9 Ways to Use New Technology to Green Your Daily Commute

By | Posted December 6th, 2012

If you drive more than a few miles to work every day and you’re environmentally conscious, or just appreciate the value of conserving resources (like your own time and money!), check out developments in the green movement to make your daily drive more energy-efficient.

Tires That Save Miles


Did you know that a new car from the manufacturer is fitted with low-rolling resistance tires? These tires create less resistance when rolling, and thus cause a car to be more fuel efficient than standard replacement tires sold to consumers. Bridgestone Tires offers a low-rolling resistance tire called Ecopia. Michelin offers Energy Saver and HydroEdge Green X. Goodyear sells the Assurance Fuel Max tire as well as the Integrity. Low resistance tires do have a drawback. Due to a low-profile tread, they may wear out quickly, and they handle poorly in rain and other weather conditions

Window Tint Technology

Tint on car windows blocks the sun and helps prevent your interior from heating. This saves on your air conditioning and energy needs. But too dark a tint is illegal in some states, and some drivers prefer a lighter look. If this describes your situation, check out 3M Crystalline Automotive Film. It’s a breakthrough multilayer film that delivers all the desired heat rejection in a clear film so you don’t compromise on energy efficiency or aesthetics.

Cut Down Drive Days

You’re chained to your desk no longer, thanks to technology. Electronic mail, electronic fax, and handheld and portable computers offer freedom to make any space a work space. Arrange to spend a day or two working away from the office each week, and you’ll shed miles from your odometer.

Reusable Coffee Mug with Warming Technology

If you get a charge from java, give your cup a boost with a mug that plugs. Reusable cups cut back on waste, reducing the carbon footprint of your commute. Take your sip experience to the next level with new tech, and stay toasty as you trek.

Car Share and Carpool

Sharing a ride is nothing new. But, add to it online commuter communities from open-ended Craigslist to niche rideshare message systems like Ridejoy, and technology has enabled more connections than ever. Beyond that, you can chip in on a Zipcar. Car sharing clubs have found footing as an alternative transportation in several metropolitan areas.

Calculate Your Carbon Footprint

An app for the web and iPhones called Commute Greener calculates your carbon footprint. Choose your mode of transportation and route so you can fine-tune your footprint. Then plan your carbon output, tracking its growth throughout the week. You can thank Volvo for the app.

Reduce Your Route

Be sure you’re taking the right route with mobile apps that calculate the best route based on the stops you input. Check out Best Route for devices running Android, and Route 4 Me for iOS devices.

Smartphone Smart Driving Advice

If your mobile device runs on the Android operating system, you also have the option of downloading an app called Garmin Mechanic. Using GPS, the app monitors your speed, acceleration, and braking to give you recommendations about modifying the factors to improve fuel efficiency.

Hybrid or Electric Car Ownership

Electric cars have come far, and a new generation of them are on the dealers’ lots this year. Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, and a sexy lineup from Tesla round out the fully electric vehicles. Hybrids highlight nearly every car maker’s line, from the ubiquitous Toyota Prius to luxury autos including BMW and Cadillac.

You have a lot of choices to get up and go with green tech on the road. With all the ways to green your ride, you can find price points and environmental impacts to fit your lifestyle. If you choose to practice energy-saving measures during your daily drive, be confident in what you’re saving for the planet—and your pocketbook.