Eco Car Tips for Tree Huggers

I love Saturdays on NPR (National Public Radio)!  I’m a regular listener to so many of their Saturday shows including Car Talk. If you’ve never listened to Tom and Ray answer callers’ questions about car problems I highly recommend that you tune in some Saturday (10:00 A.M. on our local stations) and hear what you’ve been missing. You’ll laugh a lot and might learn something too!  I was stumbling around on their website and came upon these very helpful eco car  tips. (If you’re fortunate enough to live in an area with good public transportation or an offering of car co-ops you can even earn their 5 out of 5 trees rating for utilizing these energy saving services.)

Not all of their ideas earn 5/5 trees, however. Some only earn 1/5 BUT if we ALL pay attention and follow these tips there is certainly a forest of trees we can earn if we choose to follow these suggestions together:

I. Get Your Car Serviced Regularly
II. Check Your Tire Pressure
III. Don’t Top Off Your Gas Tank
IV. Don’t Use More Octane Than You Need
V. Dispose of Fluids Properly
VI. Slow Down and Drive Sensibly
VII. Stop Your Idling
VIII. Join a Car Co-op
IX. Carpool with the Yutz Next Door

They offer advice about buying a car:

I. Don’t buy an SUV–unless you really need one

II. Buy an efficient conventional car

III. Try A Hybrid

IV. Buy a used car

Tom and Ray even provide some groovy websites to check the “greenness” of car models you may be interested in purchasing:

“You can use an interactive version of the ACEEE ratings to check out the environmental score of the cars you’re interested in. Or, head over to the Environmental Defense Tailpipe Tally. Just give the Tailpipe Tally a year, make and model, and you’ll get back a complete rundown on the economic and environmental costs.

Another great guide for efficient new cars is the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Vehicle Guide. Tell the guide what kind of car you’re looking for, and it’ll give you the best choices in that category. You can also compare vehicles, check emissions ratings, and peruse the overall ratings.”

Radio shows like Car Talk aren’t  just all fun and games (and, in the case of Car Talk, bad jokes). Listening and exploring are ways you can learn  to  become a little greener in addition to having a great time. Do yourself a favor and listen to the show sometime. You won’t be sorry.  (also available in podcast)