With a tight economy and uncertainty about the future, more consumers are starting to keep their old cars longer. With new car sales down, it means that the auto repair industry is seeing a slight boom to their business. They are also responding to the growing demand in the nation for green policies by going green themselves. Here are a few of the ways your auto mechanic is helping the local environment.
Mechanics have been telling the public for years that they should maintain their tires, keep up with regular maintenance on the cars, and use the proper fuel octane. They continue to preach these smart practices, but now they are spelling out how these steps are good for the environment. The fact is that all of these preventive measures help you avoid costly repairs and they improve gas mileage. Both are good for your wallet and the environment, so listen more closely the next time your mechanic starts talking about the steps you should be taking as a driver.
Every auto shop has to deal with waste oils and liquids. There was a time when “proper disposal” meant that they went to a special section of the landfill. Shops that care about the environment, however, make sure that this waste is actually recycled. Used oil, old fluids, and even oil filters can be recycled, so look for a mechanic that is taking this green step.
Clean-up in Bay One
Auto shops are messy places, and oil spills will happen occasionally. Green shops don’t just sop up the oil with paper towels and toss them in the trash; they use special kits to properly contain the oil. Reusable wipes are chosen over disposable ones, and hazardous waste that cannot be recycled is properly stored and disposed of. They don’t let old car batteries and scrap parts sit around and rust, but recycle as quickly as possible. Tires are sent to recycling promptly, as well. These steps keep the shop clean and they show that your mechanic is committed to the environment.
The cost of doing business includes overhead like utilities. Auto shops are changing to energy smart bulbs to help them go green while reducing overhead costs. They also make purchases in bulk to reduce the expense of regular deliveries and make their shop more efficient.
With the right equipment, waste oil can be used to heat the shop. Smart shops will make the investment in special heaters that burn waste oil, so they can keep the shop warm without using any fresh energy sources, while saving a small fortune in the process.
A shop that’s committed to going green will also make changes in the office. These include the use of computers to track appointments and help cut down on paper waste, along with filtered water dispensers rather than water bottles. They recycle old office equipment and use occupancy sensors to shut down the lights in rooms when they are not in use.
The steps taken by auto repair shops to go green and be kind to the environment are truly impressive. Many of the changes help them save money in the process, and they allow you to feel even better about the decision to keep the old car for a few more years. Look for a shop that engages in these green practices the next time you need an oil change or a repair.
Owen Scott is an environmentally-conscious freelance writer who blogs about ways companies are going eco-friendly. If you care about the environment, you can use autorepair.net to find a local green auto repair company. Photo by Robert Couse-Baker