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Found 7 results

  1. Pollution is inevitable when you own and drive a vehicle, but the impact you have on the environment as a whole is something in your control. Modifying your driving habits and making minor changes to how you operate your vehicle can help reduce your carbon footprint and save you money on gas. Keep these five tips in mind the next time you get in the driver’s seat to make your car more eco-friendly. Reduce Weight Heavier cars use more fuel than lighter ones. Take out unnecessary items such as tools or boxes that you might be carrying around. It might be tempting to keep items in the back for a “just in case” situation, but your fuel mileage is suffering as a result. Do a thorough clean-out of your trunk or back storage area and see the difference in economy. Fill it Right Avoid topping off your tank after the lever clicks to indicate that it’s full. The vapors get held in the emissions canister, which is designed to prevent the vapors from getting into the atmosphere. “Topping up” negates this and essentially wastes money. Always ensure your gas cap is tightened completely to prevent vapors from escaping. Keep the AC Off Air conditioning might be essential if you’re in sweltering heat, but it also uses from 13 to 21 percent more fuel. Air conditioning causes extra strain on your engine to run and uses more gas. If you need to use it, ensure that your air conditioning system is properly maintained and serviced. As a general rule, keep your windows down for air circulation at low speeds and close them when on highways and freeways to avoid aerodynamic drag. Stay on top of Emissions One of the main reasons your check engine light will come on is that the system detects an emissions problem. This is harmful for the environment and, depending on the issue, can significantly affect your fuel usage. Get your car inspected as soon as possible and fix the issue to keep more money in your pocket in the long-term and avoid sending additional pollution into the air. Tune it up Certain parts on your car need to be replaced regularly, such as your oil filter, air filter and fuel filter. Extra strain on the engine with dirty oil contributes to excess gas usage. Old spark plugs cause your engine to be less efficient and should be changed every 30,000 miles. An oxygen sensor controls how the air and fuel mix and a faulty one can send excess fuel to the engine. A bad O2 sensor should trigger your check engine light. You can visit a place like U Pull & Pay to find parts for your vehicle. Driving doesn’t have to cost as much as it does. Reduce your environmental footprint by implementing these five eco-friendly tips, and you’ll be doing your part to care for the environment as you drive.
  2. It is certainly a golden era for those looking to buy green vehicles. The prevalence of hybrids and fully electric cars are slowly dominating the vehicle market, with even conventional cars borrowing some of the technology. In this ranking of the top five, there are several important aspects to consider. These cars make the cut because of their fuel efficiency, limited or no reliance on fossil fuel and decent utility. This list is also a ranked list, so the first car is the top choice and the fifth car is the least desirable. Toyota Prius Prime It simply doesn't get better than this brand new addition to the Prius family. While it may be surprising that a pure electric doesn't take the top spot on this list, Toyota has managed to strike the best balance between utility and efficiency in its plug-in electric hybrid design. The Prime, which is truly deserving of the name, has been heralded as the most efficient car in the country. It boasts over 600 miles total range on a mere 11 gallons of fuel. It's decent 25-mile electric battery serves well for the majority of commutes and daily driving without sacrificing the car's efficiency with too much dead weight. The Prime allows a driver to go gas free for much of their time, while still giving them amazing flexibility for long trips, and enough cargo and passenger space to be comfortable all while maintaining a basically unbeatable 133 EMPGs of efficiency. To top it all off, it is decently priced at below $30,000, which beats out much of the competition for plug-in hybrids. The math simply doesn't get any better. Tesla Model S Those choosing to get a pure electric vehicle need look no further than the Tesla Model S. While it bears an extravagant price tag as its main detracting feature, the Tesla shows what fully electric cars need to be if they are to ever become a mainstream item. The Tesla boasts almost twice the range of most pure electrics while having a rapid charge ability that makes it usable even for long road trips. The car is overall less efficient than the Prime, down to about 102 EMPGs. Assuming an owner's power comes from clean sources, the Model S may be the cleanest car in the country. It gets knocked down to second place mainly because of its $70,000+ price tag and its lower overall efficiency. Nissan Leaf Nissan's attempt at making an affordable all-electric has worked for many drivers across the country. The name clearly indicates the car's attempt to be greener than the average vehicle, and the car does succeed in that admirably. It actually has more efficiency than the Tesla at about 115–120 EMPGs combined, edging up to 124 in-town only. The greatest detraction of the Leaf is the same that afflicts all affordable pure-electrics. They simply don't have the range and utility of a conventional car, not even close. The newest models of Leaf have managed to push their maximum range over the 100 mile mark, barely, but that is only in the hands of a very conservative driver in town. The car works great as a commuter vehicle, but it simply doesn't have the ability to function on longer trips. This dramatically hurts its score because its utility value necessitates an owner having another, conventional, car for longer trips, defeating the purpose of buying the green car to begin with. Smart Car (Electric Coupe) As one of the pioneers of the all-electric vehicle market. The smart car has been the butt of many jokes about electric cars and their lack of usefulness or driving pleasure. The smart car has become the icon of what it takes to be an efficient and affordable electric car, and the picture isn't exactly pretty. The smart car does just what it intends to do, however. It manages 107 EMPGs and is overall a very efficient electric with a price tag cheaper than even a gas-powered compact. This efficiency, however, comes at a steep cost to utility. The car takes the idea of compact to a new level. It can barely accommodate two people comfortably and has basically no cargo space. It also has a measly 60–70 mile maximum range, so it is completely unusable for longer trips. Most drivers will need to take the money they save buying a smart car and invest in a second car to get anywhere with. It is saved from the lowest ranking only because of its affordability and efficiency. You can't get a pure-electric for less. Chevy Volt It is interesting that a plug-in electric takes both the top and the bottom spot on this ranking, which shows that minor changes in how the technology is approached can have a major impact. In many ways, the Volt works just like the Prime. It even boasts over twice the electric range, which may appeal to some drivers. The modern version of the Volt functions more like a true hybrid. This is in contrast to the early models, which took a different approach to the technology and killed the car's gas efficiency completely. The early model Volts wouldn't have even made this list. Lowered efficiency is the main detractor of the Volt. Despite functioning almost exactly like the Prime, it barely manages to get over 100 EMPGs, with a considerably lower gas efficiency. The Volt is bigger, heavier and less focused on efficiency compared to the Prime. The larger and heavier battery that gives its primary advantage, is also its greatest detractor. All that extra dead weight really hurts once the battery is empty. In an effort to give drivers greater electric range and a bump in performance, Chevy has built a plug-in hybrid that, while still very useful and popular, just doesn't promise to save the planet quite as well as the Prius Prime. There are many options out there when shopping for a green fuel-efficient car. It's important to select a vehicle that works well for your particular driving situation and habits because even a green pure-electric doesn't do any good if you're hardly ever able to use it
  3. Everything a person does can have an impact on the environment. Even actions like moving, which rarely get much attention from environmentalists, can make a difference. That means the best way to help the environment is not by making a single massive change, but by trying to make everything a little bit greener. It's particularly useful in the case of moving, since most of the ways to go green can also save time and money. Shipping Cars Cars have a reputation for hurting the environment, but shipping a car doesn't have to make things worse. There are two ways to help the environment when shipping a car, and the choice between them depends on the scale of the move. If you are shipping your things by truck, try to use your car instead. If your car can take the place of one of the shipping trucks, then one less vehicle is on the road and burning gas. Shipping the car separately would still consume some fuel, which is also saved by using it for the move. If you aren't using trucks to ship your possessions, try to avoid driving. Using a mass freight ship or other option to get the car most of the way to your destination will almost always be more efficient. It may also be cheaper, since the freight company can spread their fuel costs among many customers and because ships and trains tend to be more fuel-efficient than cars. When in doubt, try to minimize the number of vehicles involved in the move. If a car or truck needs to be on the road, use it to carry as many of your things as possible. This saves on fuel, which helps the environment, but it will also reduce your odds of misplacing a box as you move. You can use sites like these for getting a quote to ship a car which will tell you if it’s in your budget to try. Salvage Boxes Moving means packing, and packing means boxes. Some people purchase boxes for the move, but that wastes money and puts more strain on the environment. The best way to protect nature is to use as few resources as possible, and that means reusing things whenever you can. Most stores will be happy to hand out old shipping boxes to anyone who asks. The boxes are usually getting thrown away anyway, so it doesn't cost them anything to do it. For best results, try to ask at a small grocery store. They get regular shipments and are the most likely to have a lot of boxes on hand. Bubble wrap and packing peanuts are sometimes available as well, but they can be a little bit harder to find for free. The worst that can come from asking is getting a polite refusal, while the best is saving money and protecting nature, so there's no reason not to ask. Downsize Most people have a lot of stuff that they never use or even look at. Those objects take up space during the move, and there's often little to reason to bother bringing them to the new home. Looking through all of your possessions before the move and getting rid of the ones that you no longer want or need can be a great way to make things go easily and save resources. The environmental benefits come from reducing the need to ship items. Weighing down a truck will reduce its fuel efficiency, so bringing fewer objects can save a small amount of gas. Leaving enough items behind might mean reducing the number of vehicles involved in the move, which will have a much bigger impact. It also means spending less time packing and unpacking, which will make the moving process much easier to manage. Be sure to donate gently used items, or make them available for people to pick up. That is much better for the environment than throwing them away and having those people buy something completely new, and it can also raise a little bit of money to help with moving expenses. You shouldn't get rid of anything that you want to keep, but there's no better time to get rid of unwanted possessions. Moving will always be stressful, and it will always involve some pollution. Even so, using these tips can help to reduce those problems to the greatest extent possible. Even a small change can make a difference, so you should give them a try the next time you move.
  4. The desire for better fuel economy is not a new trend. For decades, automotive manufacturers and designers have been coming up with ways to help the consumer in getting more miles out of their gas tanks. The latest technologies in the fuel economy arena show a lot of promise in taking fuel economy to a new level. Let’s take a look as some of the most interesting advancements to keep your eyes on. Advanced Cylinder Deactivation While cylinder deactivation was originally introduced in the early 80’s with Cadillac's V864 engine, it only became commonplace a few years ago with improved electronics and a better fuel system then Cadillac’s pioneering model. One fuel saving technology to keep an eye out for will be advancements to this technology. Look for cylinder deactivation engines that run longer on fewer cylinders, thanks to added sensors and a more sophisticated control algorithm that could potentially reduce fuel consumption by 15 percent. Fuel-Cell Plug-In Hybrids The hydrogen fuel-cell may finally make its debut. As of now, the fuel cell is going to be expensive and the infrastructure for refueling is still foggy. One solution to these problems was actually shown by Ford almost 10 years ago when they displayed their Airstream concept. The Airstream used a plug-in-hybrid layout that created better usability and a better cost balance. The fuel cell would act as a range extender while a capacitor or battery handled fluctuating power demands that are prevalent in everyday driving. Engines with No Camshaft Yep, you read that correctly. Even though designers and engineers have gotten very close to optimal valve lift, timing, and cam phasing, there is little more they can achieve with the traditional camshaft. Unlike the loud, energy-draining hydraulic and electromechanical solenoids like those used in a lab test for cam profiles, the introduction of a 48-volt electrical system, see below, and smaller engines make the idea of having camless engines a very real possibility in the not-too-distant future. Instead of a rotating camshaft, each cylinder would have a dedicated actuator that would be precisely timed for the needed power demand. This design would allow for optimal timing across all cylinders and would result in superb fuel efficiency. 48-Volt Electrical System Let’s face it, the internal-combustion engine has dominated the automotive industry pretty much ever since there was an automotive industry. Even though there is a huge push for total electric vehicles, the lack of a refueling infrastructure and global manufacturing realities, the internal-combustion engine will probably remain the dominant power plant for quite some time. One way engineers are working to make these engines more efficient is by using a 48-volt electrical system to replace the current 12-volt system. Since there are so many components on the modern automobile that drain power and energy from them, a 48-volt system opens the possibility of advancements such as camless engines, replacing mechanical accessories like air conditioning and power steering pumps with electric alternatives, and have plenty of power left over for other features. This reduction in loads on the engine can increase fuel efficiency by 10 percent. Electric Superchargers Another advancement that would be made possible with a 48-volt electrical system is the electric supercharger. Audi is already using this technology on their SQ7 TDI and it is rational to think there will be plenty more to follow. Such an advancement means that cars equipped with cylinder deactivation can run longer on fewer cylinders. If additional power is needed, the supercharger will kick in and when the car travels downhill, the airflow will drive the electric motor in the supercharger, sending power back to the battery. Visit a supply shop like Arnold Motor Supply if you have questions. While there are plenty of other technologies on the horizon designed to improve the fuel efficiency of our vehicles, we selected these five for their plausibility and the amount of an impact they would, will, or do have in the modern vehicle. You might consider contacting an auto shop if you have questions about how your specific vehicle can have better fuel efficiency.
  5. Green living is finally starting to move from the fringes and into the main stream. More and more people are starting to understand that if we don't make changes, our future generations won't have a planet left to call home. One huge step we can take is to ditch the gas guzzling SUV sitting in the driveway. Here are 4 reasons you should invest in a green family car. Because PZEV Cars Are Good For The Air We Breathe What is PZEV you ask? That stands for Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicle, which means that a car has zero emissions that evaporate from its fuel system. The reason it's considered partial is because it's not utilizing a different technology. These cars are surprisingly easy to find you could even look at the St. George Subaru Dealership in Utah! All you have to do is some research and price checking and you should be able to find the best possible green car for you and your family in no time. Can You Say Tax Incentive You can get money back when you buy a hybrid. According to IRS.gov, you can get as much as $2,000 back when you buy a new clean-fuel car. Don't worry if you've recently bought a green car and didn't take the deduction. The IRS allows you to take the deduction on an amended return. The general rule of thumb is that you can file an amended return up to three years after the original return was filed. You do have to file the longer 1040 Form as opposed to one of the shorter forms, but for $2,000, the longer form is worth it! Green Cars Drive Just Like Conventional Cars Believe it or not, but a green car can go from 0 to 60 just as fast as your gas guzzler. The ride is smooth and the engine is quiet, and no you don't have to plug it in. The design of the car creates a seamless transition between electric and gasoline, so when your electric motor is engaged it acts as a generator that powers the batteries as you drive. Hybrid cars use the same type of gasoline as conventional cars so you don't need to worry about paying more or trying to find a special gas station. Save On Gas With gas prices averaging above $2.00 per gallon, the idea of having to spend more money on gas just to buy a new car is terrifying. With a green car, you can put those fears to rest. Green cars can actually save you money on gas. The fuel efficiency in a hybrid car will allow you to drive more than 600 miles between filling the tank. Of course, every car has a slightly different average miles per gallon rate, but regardless of which green car you choose, you could be looking at a savings of around $700 per year! Any one with kids knows an extra $700 could go a long way. The Environmental Protection Agency created a chart so you can quickly see the MPG's you can expect and compare the potential savings. Whether your goal is to live a completely green life, or you just want to get the best car you can for your family, a green car is where it's at. The expense for a green car is comparable to a conventional car, the gas mileage is tremendously better and the benefit to the environment is undeniable. By 2025, all cars sold in America will have the PZEV technology in keeping with the EPA's vehicle emissions and fuel standards program. This is proof that the green technology is not just a passing phase, it's the future.
  6. It's almost impossible to avoid being confronted with waste. Wherever we look, people and industries produce mass amounts of it, littering our environment and spreading toxic chemicals. This alarming trend can however be reversed by using green technologies, like the following. Vertical Farming In vertical farming, plants are grown indoors hydroponically on stacked shelves under artificial light. The crops grow far more quickly than with traditional soil farming methods, plus the land use area is drastically reduced. This can make vertical farms up to 100 times more productive than outdoor fields. LED Lighting LED lights reduce the waste of electricity since they use much less power than regular incandescent bulbs. However, an even more exciting fact might be that using LED lights can help reduce the impact of diseases like malaria, a deadly plight, in places like Africa. LED lights have helped the development of vertical farming there, which takes place indoors, without mosquitoes around. Fuel Cells A fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, heat, and water. Both the fuel and the by-products are clean, making the device waste-free. Most fuel cells run silently, and are commonly used in buildings, but, so far, there are only a few car models running on fuel cells. Think about the huge improvement of our environment, especially in big cities, if cars were quiet and emission-free. Free Fuel for Your Car How would you like to run your car on free fuel? Any diesel vehicle can be readily converted to run on waste vegetable oil instead of toxic diesel. This bio-degradable fuel can be picked up for free from restaurants, who throw it away anyway. The methods of recycling this type of waste have improved with cities like San Francisco even picking up collected food waste. Wave Energy Numerous studies have found that wave power could contribute massive amounts to the energy production worldwide. However, many obstacles have prevented the development of larger wave power plants. Cost, design issues, the hostile environment of saltwater and the ocean, have been reasons why wave energy hasn't been developed yet on a larger scale. Water Treatment We all need fresh, clean water to survive, but getting it can be a challenge. Lead plumbing in older buildings can pose a risk to people, and water waste contaminated with everything from medications and plant waste has been known to harm animals when simply dumped. Luckily companies like Seidler Chemical are making changes by supplying the right kinds of water treatment chlorinators. You can see common ways chemicals are used in this process here. Green Burial Finally, if you care about your environmental dead or alive, you may consider a green burial when that time comes. You can choose to be buried in everything from a biodegradable casket to a mushroom death suit. Another approach could be to have your ashes converted into reef balls for restoration of coral ecosystems. Would you like to reduce the waste in the world by using these green technologies? If so, which do you find most interesting?
  7. The concept of airless tires has been around for ages, in fact, Michelin has been developing this concept since 2005. It is only just recently that airless tires have become a readily available to the average consumer. Hankook recently announced that their airless tires should “hit the market very, very soon.” So, what exactly is an airless tire? Also known as non-pneumatic tires, airless tires are those not supported by air pressure. While they are usually used in certain lawnmowers and golf carts, airless tires are now being created for regular vehicles as well. Previously, there have been certain disadvantages associated with airless tires. For one, these provide much less suspension than regular pneumatic tires. Also, they lead to a lot of heat buildup. However, with developing technologies, these disadvantages have been severely minimized. Currently the benefits of using the modified airless tires far outweigh the disadvantages. Bridgestone’s airless tires, that are currently being developed, sport a unique spoke structure that is easily able to support passenger vehicles. Perhaps the largest advantage of these airless tires is that they are environmentally friendly, made with 100 % recyclable material. According to Bridgestone, “No part of a non-pneumatic tire ever needs to go in the garbage, which goes hand-in-hand with Bridgestone’s effort to create a “cradle-to-cradle” system in which all tires are first recycled and then factory-refashioned into new tires.” Furthermore, these tires promise reduced carbon emissions. You might wonder how tires can play an active part in reducing emissions. Well, a significant part of energy loss that comes from tires rolling resistance is due to changes in the shape of regular tires as they roll. Airless tires seem to promise a much simpler structure, leading to fewer changes in shape and thus reducing emissions. In terms of production too, Hankook, another airless tire brand claims that the production of these tires is halved from the production of normal pneumatic tires. This means that the footprint left behind due to trie production is also lessened, further supporting the sustainability and eco-conscious aspect of these tires. From a practical standpoint too, airless tires nullify the possibility of flat tires. This makes sense, as these tires cannot leak since there is really no air to be leaked! This means that drivers won’t have to worry about running over a sharp object, and tire change frequency will be visibly reduced. All in all, airless tires are a revolutionary concept in auto-production. With increased functionality and a much more positive impact on the environment, we are excited for these tires to hit the market, and soon become the accepted norm!