How to Make ATV Riding Eco
Off-roaders love spending time in nature, but riding gas-guzzling machines through these natural areas seems kind of counterintuitive. Like we’re harming the thing we love. Thankfully, ATVing doesn’t have to be harmful to the environment. Read this post to enjoy more eco-friendly ATV excursions.
Your new eco ATV initiative can tackle this issue from two sides: the vehicle and the habits. You can go with one of the two or both, depending on your budget and need to buy a new ATV.
This is the first, most obvious answer: purchase an electric ATV. These eco quads use no gas and produce no emissions. They also have quiet engines so all you hear on your rides is nature sounds and your voice when talking to your riding buddies. If you’ve heard they don’t have the same power as gas-powered ATVs, that is no longer true. Perpetual innovation has produced eco quad bikes that rival their competition. They’re also not as expensive as you are probably expecting, and the difference in price is largely off-set by the savings in gas fill-ups. You can also charge them at home and at any site with regular electrical outlets. The only downside is that you will need to plan your trips around charging your ATV when needed.
This doesn’t mean you need to put less gas in your ATV. It does mean that some gas-powered ATVs are more fuel efficient and produce fewer emissions than others. Some are designed to turn emissions into harmless gasses. There are also hybrid ATVs that combine the benefits of gas and electric engines.
There are plenty of options out there to help you make an eco off-road purchase. Just do your research when buying your next ATV to see how you can get the greenest vehicle, even it uses gas.
Planned trails have already been cleared of wildlife that you could mow down on your ATV. If you just hit the woods with your ATV, you could be damaging all kinds of plants and animals without realizing it. Wetlands, streams, lakeshores, and meadows are the areas that will be most harmed by ATV traffic.
So, if you want to be sure you’re riding in a way that won’t harm the beauty you’re enjoying, visit regulated areas where ATVs are allowed and expected like trails and campsites that advertise ATV use. If a road is closed to ATVs, listen. It is either unsafe for you or unsafe for nature for you travel there. Also stick more to the middle of the trail to keep from damaging plants around the path.
If you own or have access to private property with enough room to ride, you can make sure the area is safe. Determine what’s on the property, and find out or make upgrades to ensure that your ATV won’t tear up the ground too much.
If you’re not already doing this, start now. Basically, don’t litter. Everything you bring with you, snack packages, wipes, paper towels, cigarette butts, wrappers on replacement filters, everything, put it in your storage and throw it away or recycle it at home. You can bring trash bags to keep this stuff separated from things you want to keep.
Properly maintaining your ATV is a very important eco off-road responsibility. Maintenance protects the environment by:
- Keeping emissions at minimum
- Protecting plants and animals from rust
- Avoiding the spread of weeds
Do this by cleaning your ATV after every ride or every weekend trip, storing your ATV well, and keeping up with your maintenance schedules.
In gas or diesel vehicles, using synthetic oil is a more eco-friendly choice. It is made of more eco-friendly materials, needs to be changed less, and it extends both the lifespan and the efficiency of your vehicle.
ATVs use a lot of fluids and have a lot of parts that you can’t just throw in the trash. Look for recycling centers and local mechanics who can help you dispose of materials correctly.
Find or start a group in your area of eco off-road enthusiasts. This is an excellent way to share information, encourage each other, and just make more friends doing something you’re passionate about. Tread Lightly! makes it easier for everyone to enjoy the outdoors and protect it at the same time.