As the whole world is aware, everyone is trying to find ways to help our environment every day. This trend of “going green” has been found in so many industries in so many different ways. The auto industry has designed hybrid cars to help save on the horrible effects of gas. Companies are offering to accept payments and show bills online so that paper isn’t wasted. Grocery stores have reusable bags that you can purchase so the plastic bags aren’t going into the garbage. It may be a slow process, but the eco-friendly trend is catching on in all corners of the United States. Lately, the auto industry decided that it was time that they did their part.
We have all been inside an auto repair shop at one point or another. If nothing else, we all have to have our oil changed every three months, so this is not a foreign place. When you step inside, the smells are overwhelming. These are what you have come to associate with auto repair shops. All of the chemicals, lubricants, and coolants that are present in your vehicle are also present, and exposed, in the shop. You can always count on seeing green liquid, dark brown or black, and, of course, the pretty rainbow colors on the floor. The problem is that this work on your vehicle, for the most part, absolutely has to be done. Old motor oil has to be replaced with new oil and so, it will be exposed. What’s happening is that auto repair shops are realizing that there is a lot that can be done about the waste and pollution that comes from their shops and they are finally doing something about it THC Vapes Shop.
Of course there are government regulated standards that every repair shop must adhere to. But, as of right now, it is the choice of each individual shop to follow the environmental standards established by green associations. If they do, then they are certified as an official green business. To reach that goal, there are a number of things that a repair shop must do better.
Green repair shops are now using biodegradable cleaners to clean up their spills. They are keeping their parking lots, floors, and bay areas clean at all times so that rain does not carry away toxic wastes into the storm drains. They are using stricter preventative methods so there is less leaking of hazardous materials. This includes the proper use, storage, and disposal of all toxic chemicals to decrease the risk of water, air, and landfill contamination. They are also using low-VOC paint on vehicles. VOC or Volatile Organic Compounds are organic solvents that easily evaporate into the air. They are known to cause immediate and/or long term health problems.
All of these are steps in the right direction to making a healthier environment for everyone. However, one of the greatest breakthroughs is the recycling of motor oil. It is estimated that 180 million gallons of used motor oil are disposed of in an unsafe manner each year. Ground water that is contaminated by only one quart of oil affects up to 250,000 gallons of drinking water. Oil that is poorly disposed of not only ends up in our drinking water, but also in our lakes, rivers, beaches, forests, playgrounds, and eventually, it harms fish and animals. The improper disposal of motor oil, antifreeze, lead-acid batteries, and other components associated with routine auto upkeep are a major contributor to pollution, while repairs done at small shops or in the home are the number one cause of small quantity hazardous waste. So everyone that is adept at changing their own oil is actually making it worse. The likelihood of them having a contract with a company to take their oil and clean it is probably not very likely. This is a big deal.
So, what’s happening now is that there are actually companies that take used motor oil and clean it to be reused. When motor oil is used, it does not break down or burn up in the engine. The oil gets contaminated with particles and chemicals that decrease its lubrication value. A process called re-refining cleans the contaminants and used additives out of the used oil. The cleaned oil can now be called base stock. It is then blended with virgin base stock and new additives to make a finished oil product that performs just as well as brand new oil. These companies are now returning more than 140 million gallons of used motor oil to the market place as clean, new motor oil. To sum it all up, oil can now be described as a renewable resource as opposed to its original non-renewable status.
Along with conserving our non-renewable resources, the quality has not been sacrificed in this re-refined oil. First, creating this new oil uses up to 85% less energy to produce than conventional oil. Plus, there is just no way to tell the difference performance-wise in a vehicle. It does exceed the highest North American standards for motor oil performance. It improves fuel economy. It has advanced water protection for an increased vehicle life. It has improved oxidation and sludge resistance. It creates decreased vehicle emissions. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80% and heavy metals emissions by 99.5%. All of this good comes from just saving old motor oil and not dumping it improperly. It’s a pretty good trade off.
Again, this is not something that is regulated. Oil does not have to be saved for re-refining, just disposed of properly. However, the benefits are so great, not just to your car, but to the environment. The best step that you can take as a consumer is to make sure you use an auto repair shop that is environmentally responsible. This green initiative is purely voluntary, so you know they really want to make a difference. It is completely appropriate to ask questions of the company you are going to bring your business to. Ask them about their methods of waste disposal. Ask them about their cleaning methods. Ask them what kind of oil they use and if the recycle it. If they are hesitating too long, then it’s not something they are passionate about.
Consumers are the ones that can make a difference. If we demand that auto repair shops be run with certain standards, they will all have no choice but to join in the eco-friendly way. They won’t even have to be forced by government regulations. If they are not getting the business they used to, they are going to have to compete at the higher standards of the green auto repair shops. It’s great that so many are becoming more eco-friendly, that they care and want to make a difference. But, they make up such a small percent of the entire industry. Other businesses may need a little push and that comes from the power of the consumer. You should demand the best for your money and for the environment. Only good can come out of these changes. Eco-friendly shops are out there. Seek them out and support our environment. Clean changes are good changes.