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6 Great New Uses for Those Old Tires

upcycling tires

You're an arts-and-crafts-y individual with some old tires laying around the garage. That rubber is pretty—no, really—old.

Why not turn those tires into something fun and functional? An old Nexen tire makes a great planter or swing, and you'll feel good about your repurposing efforts. These simple tips will help you give those old tires a second lease on life:

Pretty Planters


Turn an old tire on its side, fill it with dirt and voilà: It's a planter. Don't like the urban graveyard look? Try painting your homemade planter with bright colors and designs. Make a taller planter by stacking two or more tires on top of each other.... read more

Your Next Vehicle Could Be A Hybrid

Rising fuel cost, increased environmental awareness, political posturing, and the long term stability of our natural resources has created a surge of hybrid vehicle development in the United States and abroad. Ford Motor Co. sold a record 11,600 Natural Gas Vehicles in 2012 (source) and Chevy sold 1,306 Volt's (electric car) in April this year (source). Another hybrid technology is compressed air vehicles; leading the pack overseas is Tata Motors (source) and I'd love to see them stateside. The demand for alternative fuel automobiles rises every month as does the options for consumers. Let's take a look at some of the available consumer level options.... read more

ABC's of Tire Recycling

tire recyclingHave you ever wondered what happens to old and worn out tires once you get them replaced on your car? Fortunately, as Green Living notes, the latest improvements in technology have led to more options for recycling rubber tires. According to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, about 80 percent of the 290-plus million tires a year are now saved from going to the dump, and are recycled and turned into other types of products.

Rubber Gets Used

For example, Green Living explained, old tires are often ground up and used in rubberized asphalt, as well as rubber flooring for educational and commercial locations. This style of flooring is especially popular with designers and architects due to its array of colors, designs and durability. In addition, ground-up rubber can be used for athletic turf, mulch, playground surfaces and walking and running trails.... read more

Top 5 2013 Hybrid Automobiles: Save Money While Being Green!

2013 hybrid carsHybrid vehicles combine the best of both worlds, providing drivers with extended driving range while reducing their environmental impact. Fuel efficiency isn’t the only criteria when making a purchase decision, although it is significant. Practical considerations such as affordability and travel range need to be taken into account. 

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid

 

This fun-to-drive hybrid is a sturdy alternative to the traditional SUV. While there is lots of room for passengers, it comes up short on cargo space. However, it does boast an impressively powerful electric-gas system that gets 47 mpg, whether you’re driving in the city or out on the highway.

Along with impressive gas mileage, this vehicle offers quick acceleration, responsive handling, and a smooth ride. The interior is quite sophisticated, and although the base model offers many standard features, there are many options available. MSRP from $25,200.... read more

Thank You MBTA

Dear MBTA (Mass Bay Transportation Authority for the non-Boston area readers),

Thank you for ruining another commute to work. The other day I spent nearly two hours on the red and green line attempting to go from Dorchester to Somerville, roughly ten miles.... read more

Road Trips vs. Flying: Which One is Greener?

Choosing paper or plastic at the grocery store or opting to bring our own reusable bags, taking the plastic cup offered at the coffee shop or bringing our own with us, or deciding whether to fly or drive on our next business trip or family outing — life is full of everyday decisions that can have quite the environmental impact. It's important that we take the time to evaluate these choices carefully, then make the one that works well for our needs, as well as for the environment.

Flying is often faster than driving, allowing us to get from Point A to Point B much more quickly. When an important business deadline (or Aunt Norma's Christmas ham) is at stake, it seems like it's a no-brainer to just go ahead and book the flight.

But how do driving and flying impact the environment? If we plan out our trip a little more carefully, can we make a greener decision that will get us to our destination and also benefit the planet? Let's take a look at the facts about road trips versus flying so we can learn which the better option is for our individual circumstances.... read more

Hybrid Hand-Me-Downs: Shop for Fuel-Efficient Used Cars

Just before the new year, the Environmental Protection Agency released definitive figures that the 2013 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid takes the crown as the most fuel-efficient 4-door vehicle on the planet. Constructed with hybrid drivetrain, the Energi plug-in boasts a 108 MPGe rating, beating out the previous title-holder, the Toyota Prius plug-in, which uses 103 MPGe. Not only will you be saving the environment by driving one of these beauties Ford estimates that driving a Fusion Energi will save you $6850 in fuel costs compared to the money you would spend on an average new vehicle over five years. With these numbers, Ford planned to sell over 19,000 hybrid or electric vehicles in the last quarter of 2012, according to Edmunds.com.

Although buying a fuel-efficient vehicle like the Ford Fusion Energi might be the ideal, buying a new car may not be in your budget. Not to worry although the new vehicles are boasting greater gas mileage, there are plenty of phenomenal fuel-efficient used cars that can meet your needs. Using ConsumerReports.org used car-buying guides you can find a fuel-efficient pre-owned vehicle that meets your needs.... read more

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How to Easily Make Your Daily Commute Greener

It is nearly impossible in today’s economic climate not to consider the cost of gasoline when planning any trip in your automobile. At the same time, concerns pertaining to greenhouse gases emitted from automobile exhaust pipes have the environmentally conscious commuter thinking of ways to reduce their carbon footprints. Thankfully, there are several options for daily commuters wanting to save money and the environment, while still getting to work on time and without much hassle.

Bike to Work

Biking to work has become more common among commuters and can knock out two birds with one stone. You're saving money by not spending money on gas and you’re getting some exercise. Of course there are legitimate concerns about safety and biking during rush hour in larger cities. Most municipalities have bike lanes, complete with round post collapsible bollards, to keep cars out of the lanes and give riders more peace of mind. It is best to ride your bike to the workplace on a weekend to see how long it will take and to plan your route. One of the drawbacks to bike riding is you will likely sweat a little during warmer months and may not want to show up to work in that condition. One solution is to join a nearby gym where you can shower and change before stepping into the office. You could also take your change of clothes to the workplace beforehand and put them on when you arrive.... read more

Are Hybrid Vehicles Really All That Environmentally Safe?

The difference between a regular vehicle and a hybrid vehicle is that hybrids have two motors – one is electric and one is gasoline-powered. Though hybrid vehicles do use gasoline when going at high speeds, city driving and stop-and-go traffic driving run off the electric motor, significantly reducing the amount of smog created by the exhaust.

Weighing the costs

Since hybrid vehicles are significantly more expensive than smaller vehicles with high gas miles per gallon, many wonder if they’re really all that better for the environment, and therefore worth the added cost. In short, yes, it is worth the cost. Even though insurance is more expensive (make sure to get an auto insurance quote before purchasing a hybrid), a hybrid vehicle only uses 75 cents per gallon, rates that haven’t been seen at the pumps in decades.

Environmental advantages

If everyone were to switch to a hybrid vehicle today, the health benefits it would provide to both humans and nature would be magnificent. Hybrid vehicles emit significantly less carbon dioxide than gas-powered vehicles, creating less pollution and causing less damage to valuable ecosystems. Traditional cars, on average, use 100 extra gallons of gasoline than hybrid cars for every 10,000 miles driven (according to the U.S. Department of Energy). They also produce less carbon dioxide per mile than regular cars.... read more

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