3 Green Light Tips for Going Green

On February 14, 2013, in Guest Posts, Sustainability, by allisonmreilly

going green tips

This is a guest post by Geoffrey Torres. Torres works exclusively on hybrid and EV cars. He shares tips and ideas on how drivers can save money and energy by switching to alternatively fueled vehicles.

Green is more than a color, it’s a necessary lifestyle one that our planet depends upon to flourish into the future. Maintaining an eco-friendly way of life is as simple as enacting a few minor adjustments in your everyday living, and your health and bank account will be better for it. Think green, adhere to the following advice and the earth will thank you for it.

Driving Green

Installing green tires help the  your wallet in numerous ways. Their unique design enables driving greater distances with less time spent filling up at the pump. Some manufacturers also produce tires with raw materials in lieu of petroleum. The Assurance Fuel Max, which you can find on a site like Goodyear tires from, is one such green tire that features low rolling resistance to boost fuel economy.

If you can’t afford to get a new set of tires, drivers can also take advantage of other techniques to greatly improve mileage. Every month, use a tire gauge to check the pressure of each tire, and pump it full of air if necessary to improve mileage by approximately three percent. Installing a new oxygen sensor can potentially boost mileage up to 15 percent, according to Better yet, don’t drive at all. Walk or bike where you can or take advantage of public transportation.


The U.S. is the king of waste production. According to Earth911, Americans throw away enough paper and plastic cups, forks, and spoons to circle the equator 300 times, every year. We easily dispose of objects after one use, oftentimes without even bothering to recycle. Since you all know how to recycle, here are some tips for properly recycling plastics, paper, and metal.

Plastics: Remove bottle caps from all plastic bottles. Their composition is different and can ruin an otherwise perfect load of recycling.

Paper: Never include paper plates or products contaminated with stains from your meal. Food waste can not be filtered out and will compromise the entire batch, according to Metal, however, can be filtered. Stapled paper or spiral notebooks are recycle-ready.

Metal: Any scrap metal, wire hangers, foil and tins can and should be recycled as long as they are washed clean beforehand.

Unplug Appliances

Raise your hand if you have dozens of electronics and appliances plugged in 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even when not in use, devices such as TVs and computers continue to suck up watt after watt of electricity, analogously named vampire energy. Begin to implement judicious use of electrical outlets. Unplug all idle appliances, with the exception of alarm clocks, DVRs and other devices that must remain connected to an outlet. Consider using power strips with a simple on/off switch to save you the hassle of unplugging and plugging each individual device or getting a smart plug that will automatically shut off power for things that are idle long enough. Eco-friendly devices like select cell phone chargers are another economical option they save energy by detecting when the phone is attached and completely halt energy use when the phone isn’t.

self-inflating tires

Will these be obsolete with AMT? Not yet.

About a month ago, Goodyear announced that it is in development of a self-inflating tire. This tire will come with a miniaturized pump in each tire to ensure proper tire pressure at all times. Dubbed “Air Maintenance Technology”, these new pumps will enable tires to remain inflated at the optimum pressure without the need for any external pumps or electronics. All components of the AMT system, including the miniaturized pump, will be fully contained within the tire.

“While the technology is complex, the idea behind the AMT system is relatively simple and powered by the tire itself as it rolls down the road,” said Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear senior vice president and chief technical officer, in a press release.

“A tire that can maintain its own inflation is something drivers have wanted for many years. Goodyear has taken on this challenge and the progress we have made is very encouraging,” said Kihn. “This will become the kind of technological breakthrough that people will wonder how they ever lived without.”

As great as this sounds, this technology DOES NOT eliminate the need for checking your tire pressure from time to time. After all, if this self-inflating tire receives a puncture, how are you to know without checking the tire? If the self-inflating system isn’t working for whatever reason, how are you to maintain tire pressure then? So, don’t throw away your tire pressure gauges and “set and forget” your tires quite yet.

The Department of Energy recently awarded Goodyear and PPG $1.5 million to study self-inflating tire technology, which is likely to initially be targeted towards trucks and other commercial vehicles. Meaning, that even if Goodyear successfully creates these tires, they won’t hit the consumer market right away. True, Goodyear is developing a self-inflating tire for the consumer market at its research facilities in Luxembourg, but there hasn’t been any word as to when these tires will be finished and will be released into the market. Until then, it will still be the consumer’s responsibility to maintain proper tire pressure and to have the tires checked for maintenance regularly. Also keep in mind that the cost of these tires is still unknown, and that these tires will only be from Goodyear. So, someone who doesn’t want to pay for these tires, or doesn’t want Goodyear tires, would still need to check and to maintain their own tire pressure.

Overall, this sounds really great, but doesn’t entirely eliminate the need for nitrogen tire inflation, and for you to get your tires checked. This isn’t the end of inflation as we know because if this technology comes out and we rely on it too much, we put ourselves in danger of something happening because we didn’t take the time to maintain this technology.

Nitrogen Tire Inflation

So many tires, and so many tire companies, support the practice of nitrogen tire inflation. Photo by Eva Cristescu.

We did a post a month or two ago about a Ford study that demonstrated the benefits of nitrogen tire inflation and had the green light from Ford itself to inflate its tires with nitrogen. Well, Ford isn’t the only tire company out there to approve the use of nitrogen tire inflation in its products.

In 2003, Michelin approved the use of nitrogen for all Michelin, BFGoodrich, Uniroyal, and P/A branded tires. Michelin did this because of nitrogen’s ability to maintain proper tire pressure for a longer period of time. In 2004, Goodyear followed suit and officially came out in in support of nitrogen tire inflation in all its Goodyear, Kelly, Dunlop, Associate Brand, and Private Brand products. This is based on the fact that the use of nitrogen extends the life of the tire.

Although Firestone has not issued an official statement, the company does provides tons of great information on nitrogen tire inflation as part of their complete auto care website.

Companies as large as Ford, Michelin, and Goodyear wouldn’t support the practice of inflating your tires with nitrogen if the practice didn’t have any proven benefits to consumers. Well, they do, and the practice is already being used by NASCAR, the military, the airline industry, and some law enforcement agencies. It’s only a matter of time before the service is available in more consumer locations such as gas stations and auto repair shops. There are already companies out there that specialize in nitrogen tire inflation for the consumer market, such as Nitrofleet99.

Overall, the practice of inflating your tires with nitrogen has been getting more popular and more credibility over the years, and this trend will only continue as more and more people are concerned with fuel efficiency and green initiatives in the auto industry. Using air to inflate your times may become a thing of the past.

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