Make Your Car More "Green"

If you have been to the pump lately it might be your wallet that makes you want to go more "Green" with your car then before. As it relates to the environment automobiles account for 20% of all greenhouse gases emitted into the air. How ecological friendly you handle your car is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Still the only way to offset your carbon footprint is to plant trees. Listed below are the Top 10 things you can do to make your car more "Green."

1. Buy a Hybrid Car or Green Car

Yes, it doesn't take rocket science to understand that if you buy a more environment friendly car you have reduced your carbon footprint. Hybrids now come in sedans, SUV, and luxury vehicles. If buying a hybrid right now isn't in your budget choosing a car with excellent gas mileage is going to make a big difference.

2. How You Drive

You drastically increase the fuel you consume and the emissions your car gives off when you accelerate quickly and stop quickly. Driving the speed limit and more smooth as it relates to aggressive driving through the city will save on your gas bill. Also, the more you can take care of all your errands in one trip is better than many short trips to the store.

3. Keep Your Car in Shape

Regular tune ups of your car will keep your car producing less greenhouse gases, using less gas, and prevents future trouble. It is estimated that if every American's tires were properly inflated to the right level we would save 3 billion gallons of gas every year.

4. Offset Carbon Footprint

You can plant trees to offset the greenhouse gases you are emitting each year. Planting trees is the only way to offset your carbon footprint.

5. Carpool

If you have been on the freeway during rush hour you see all the commuters driving by themselves. Not only will you drastically lower your impact on the environment by carpooling you get to go in the carpool lane, as well.

6. You Don't Need a Car for Everything

For short trips you can take your bike or walk. With cars we don't even think about the other ways we can travel; we just hop in our cars and off we go. Many store items can easily be carried on a bike with a backpack. Also, you can get an electric scooter to get places faster.

7. Drive Half Way

For some trips walking or your bike isn't the complete answer. Driving your car and then getting on mass transit or driving your car and then parking to then go on your bike both work. Many times if you are going during rush hour, driving until the traffic gets thick and then going on your bike will get you there faster than sitting in the bumper to bumper traffic.

8. Use Less AC

Using a windshield protector can reduce how hot your car gets allowing you to use less air conditioner in the car. Turn your AC on low instead of high uses less gas. Don't forget to park in the shade to also keep your car cooler.

9. Use the Web

With the easy access to the web these days you can have video conferences, send email, and buy your products online. A video chat can be just as good as a face to face meeting without using gas and your car.

10. Go without a Car

For those that are willing to take it on it can be done. You would be surprised with a change in thinking how it is possible for some to go without a car. Using physical transportation like a bike and mass transit can get you around. Also, for those that want to it may be important to live closer to work or the stores you need or making your work day virtual so your home is your office.

Erase Carbon Footprint offers services to plant trees to reduce your carbon footprint.

Canyoneering Adventure of Real Life Survival

Making Black Cars Green

Now that congestion pricing is behind us (at least for now), attention can turn to other PlaNYC 2030 proposals to lower the carbon footprint of some of the traffic we see every day in our city.

To do that, the Taxi and Limousine Commission recently approved regulations will increase the fuel economy of all new "black cars" that service the city's business community to a minimum of 25 miles-per-gallon (mpg) next year and to a minimum of 30 mpg beginning in 2010.

The proposal to green the city's roughly 10,000 black cars is an obvious follow-up to last year's regulation that is, slowly but surely, converting the city's yellow cabs to fuel-efficient hybrids, thanks to Local Law 72 of 2005.

Switching to more fuel-efficient models (whether hybrid or not) cuts fuel costs for drivers and operators, while reducing the global warming impacts of the overall industry.

Though this new regulation is well intentioned, it may not provide as much global warming as possible.
The Myth of MPG

Here's why: the use of "mpg" ratings (set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for all cars sold in the U.S.) as the performance indicator is an imperfect way to measure the global warming impact of these vehicles. It's imperfect for two reasons.

First, the agency's mpg ratings are flawed because they are based on the agency's assumptions regarding the typical style of driving in cities and on highways across the nation. These assumptions bear no relationship to the way black cars are actually driven in New York City. To put it as simply as possible, EPA assumes cars drive faster, sit in less traffic, idle less, and use less air-conditioning than any city black car.

Second, mpg ratings are imperfect because there are significant, so-called "upstream" global warming emissions that stem from the manufacturing and transport of the vehicles to New York, as well as from the production, refining, processing and/or transport of whatever fuel is used (i.e., gasoline, diesel, biofuels, or alternative fuels such as natural gas or electric power). The agency's ratings govern only the amount of fuel that one can expect to use in typical city or highway driving, not the actual global warming pollution that comes from the driving (and the production) of the car.
A Footprint Approach

A more comprehensive approach would be to measure the full, life-cycle "carbon footprint" of the vehicles. Such an approach would ensure that the city is driving the black car industry towards the vehicles that provide the least amount of global warming pollution.

Of course, requiring car fleets to calculate their carbon footprint is a bit harder than simply reading the EPA mpg ratings. So, a practical solution would be to give fleets a choice: fleets could choose to comply with the regulation simply by using vehicles that meet the mpg threshold —- or they could use vehicles that provide, on a life-cycle basis, an equivalent or better carbon footprint. Providing this option would open the door to alternative fuel vehicles that may have very low upstream emissions, yet that do not meet the Environmental Protection Agency's mpg threshold of the regulation.

How could this work?

The city could add an alternative compliance mechanism to its newly approved regulations that allows (but does not require) fleets to use a full, life-cycle global warming analysis to demonstrate compliance with the new rule. With such an alternative compliance mechanism in place, a vehicle with low upstream impacts could comply with the rule, even if its mpg rating does not meet the 25 or 30 mpg threshold (or, as in the case of some vehicles that are retrofitted to run on alternative fuels, no EPA mpg rating at all).

Adding such a mechanism would move the city closer to the ground-breaking approach being proposed in California. In that state, regulators are considering a "low-carbon" approach to regulating fuels and vehicles, rather than regulating mpg or biofuels. The city should share California's goal: to encourage the fuels and vehicles that are the lowest in global warming impact on a life-cycle basis, rather than rely on the more-limited view of the miles-per-gallon of the vehicle, the amount of biofuels used, or the emissions at the tailpipe (all of which are used in various PlaNYC 2030 proposals).
Setting Standards

Lawyers reading this may say, "Wait a minute - the City cannot set its own emission standards."

That's right: only the Environmental Protection Agency and California can set emissions standards for vehicles, and other states can choose to follow them (New York tends to follow the more stringent California standards). But the approach summarized above would not run afoul of the federal restrictions on the city's ability to set vehicle emission standards, because it would not be a mandatory requirement on the fleets. Instead, it would simply be an alternative compliance mechanism that could be used by the fleets or not, as they wish. Thus, such a mechanism should comply with the federal restrictions on the city's ability to regulate vehicle emissions.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission deserves support for its plan to improve the environmental performance of the city's black cars.

Like the yellow cabs, these vehicles drive more miles, consume more fuel, and emit more pollution than other cars on city streets. However, the commission can make a strong plan even stronger by amending the final rule to enable fleets to use life-cycle analyses to unlock the potential of lower-carbon vehicles that could provide effective service in the five boroughs.
Rich Kassel is a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, where he focuses on urban air pollution and transportation issues. He also chairs the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a regional transportation advocacy organization and blogs on a variety of environmental issues on the NRDC switchboard.

Help Save The Environment With Your Oil Changes

Would you like to change your vehicle oil only once a year or 25,000 miles whichever comes first, better protect your engine, save substantial money, get up to 8% better gas mileage, and help the environment by reducing waste oil by a factor of eight. All this can be done by a simple switch to the best synthetic oils and filters available today while enhancing your engine's performance and protection.

Let's first look at the economics of the oil change business. In some cases the auto repair and quick lube businesses use the oil change as a lost leader to be able to sell you the higher margin products they carry, such as; fan belts, air filters, PVC valves, windshield wipers, fuel filters, transmission oil changes, etc. They want you to come back every 3,000 miles to give your contributions to their cash flow. They take advantage of women, in particular, by selling them items that they could probably do without. The following will give you an idea of the direct savings by using premium synthetic oils. Conventional petroleum based oil with a 3,000-mile drain interval for 25,000 miles per year will cost you $148.00 (8 changes per year). Premium Synthetic Oil with a 25,000 mile drain interval (1 change per year) will cost you only $51.55.

Right away your saving, $96.45 per year on your oil change, 7 trips to the quick lube (your time and inconvenience), improved gas mileage, and reduced vehicle maintenance. has further information on the synthetic oil products.

Most people do not want to change because they have been thoroughly indoctrinated to the 3,000-mile oil change interval. Let's change this falsehood because it is not good for our pocketbooks, the environment, or our dependence on foreign oil. The lubricating oil consumption in the US is estimated to be approximately 2.7 billion gallons by 2008. If everyone used premium synthetic oil, the US could save 2.315 billion gallons or 42 million 55 gallon drums of lubricating oil per year. If the 42 million drums were stacked end to end they would go for 23,863 miles or almost completely around the earth.

There is still another used and proven technology available to us today where we can eliminate oil changes altogether. This technology is the By-Pass Oil Filtration System that can be installed in all vehicles. This system uses two filters, a full flow filter and a by-pass filter. These are high quality nano-fiber filters that can eliminate particles below one micron in diameter and water from your engine's oil. Standard filters only remove particles down to 25 microns in size, but studies have shown that over 60% of all engine wear is caused by particles in the 5 to 20 micron range. This system is set up so the full flow filter provides the unrestricted flow that the engines needs, while 10% of the flow goes through the by-pass filter that removes the fine particles down to the one micron range. The oil capacity of the engine flows through the by-pass filter every five minutes while driving at approximately 45 miles per hour. Your engine oil is thoroughly and continuously cleaned every five minutes. A Mack truck with an E7-400 engine was driven over 400,000 miles without an oil change (only the oil filters were changed every 25,000 to 60,000 miles), the engine was torn down for inspection, and the engine wear was moderate and equivalent to the wear of an engine that had it's oil changed every 15,000 miles with conventional oil. This is some testimony to the performance of premium synthetic oil.

The environmental impact of reducing our country's lubricating oil consumption by 2.315 billion gallons is beyond our imagination and this environmental abatement can begin today if every one becomes aware of their ability to contribute by using premium synthetic oil and filtration products. The EPA estimates that 200,000,000 gallons of used oil are not disposed of properly each year. The cost of reclaiming and processing used oil is significant and affects all of us by higher prices and increased taxes. One gallon of improperly disposed of oil can render one million gallons of fresh water undrinkable.

The United States accounts for 26% of the world's consumption of lubricating oils. The economic growth in China and other parts of the world will spike the requirement for lubricating oils which will greatly contribute to the contamination of the earth's environment unless we make strides in using the most effective and efficient ways to keep our wheels in motion.

The United States uses an average of 385,000,000 gallons of gasoline each day. This amounts to 140,525,000,000 gallons of gasoline per year. If we can increase our gas mileage 4% by using premium synthetic oils we can save 5,621,000,000 gallons of gasoline a year. These are steps we can take now before we need to take bigger steps, such as going to a hydrogen infrastructure. Even with hydrogen replacing the gasoline, we will still need the lubricating oils to keep all the parts of our cars, trucks and equipment in motion without abrasion.

We can also do a better job of recycling our used oil. Do you know where our used oil goes now? Look at the following data.

40% is dumped on the ground or poured down the sewer. 21% is disposed of in our trash and goes to the landfills. 19% is reused for other purposes. 14% is recycled. 6% is burned.

With only 14% of our waste oil being recycled, there is a big opportunity to do more. It's a total neglect to have 61% of our used and contaminated oil seeping back into our water ways and aquifers. You can help by using premium synthetic lubricating oils and having them properly disposed of when they are replenished. Reducing your oil consumption by a factor of 8 times is a tremendous help to the environment, your vehicle, and your wallet.

More information about Synthetic Oil and Filters can be obtained from along with details on extended drain intervals. This will aid you in helping the environment, improving your engine longevity, and saving you lots of money.

How Home Solar Electric Systems Work. Going Green (Part 2)

You are contributing to a cleaner environment by upgrading to solar generated electricity. You are also taking a step toward energy independence when you begin using solar power in your home.

To better understand solar electric systems and how they work, you first need to understand the technical components making up a residential solar energy system.

New solar rental services are emerging that offer solar power in new and simple ways. These new solar equipment rentals offer system wide efficiency and control and make a home's electric service more responsive, more reliable, and more renewable.

The remainder of this article will explain and further define many of the common components making up home solar energy system.

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels

The primary components of a home solar system are the Solar (PV) panels. These panels utilize solar cells to convert sunlight directly into home electricity. A number of cells strung together to make a panel that generates about 250 watts (w) of electrical current at peak sunlight capacity. The panels then route power through an inverter where a controller determines how to distribute the power throughout your home.

Solar Energy Controller and Inverter

The controller is the device that monitors and manages the distribution of electricity produced by a residential solar energy system. Its capability extends even further by monitoring and managing the flow of energy between the house, the solar (PV) panels & system, and the local utility company. Often these controllers also have the ability to manage secondary storage through the use of batteries for more flexibility and control.

Coupled with the controller is the brains of the operation; the inverter. An inverter is in essence an electronic circuit that converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). An inverter allows the 12 or 24 volt DC power produced from solar panels to supply AC power to operate all of the electrical needs around your house.

Solar Array Mounting and Connection Components

Connection components are made up of electrical wiring and the rail mounting structure. Several solar panels are arranged into a grid, secured by a rail mounting device, and connected together to make a solar (PV) array. Electrical wiring is needed to connect the solar panels to the controller, then to your meter box, and then to your utility company via the existing electricity grid. Little additional solar energy equipment is needed, other than the panels, controller and inverters, wiring, and the roof mounting system.

The mounting rail is another simple structure that secures your solar (PV) array to your roof with the little need to drill holes through your singles. It is designed with maximum strength and allows for easy assembly of the solar array.

Rental Options for Residential Solar Energy Systems

Homeowners now have the ability to generate electricity right at home in safe, simple, and environmentally conscious way. Residential solar energy systems convert sunlight (i.e. photons) directly into usable home electricity. Residential solar energy systems, now offered to homeowners on a rental basis, provide a new source of reliable electricity and they enhance electric services without expensive investments in solar purchases.

In a future article, we will continue this series related to residential solar energy systems. We will explain in common terms how to measure the power of the sun. One objection often voiced by homeowners researching home solar power relates to the quality of the sunlight.

Is too cloudy? Is it too foggy? How does snow effect solar cell output? We will explain how to determine whether your geographic location receives enough sunlight hours to make solar suitable.

At Solargies, we plan to make the right Eco-friendly, green solutions available to the American homeowners. My role involves the leadership, communication, and the education related to the adoption solar energy system rentals. Learn more about residential solar energy.

World Environment Day June 5th

Today, June 5th, people across the world are uniting to celebrate World Environment Day. Originally established by the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP), the day serves as a reminder to world citizens, business leaders, and politicians to take action in helping restore Mama Earth. This year's emphasis is on climate change.

To draw eco-awareness to our global home, the day is chock full of activities with much buzz around one campaign in particular—Together. The online resource is already a hit in the UK and was created by international NGO, The Climate Group, which works with governments and businesses around the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate a low carbon economy.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is saying 'Hasta la Vista' to climate change by helping bring Together stateside, providing American citizens with easy ways to fight global warming.

If you're in the New York-area today head over to Times Square where environmental heavy weights such as Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General, Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group, and environmental expert, Simran Sethi are gathering to celebrate the Together campaign. Otherwise, honor the day by checking out tips from Together and UNEP's World Environment Day Alphabet – 80 Ways to Celebrate—and then take action.