Today let's talk about cars. Over the summer we traded in my big ol' gas guzzling Saturn Outlook (16.9 mpg)
for an itty bitty Honda Insight Hybrid (45.6 mpg).
According to a post from Consumer's Report there were two mistakes I was making with my cars:
1. Oil should be changed about every 3000 miles? Nope. That was true for cars 15 years ago, but most cars now are designed to go about 7500 miles between oil changes. While changing the oil unnecessarily won't hurt the car, it certainly impacts the environment by adding a lot of hazardous waste (oil). Save yourself some money and change your oil less often.
2. You should let your engine warm up a few minutes before driving? Absolutely not. While my grandfather was right when he told me that, it's no longer true. Now you are just wasting gas and adding unnecessary carbon monoxide into the air.
I further researched and found an interesting article on a government webpage (so it must be true) about keeping tires properly inflated as a way to save on gas and ensure proper braking. Less gas = less dependance on petroleum = better for all of us.
Finally I have to mention washing your car. My husband is a tiny bit fanatical about keeping our cars clean and he usually wants to wash them himself, by hand, in the driveway, regardless of the temperature. Believe it or not, this is the least green way to go.
Frequently I hear people say that they would love to be greener but it is so expensive. Not true, I say! You can use all the money you are saving on oil changes and extra gas from not idling your car to pay for your car wash and you'll still come out ahead.
My new car is silver, but it's a lot greener.