuel consumption. Instead, strip off anything that’s not necessary on the exterior and you’ll use less fuel.

AC & Heat

Turn off the air conditioning if you don't need it. The same goes for heat and in colder weather wear warm clothing to limit the need for heating.

De-ice Manually

On frosty mornings, if you want to reduce your carbon footprint, don’t leave your car idling outside to thaw your frozen windscreen and heat the interior. A jug of warm tap water will do the trick nicely instead.

Take the First Step

They are many ways that we can reduce our carbon footprint, including areas such as our home, our diet, fashion and as we have mentioned here, our commute. If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, just take the first step.

Look at our list and see what change you can make that would suit your lifestyle. Finishing off that novel on the bus tomorrow morning while the bus drivers battles the traffic suddenly sounds very appealing, doesn’t it?


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For when you need the car, Liberty Insurance offers affordable car insurance that gives you great cover, along with many additional benefits.


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*Correct as of December 10th, 2019