You are worried about the environment, and yet you cannot live without a car. Maybe you can’t afford an electric car right now, even though it is in your plans. What do you do to be as green as possible within your means? One thing you can think about is getting green car service. The principles are simple: powered by green energy, environmentally conscious disposal of fluids, and donations to environmental causes.
When looking for a garage, look for those that advertise being green. When calling them, ask them what they use to power their business. There are a lot of new electricity companies that guarantee a green source of energy: Bullfrog is one of them. Research these companies and make sure that your new garage gets its electricity from a green source like Bullfrog or something similar. When shopping green, we do not often think about the power that went into making the products we buy, focusing on the materials of the product themselves; but the use of dirty energy pollutes just as much as using unsustainable material. All the parts that you buy should help reduce your emissions and your gas usage.
Of course, you cannot control where the parts come from, especially if you buy parts from your car’s company. Be ready to make concessions as to the provenance and sustainability of the parts you will need to repair your car. But green garages will always make sure to dispose of fluids and old parts in an ecological, sustainable way. Parts can be sent to refurbishing or recycling. Fluids need to be collected and disposed of in ways that will not hurt the planet; some companies specialize in disposing of chemical and industrial fluids in ecological ways. Make sure that your garage does not let your fluids collect on the ground, and instead collects it consciously and sends them to such a facility.
The last thing you might want to ask about is if the garage is involved in any environmental campaign or gives a part of their profit to an environmental cause. This is something that will often tip the scale between one garage and another, when I shop for it myself. Ask for proof of donation, or call the foundation and ask if your garage indeed participates in their campaign as a way of confirmation. Some unscrupulous businesses will lie about this in order to get new clients.
Car repairs are never fun and usually not cheap. This is one of the problems with having a car. But you can make your conscience (and the planet) feel better by doing business with conscientious garages who are aware of the impact of cars on the environment, and who will do everything they can to minimize that impact. Today, doing so is good business sense since non-sustainable practices are increasingly considered to be non-ethical. Be an ethical customer and encourage ethical businesses.