In this two part post, we look at how you can make your tyres more environmentally-friendly tyre choices…and save money at the same time.
Helping the environment can be a right pain in the wallet. From high-priced organic food to expensive electric cars, many of us are finding that saving the planet is — so to speak — costing us the earth.
But when it comes to tyres, there’s good news. Going greener with your tyres can actually save you money — or at least won’t cost you any more. In this two-part post, we’ll look at how you can do this by making some dead easy adjustments to your driving, choice of tyre and choice of supplier.
Tyres and the Environment
At BK Tyres, our business is supplying and fitting tyres. Fortunately for us, every road user needs them and that’s going to continue for the forseeable future.
But that doesn’t mean we shy away from the impact of tyres on the environment. As a responsible company, we want to help our customers reduce that impact — and save money into the bargain.
Although tyres are greener than they’ve ever been, they do have a significant effect on the environment. That starts with manufacture: tyres are made from about 200 raw materials, including those derived from fossil fuels. Their production produces substantial amounts of carbon dioxide, too, with estimates ranging between 87kg of carbon dioxide and 220kg per tyre.
When the tyre reaches the end of its life, there’s another set of environmental problems. It’s not unusual for tyre dumps to catch fire, which can be a public health menace. And waste tyres are one of the most frequently fly-tipped items, posing a menace to wildlife.
But as a vehicle owner, can you do anything about all this? Actually, you can, and it all starts with making your tyres last.
Want Greener Tyres? Make Them Last Longer
Whether it’s t-shirts or tyres, the simplest way to reduce our environmental impact is just to make our stuff last longer. To help the planet and your pocket, you’ll want your tyres to last as long as possible.
Obviously, keeping tyres on your vehicle for too long has major safety implications. We discussed minimum treads recently and you definitely should never compromise on the amount of tread you have before changing your tyres. And quite apart from the mileage, don’t forget that old tyres can be dangerous!
That said, there are three simple ways you can get safely get more mileage out of your tyres:
Adjust your driving style
Braking, accelerating and cornering quickly all make your tyres wear faster. Driving more smoothly can add thousands of miles to your tyres’ useful lives. One way to do this is leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front. In many situations, you’ll find you’re braking and accelerating less often — saving your tyres, brake pads and oodles of fuel as well.
Keep tyres at the correct pressure
Under-inflation or over-inflation of tyres both distort the tyre’s ‘footprint’, causing rapid wear. Regular checks and making any necessary adjustments will make them last longer.
How much diference does it make in the real world? We looked into the costs of underinflated tyres a little while ago:
[TyreSafe] estimate that if tyres are underinflated by 10%, relative to the recommended level, tyres will return 10% less mileage.
Using these figures, if your tyre is designed to run at 30psi, running it at 27psi could cut around 2,000 miles off of its useful life, enough to do a Land’s End to John of Groats return trip. On a rear tyre, it could be 4,000 miles.
As we point out, that’s a lot of mileage to use at a big cost to your wallet and the environment.
Use the car less
Yes, we know that’s not always practical. Yes, we’re all in a rush. But just in the UK, thousands of car journeys are made every year where there is a viable alternative. Cities across Europe are encouraging people to swap to bikes, e-scooters, public transport and their feet. As low-emission zones spread and fuel prices rise, more and more of us will consider skipping the car when we can.
Leaving the car for very short journeys will only have a modest effect on how long your tyres last, but every bit helps.
But I Already Do All That..
If your driving’s already smooth as butter, you check your tyre pressures every week and you skip the car whenever possible, there are still some green choices you can make. In Part Two we’ll look at how to choose ‘green’ tyres and also think about disposal. Stay tuned!
The BK Tyres blog carries news, views and information on tyres and related subjects. BK Tyres is a supplier and fully mobile fitter of tyres throughout Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. Contact us today.