Cars and trucks are blamed for many of the world’s most serious environmental problems, from global warming to the oil spill in the Gulf. But though there are growing efforts to reduce automobile use through smarter urban design, alternative transportation methods, and more, cars and trucks are not disappearing from the roads anytime soon. It’s therefore important to reduce their environmental impact.
Believe it or not, one of the simplest way to reduce the environmental impact of cars and trucks (and save money at the gas pump!) is to keep them well-maintained. Auto repair shops can therefore play a significant role in reducing the environmental impact of driving.
If you love both cars and the environment, a great green business opportunity is opening an eco-friendly auto repair shop.
Eco-friendly auto repair shops work to reduce both the environmental impact of the cars and trucks they repair, and to reduce the impact of the shop itself.
Making Cars Greener
Eco-friendly auto repair shops offer tune-ups designed to improve gas mileage and lengthen the working life of your automobile, conserving resources. They emphasis repairing, rather than replacing, damaged parts whenever possible, and help customers choose eco-friendly products such as non-toxic paints for the auto body.
Some eco-friendly auto repair shops specialize in servicing eco-friendly cars such as hybrids and electric cars. Some also assist with diesel conversions in preparation for using eco-friendly biodiesel.
Many eco-friendly auto repair shops place a high premium on customer education, and may even offer classes teaching basic auto repair and maintenance with a focus on improving gas mileage and reducing emissions.
Making Auto Repair Shops Greener
There are also a number of ways auto repair shops themselves can go green. A few ideas include:
* Recycling used motor oil
* Using non-toxic degreasers
* Ensuring that there is no runoff of oil or other toxic materials into street or storm drains
* Using green building materials for the shop and office
* Purchasing wind or solar-generated electricity to power the shop
* Using recycled paper and eco-friendly inks to print brochures and other advertising materials
Three Eco-Friendly Auto Repair Shops Making Cars Greener
San Francisco-based Luscious Garage is an auto repair shop that’s put careful thought into every aspect of running the shop in order to make it as green as possible. The shop specializes in hybrid vehicles and does everything from brewing their own non-toxic windshield wash to using solar-powered, energy efficient tools and appliances to reducing, reusing, and recycling everything possible with the eventual goal of producing zero waste. Luscious Garage also places more focus on people than most garages – the open workshop allows owners to watch the repairs being done on their cars, while a comfortable waiting room offers free Wi-Fi, a library of books, and a children’s area with toys and games.
Green Garage, which has locations in Boulder and Fort Collins, CO, is another thoughtful eco-friendly garage that puts a lot of effort into reducing the environmental impact of both the garage and the cars it services. Green Garage offers free valet pick-up and drop-off services and a full line of services, including both routine maintenance and emergency repair, as well as specialty green tune-ups designed to improve gas mileage and performance while minimizing toxins and waste.
Honest-1 Auto Care bills itself as the nation’s first eco-friendly auto case chain, and it has locations in Oregon, Arizona, Minnesota, New Jersey, Florida, and more. In addition to a full line of traditional services, Honest-1 offers a Eco-Tune-Up that includes a 21 point inspection, tire pressure evaluation, spark plug replacement, and more. Like Luscious Garage, Honest-1 places a premium on comfortable, family-friendly waiting rooms, including children’s play areas, complimentary internet, and clean restrooms.
Main Image Credit: Paul Garland