A Clean, Green Driving Machine

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009  |  Updated 7:30 AM PDT
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It's Easy Going Green

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Man Service Station Attendant In A Bow Tie Washing

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Your car's an embarassment. It's been gathering dirt and grime and now some wisenheimer has written "Wash Me" on the rear windshield. It's time to take action, but you're a greenie and you want to play it smart. So, which is better: good old-fashioned elbow grease or an easy drive through wash?

Cleaning your car by hand at home will certainly save you money, but there are hidden environmental dangers, according to Real Simple. The runoff can contain traces of harmful chemicals such as antifreeze, gas and motor oil. At home, this dirty water empties into drains which feeds into local waterways.

However, taking your car to a drive through, or even getting a hand wash at a service station, is less likely to impact water supplies says Real Simple. Car washes and service stations have to follow water waste laws. Instead of hitting creeks and rivers, the water will end up in treatment facilities or be recycled.

So if you want to play it green, drop a few extra bucks for someone else to do the job. Not only will you be doing the earth a good turn, but you can also use the extra time to go to a farmers market, do some green gardening or make a trip to the recycling center. Or you can just switch to a bike.

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