Looking to contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle, but don’t know where to begin? Making a conscious effort to evaluate your driving and vehicle maintenance habits can help reduce your personal carbon footprint. Check out below five simple tips you can use to help reduce your carbon footprint as a motorist.

    1.     Reduce Vehicle Idling: Idling is when a vehicle’s engine is on, but the vehicle is not in motion. Idling tail pipes emit the same pollutants as moving cars even though they are not in motion, leading to unnecessary emissions. By reducing the time your vehicle sits idling, you are helping to cut down on hazardous emissions and improve air quality. Additionally, vehicle idling can impact overall engine performance and reduces kilometres per gallon. By turning the engine off when the vehicle is not in motion, you can save yourself from wasting gas and producing unnecessary emissions. 

Additionally, many motorists believe they need to wait for their engine to warm up on colder days before driving by letting it idle; however, with a full synthetic motor oil such as Pennzoil Platinum, the engine will be properly lubricated and protected within 30 seconds after start-up – meaning you don’t have to let your vehicle idle for a long period of time to warm up! Learn more about warming up your vehicle with Pennzoil Synthetics here.

Something as simple as turning off your vehicle while waiting to pick someone up may seem small or mundane, but cumulatively it can have an impact!

    2.     Try Out Trip Chaining: If you know you have multiple stops to make throughout the day, try consolidating your errands into one trip to help reduce carbon emissions. Combining your errands into one commute will not only help you get things done quicker, but it can also help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution from emissions. Similarly, carpooling is another beneficial alternative. Whether it’s with a colleague, friend, or family members traveling to sporting events or even school pick-up, carpooling is a simple way to collectively reduce carbon emissions.

    3.     Use A Carbon Neutral Motor Oil: While measures to avoid and reduce emissions such as the ones listed above offer the best way to tackle emissions in the long term, carbon offsetting programs provide an immediate solution to balance CO2 emissions. By utilizing a Pennzoil carbon neutral1 motor oil, you're joining us in protecting and restoring natural ecosystems around the world and in the US2. Pennzoil carbon neutral motor oils compensate the CO2 emissions from the entire lifecycle of the select line of products, including the raw materials, packaging, production, distribution, customer use and product end of life. The select line of carbon neutral motor oils is our zero grade (0W) motor oils within the Pennzoil Platinum line of full synthetics. To see if one of our carbon neutral motor oils is an appropriate product for your vehicle, check out our oil selector tool here.

In addition, low viscosity motor oils within the Pennzoil Platinum line of full synthetics are engineered to achieve better fuel economy3. With select Pennzoil Synthetic SAE 0W motor oils, you can personally make a difference by reducing your CO2 footprint with improved fuel efficiency4. 0W motor oils also provide outstanding performance in extreme temperatures, protect against engine deposits and wear, and offer excellent turbocharger protection.

    4.     Keep Up with Regular Maintenance: Proactively taking your vehicle for regular maintenance will not only help prevent car trouble but can also improve your vehicle’s gas mileage; fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve gas mileage by an average of 4%5. Additionally, one of the easiest ways to boost your vehicle’s fuel economy is to check your tire pressure regularly. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer; if you don’t maintain your tire pressure, your engine may work harder to compensate for the inefficiency. Keeping tires inflated to the proper pressure can improve your gas mileage by 0.6% on average and up to 3% in some cases6. Lastly, using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil is not only essential for a properly functioning engine, but it can also improve your vehicle’s gas mileage. For example, using SAE 10W-30 motor oil in an engine designed to use SAE 5W-30 can lower your gas mileage by up to 2%7. Not sure what motor oil is right for your vehicle? Check out our motor oil selector tool.

    5.     Practice Mindful Driving: Not only is aggressive driving dangerous, but it can also waste gas and negatively impact your vehicle’s kilometres per gallon. Aggressive driving includes speeding, rapid acceleration and rapid braking. These types of driving behaviors can lower your gas mileage by roughly 15% to 30% at highway speeds and 10% to 40% in stop-and-go traffic8. By reducing your speed and avoiding aggressive driving habits in general, levels of air pollution and the amount of fuel we use can be significantly reduced without sacrificing driving time or kilometres!

Reducing your carbon footprint starts with simple, conscientious decisions on a daily basis. As a motorist, this ranges from being mindful of your driving habits to switching to a carbon neutral motor oil.



1 “Carbon neutral” indicates that Shell has engaged in a transaction where an amount of CO₂ equivalent to the CO₂e amount associated with the raw material extraction, transport, production, distribution and usage [end-of-life, if Lubricants or other non-energy product] of the [product] has been avoided as emissions through the protection of natural ecosystems or removed from the atmosphere through a nature-based process.
2 Nature-based solutions comprise all activities related to the protection, creation or redevelopment, of natural ecosystems, such as forests, grasslands and wetlands, to help absorb greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
3 Compared to conventional motor oils.
4 Based on Sequence VI fuel economy test using SAE 0W-20.
5 Source: U.S. Department of energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/maintain.jsp
6 Source: U.S. Department of energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/maintain.jsp
7 Source: U.S. Department of energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/maintain.jsp
8 Source: U.S. Department of energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: https ://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.jsp