5 Reasons to switch to a Hybrid Vehicle

5 Reasons to switch to a Hybrid Vehicle.

5 Reasons to switch to a Hybrid Vehicle

Years ago, the word associated with owning a hybrid or eco-friendly car was “snobbish.”  Now, the word association has been changed to “sensible.”When they first arrived in the marketplace, the cost of hybrid vehicleswas so high that only the truly affluent could afford them. The environmental benefits of hybrid vehicle technology took a back seat to the expense. Now, however, times have changed. The cost has come down a bit and, while eco-friendly cars cannot be considered inexpensive, they are becoming more reasonable for even the middle class. There are many factors driving this change.

First, the rising gas prices over the last few years have caused car buyers to rethink their stance on hybrids. While the initial cost of purchasing a hybrid might be higher than a car fueled by gasoline, the money saved by not buying gasoline wins the race in the long term. It can take between $75 and $100 today to fill the gas tank of a sports utility vehicle. Depending on how often a person drives that vehicle, that cost can multiply pretty quickly. When a person is filling up their gas tank three times a month and the cost of gas soars to $4 per gallon, the cost of hybrid vehicles does not seem so unreasonable.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, we have entered the “green era.” In general, people seem more concerned about the environment today than they have ever been before.

Construction companies are building “green” office buildings. Inside those buildings,recycling of paper, plastic and glass is encouraged. Even light bulbs have become more energy efficient. Water conservation techniques are observed throughout the nation during dry periods.

Within our very homes, recycling has become commonplace. Sanitation companies have made it quick and easy for home owners to recycle a variety of products without the hassle of toting items to an actual recycling center. Some home owners have even installed solar panels in their homes to provide a natural heating source.

It should be no surprise then that the way we travel has also switched gears. On television, local transportation companies implore viewers to consider public transfers by bus or train. Many cities have “bike-to-work” weeks and our highways have carpool lanes. It is certainly not a stretch of the imagination for someone who must drive that an eco-friendly car would be a consideration.

Enthusiasts agree that hybrid vehicle technology reduces the amount of harmful chemicals being released into the air through operation. According to hybrid-car.org, an eco-friendly car produces 90 percent less pollutants than a non-hybrid car. That’s a pretty big statistic to ignore.

Another reason to consider a switch to a hybrid goes back to the cost of hybrid vehicles. While hybrids do have expensive parts, they also have excellent warranties. They also have shown to have lower depreciation rates compared with gas-powered cars. As the demand for hybrid vehicle technology continues to climb, the hybrid’s value should remain high.

A new eco-friendly car owner can also expect great performance. While hybrid cars are typically smaller and have smaller engines, they produce excellent fuel economy. It is not unheard of for a hybrid with 250,000 miles on the engine to run like new.

If further incentive is needed to make the switch to a hybrid, consider this: The United States government provides federal tax credits to new owners of plug-in hybrids or electric cars.

It is clear that the environmental benefits and long-term savings stemmed from hybrid vehicle technology far outweigh the initial cost of hybrid vehicles. If the demand for these vehicles continues to rise, perhaps even that cost will come down as well.

Have a Green Wedding

10 Ways to Have an Eco-Friendly Green Wedding
 

 

Green weddings have become very popular over the past several years. With more people becoming aware of our environment and how the decisions we make impact our environment, many couples are choosing to incorporate eco-friendly ideas into their wedding plans. Here are ten tips to make your wedding more environmentally friendly.

1. Attire – For your wedding gown, bridesmaids’ dresses, groom and groomsmen attire think comfortable, loose, natural materials such as cotton or linen. Try to stay away from tuxedos, suits and dresses which will have to be dry cleaned. The chemicals in dry cleaning can damage the environment. If you can “reuse” a dress, do it! Try your mother or grandmother’s dress or shop at a vintage dress boutique.

2. Invitations – consider recycled materials, natural fibers, and unbleached paper. Another environmentally friendly option is to send invites via email. If that method is too informal for your affair, send invitations but consider not sending response cards, and have your invitations state to RSVP by phone or email. If you have many details to include with your invitations (such as directions) you may want to consider having a wedding website, and include the website address on your invites.

3. Flowers – a common misconception is that fake flowers are better for the environment. Consider how these faux beauties are produced; using glue and chemicals which are not environmentally friendly. Instead, plant wildflowers and freshly pick them for your day. If you prefer a more traditional look, purchase flowers from a local supplier or farm who can guarantee their flowers are pesticide-free and organically grown. Floral centerpieces can be small trees or plants which can be taken home by guests and cared for or planted.

4. Location / Setting – consider natural outdoor settings such as parks, nature preserves, botanical gardens, even private beaches. Check the local regulations for the area; some locations may require you to obtain a permit before your event. If you can not find an outdoor location for your wedding, schedule your wedding in the afternoon and find an indoor location with many windows which will allow natural light inside.

5. Menu – serve organic food and wine. Or perhaps a vegetarian or vegan menu. Organic food may be more costly, but it is better for the environment and healthier for your guests too. Serve dishes on reusable, washable plates, silverware and glasses.

6. Hire Classical Musicians – electricity can drain the environment too. Consider hiring a pianist, harpist, or other musicians which can play without the use of electric power.

7. Photography – have your photographer use digital photography and offer digital proofs. This way you can select which photos should be printed without having the photographer waste additional paper resources.

8. Transportation – arrange for car pools to get your guests to the wedding location. Consider being driven to the ceremony and reception in an eco-friendly hybrid car or horse drawn carriage.

9. Favors – give organic chocolates, wildflower seeds, or consider a donation to an eco-friendly charity. If you decide to give awedding favor, try to cut down on the packaging (it just produces waste) or purchase recycled boxes. You can also check out our selection of eco-friendly wedding favors.

10. Honeymoon – to cut down on fuel consider traveling to a local destination. If you must travel to a far away location stay at earth friendly hotels.

Have a Green Wedding

10 Ways to Have an Eco-Friendly Green Wedding
 

 

Green weddings have become very popular over the past several years. With more people becoming aware of our environment and how the decisions we make impact our environment, many couples are choosing to incorporate eco-friendly ideas into their wedding plans. Here are ten tips to make your wedding more environmentally friendly.

1. Attire – For your wedding gown, bridesmaids’ dresses, groom and groomsmen attire think comfortable, loose, natural materials such as cotton or linen. Try to stay away from tuxedos, suits and dresses which will have to be dry cleaned. The chemicals in dry cleaning can damage the environment. If you can “reuse” a dress, do it! Try your mother or grandmother’s dress or shop at a vintage dress boutique.

2. Invitations – consider recycled materials, natural fibers, and unbleached paper. Another environmentally friendly option is to send invites via email. If that method is too informal for your affair, send invitations but consider not sending response cards, and have your invitations state to RSVP by phone or email. If you have many details to include with your invitations (such as directions) you may want to consider having a wedding website, and include the website address on your invites.

3. Flowers – a common misconception is that fake flowers are better for the environment. Consider how these faux beauties are produced; using glue and chemicals which are not environmentally friendly. Instead, plant wildflowers and freshly pick them for your day. If you prefer a more traditional look, purchase flowers from a local supplier or farm who can guarantee their flowers are pesticide-free and organically grown. Floral centerpieces can be small trees or plants which can be taken home by guests and cared for or planted.

4. Location / Setting – consider natural outdoor settings such as parks, nature preserves, botanical gardens, even private beaches. Check the local regulations for the area; some locations may require you to obtain a permit before your event. If you can not find an outdoor location for your wedding, schedule your wedding in the afternoon and find an indoor location with many windows which will allow natural light inside.

5. Menu – serve organic food and wine. Or perhaps a vegetarian or vegan menu. Organic food may be more costly, but it is better for the environment and healthier for your guests too. Serve dishes on reusable, washable plates, silverware and glasses.

6. Hire Classical Musicians – electricity can drain the environment too. Consider hiring a pianist, harpist, or other musicians which can play without the use of electric power.

7. Photography – have your photographer use digital photography and offer digital proofs. This way you can select which photos should be printed without having the photographer waste additional paper resources.

8. Transportation – arrange for car pools to get your guests to the wedding location. Consider being driven to the ceremony and reception in an eco-friendly hybrid car or horse drawn carriage.

9. Favors – give organic chocolates, wildflower seeds, or consider a donation to an eco-friendly charity. If you decide to give awedding favor, try to cut down on the packaging (it just produces waste) or purchase recycled boxes. You can also check out our selection of eco-friendly wedding favors.

10. Honeymoon – to cut down on fuel consider traveling to a local destination. If you must travel to a far away location stay at earth friendly hotels.

Awesome Water Bottles

EcoUsable water bottles are the new eco-friendly alternative to using plastic water bottles. Affordable, taste-neutral (non-metalic taste), durable, lightweight, 100% recyclable, non-leaching, toxin-free, non-slip base. Each bottle you purchase comes with a loop cap, carabiner and a coordinating bottle wrap for a non-slip grip so you or your kids can keep track of your bottle. Bottles are available in a huge selection of colors and sizes ranging from 10oz to 33oz. EcoUsable is currently featuring exclusive designs only available from their store.

Safe Sunscreen

Before you start getting some rays on your skin this year, plan ahead and get yourself some environmentally friendly sunscreen in advance of the season. Summer is finally on its way, which means it’s a great time to get outdoors. To protect your skin from sun damage it’s important to use a good sunscreen. Here are some options made from organic and natural ingredients.

Green Beaver offers a range of suncreen for both adults and children, which are certified organic and free of chemicals. The lotions, which are unfortunately not available to US residents, have been approved by Health Canada. The company is also introducing a spray-on formula this spring.

Raw Elements, meanwhile, has their own line of natural sunscreen, available in a lotion as well as in a handy stick applicator that can even be applied underwater. Both products are made from USDA certified organic ingredients and are biodegradable.

If you’re looking for something a little higher end, John Masters Organics has an SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen available. Certified organic and cruelty-free, it uses titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to provide UVA and UVB protection, while green tea, shea butter and jojoba oil help keep skin moisturized.

Some easy ways on Going Green in the Office

  1. Add a few plants

    Real plants (not the waxy plastic ones) make the workplace more attractive and also help absorb indoor air pollution.  The cleaner office air is, the healthier your employees will be.

  2. Consider the environment before printing

    One organization, the Sierra Club, asserts that just one office employee uses 10,000 pieces of copy paper every year.  If you don’t have to print something, don’t!

  3. Let your computer sleep

    Most people have a screen saver set up.  But did you know that a screen saver uses extra energy when you step away from your desk?  You can fix this by changing your settings; choose to let your computer ‘hibernate’ or ‘sleep’ when you’ve walked away for 10 or more minutes.

  4. Turn off the lights

    Of course it’s not healthy to be working in the dark, but if you’ve got a meeting or are leaving for your lunch break, dim the lights before you leave.  Conserving when possible is very important.

  5. Use an electronic to-do list

    I’m definitely someone who loves to write out my tasks on paper and cross each out as I accomplish it.  However, there are plenty of ways to electronically achieve the same thing so that no paper is wasted.  Smartphones and computers can be set up with digitized to-do lists.