Vehicles

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Jordan Jordan
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Vehicles

Any suggestions on zero (or minimal) waste regarding vehicles? We live in an area where a car is absolutely necessary...therefore oil changes, washer fluid, etc. etc. all come into play. Suggestions on how to reduce waste in this area would be wonderful!
Jay Jay
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Excellent question!
The obvious include prudent driving habits, recycling oil, tires, and making your own windshield washing solution. A caveat regarding the last is to beware of what could eat up rubber in the system (e.g., acids), and what might freeze in the winter. Both lead to costly repairs. Also, we use a mild, biodegradable dish detergent to wash our car, [gasp] never wax;, and use a microfiber cloth & water to clean glass as well as wipe down condensation. Seldom need to resort to the windshield washer. Clearly your climate, where you can park your car, etc. come into play.... Our vehicles are both over 10 years old, looking good and going strong!
Also. as a matter of principle, I patronize a local, reliable mechanic as much as possible, AND I do follow industry recommendations regarding oil changing, antifreeze, so forth. To not do so, IMHO risks shortening the life of your vehicle, which is really wasteful.

Hope others have more specific ideas.
Gary Gary
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I like to buy windshield washer fluids, anti-freeze, car cleaners, etc from estate sales.  Make sure that the seal is intact, so that you know its unused.
jo jo
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In reply to this post by Jordan
The absolute best way to REDUCE WASTE in operating an automobile -- and this goes GLOBAL so watch out for the whoosh -- is by using BIOFUELS.

E-85, which is 85% ethanol, if you operate a gasoline-powered machine; or biodiesel, which is often made from used cooking oils, if you operate a diesel machine,

Vehicles are being manufactured "flex-fuel" these days, which means one can run on E-85.

Many vehicles can be quite easily retro-fitted with an E-85 conversion kit, and it's a simple enough procedure. I have a 12-year-old high-end car which I converted four years ago. Simple, fast, no problems, and I LOVE knowing I am running on almost completely RENEWABLE LOCAL FUEL.

Spread the word, please. BIOFUELS.

Colorado leads the nation in biofuels.
Scott Scott
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I prefer biofuels that are made from waste stocks (such as the biodiesel made from used cooking oils).  I believe that there is a real downside to using biofuels made directly from corn / food stocks, in that they are fuel intensive crops in their production (fertilizer, harvesting, etc.).  There are plenty of online sources that describe the downsides to those types of biofuels...

Another interesting alternative: electric vehicles...but again, the advantages depend on the electric grid in your area (see this article from the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/04/13/automobiles/Sorting-Out-the-Power-Grid.html?hp)
Paula Paula
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In reply to this post by Jordan
I wanted to tell you about something wonderful that's working for me.

I have a Nissan Leaf -- It's a 100% electric car.

 It has no emissions, no tail pipe, no oil.  It runs using an electric motor powered by a battery which is charged by a 220 volt charger in my garage (installed when I bought this car). It does have washer fluid, but no other fluid that either I put in or pay to have put in or leaks out, including and especially, no gasoline.

For $3.50 in electricity (the electricity in my area is about 10 cents per kilowat hour) I can charge it to travel 100 miles. This is equivalent, financially, to getting 100 miles "per gallon" with the current cost of gasoline.

I can't take this car on a long trip, but I can use it all around town, which is most of the driving I do. We have another car (actually, a Toyota Prius) if we need to go far away.

I am saving for solar panels to provide electricity for my home. When I get them, my car will be "running on sunshine" rather than the combination of coal and methane gas produced by landfills, that now creates the electricity in my city that powers my car.

These cars have only been available in most US areas this year. But, as one of the first in my area to own one, I can say that I love being able to never stop for gas, and to just plug my car into my own cosy garage, and not have to pay for gasoline, imported from distant countries (who seemingly hate our presence in their countries anyway), at exorbitant costs in all ways... I love driving with no emissions coming from my car. I love that people have invented this car, and it is really a beautiful car. It's certainly the best one I've ever owned.

Also, all interior plastic is recycled, including the cloth seat covers, made from #1 plastic bottles...  The interior dash lights and LED headlights are powered by a 12-volt battery which is charged from a solar panel on the roof of the car, and it comes with cloth "recycling" bags in the trunk of the new car, which I use as grocery bags. :)

This car is made for people who care about reducing waste, and I feel really good about driving it.

Claire Claire
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Bonjour,

Voilà le point fait par mon mari sur notre véhicule électrique.

"J'ai une Zoé Zen depuis 6 mois maintenant et 9000 Km.

Les voitures électriques c'est pour la ville et les bobo parait-il ...
Hier, départ mon domicile deRochefort du Gard, boulot à Avignon Sud, visite chez un client à Carpentras, retour à mon domicile. Un peu plus de 100 kilomètres et 90% de batterie restante à l'arrivée  :D
J'ai un secret ...
Bon allez je vous le dis, petit arrêt chez Ikéa Avignon Nord, environ 20 minutes, et recharge à 43KW et un petit gâteau au chocolat en attendant.
J'ai eu juste un problème, je n'arrivais plus à partir, c'était l'attroupement autour de la Zoé, tout le monde venait me demander des renseignements, ça ne m'était jamais arrivé à la pompe à gasoil...

En 2009 j'ai consommé 8500 Kw chez EDF, en 2010 8000 Kw, en 2011 7300 Kw, en 2012 6700 Kw en 2013 je vais finir à 6100 Kw maximum malgré les 9000 Km en Zoé.
Je produis environ 2300 Kw avec mes panneaux photovoltaïques, donc je ne vais consommer net que 3800 Kw en 2013.
J'ai un secret ...
Bon allez je vous le dis, j'ai coupé mes P.... de convecteurs électriques, j'ai remplacé mon insert par un fourneau à bois tip top, j'ai installé un chauffe-eau solaire.
Chez moi il fait 22° en bas, 19° à l'étage, je consomme 5 stères de bois par an.

Cette année le coût de mon énergie va être d'environ - 225 € (le - ce n'est pas une faute de frappe, le coût est négatif)
J'ai un secret ...
Bon allez je vous le dis, 1350 € facturés à EDF pour ma production photovoltaïque, moins 750 € que EDF me facture pour ma consommation, moins 375 € pour mes 5 stères de bois.
Soit un petit bénéfice de 225 € (Je n'ai pas fais tout ça pour l'argent, je tiens à le préciser ...)

Hier soir je me suis dit :
La France fait 1000 Km x 1000 Km si on installait une borne de recharge rapide 22KW tous les 10 km il en faudrait 100 x 100 soit 10 000.
Dans les villes il en faut beaucoup plus, OK, alors je vous en propose 50 000. ça devrait le faire non ?
Le prix d'une borne installée, aucune idée, je pense qu'avec 10 000€ on doit quand même s'en sortir à l'aise non ?
Donc l'investissement : 50 000 x 10 000 = 500 Millions €
J'ai regardé sur Google, en France, on consomme environ 50 Millions de M3 de carburant par an, soit 50 Milliards de litres.
Vous savez quoi ? il suffit d'une taxe de 1 centime d'euro par litre d'essence pour financer l'investissement, boulversifiant non ???

Bien sur, les esprits grincheux vont me dire, si 50 000 voitures rechargent en même temps à 22 Kw tout pète ...
50 000 x 22 ça fait 1,1 Gw ça ne représente même pas une tranche de notre merveilleux EPR en construction
Bon d'accord faudra attendre qu'il fonctionne, la je n'ai pas de secret.

Voila."
Je vous souhaite à tous de bonnes fêtes de fin d'année.
Et j'aimerais tellement, que beaucoup plus de personnes connaissent le calme et le bonheur de rouler en Zoé l'année prochaine.
Trish Trish
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In reply to this post by Gary
Love this!  I usually shop the sewing rooms at estate sales, but I guess it's time to check the garages.  I agree with Jay ( above) that caring for your old car and extending its life is probably the least wasteful.  Our cars are 13 and 15 years old and we maintain them regularly.  I also agree with Scott (below) that retrofitting for biofuels is only good if you are running on biodiesel made from recycled oils.  

claire44 claire44
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In reply to this post by Claire
J'adore.

Bravo.

Pour ma maison, je vais installer le même type d'équipement (sauf les panneaux photovoltaique, pb de budget). Je n'aurais donc pas une consommation négative, mis j'espère bien me passer de mes radiateurs.

Pour la voiture, j'y ai beaucoup réfléchi, mais le problème d'autonomie m'a retenu. Je travaille à la campagne et il n'y a pas de magasin ikéa sur ma route. Le calcul que vous faite m'assomme ! Il y le lobbying pétrolier qui ne doit pas être trop d'accord pour installer des bornes de recharge ! Peut être un jour le monde changera.
Claire44
Erica Erica
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In reply to this post by Jay
How do you make a safe washer fluid? any ideas?
Jay Jay
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Actually, no. We're *still* using a jug from years ago. I very, very seldom use because of sheltered parking, etc. Would be interested to hear any ideas though.
coldswim coldswim
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In reply to this post by Claire
"This car is made for people who care about reducing waste, and I feel really good about driving it."

It also sounds like a car that is made  for people who have garages, which moves it into exclusionary territory. Where and how do you charge it if you don't have a place to store a battery (or whatever it runs on)?  It's a luxury in a large city to have a driveway, let alone a garage.   I have a house with an attached garage (although it's very small, that is the way they were built or even tacked on prewar), but I know plenty of people where I live who have condos or apartments (and even single family homes) without a garage or even off-street parking.  
blancmama1 blancmama1
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We settled on buying a used hybrid for flexibility, and my husband drives a moped on days with good weather. It requires very little maintenance. You can always find solutions that are more zero waste, like bicycling with a used bike or taking the bus that is already running. Personal choice.

As for the safe washer fluid, I found a DIY option but haven't tried it yet. Looking forward to trying it though.

http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2015/04/make-your-own-cheaper-greener-windshield-washer-fluid.html

"This car is made for people who care about reducing waste, and I feel really good about driving it."

It also sounds like a car that is made  for people who have garages, which moves it into exclusionary territory. Where and how do you charge it if you don't have a place to store a battery (or whatever it runs on)?  It's a luxury in a large city to have a driveway, let alone a garage.   I have a house with an attached garage (although it's very small, that is the way they were built or even tacked on prewar), but I know plenty of people where I live who have condos or apartments (and even single family homes) without a garage or even off-street parking.  


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Catherine Sultana Catherine Sultana
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In our community the Library and Goodwill stores have charging parking spots for these electric cars.

So happy for early adapters and inventors, now to figure out how to bring them to the masses.

Incidentally, our downtown parking is either pay a substantial amount and scarce spots in the lower price range or figure out how to take the bus. Roundtrip on bus is slightly more than hourly parking rate...so there is our tipping point (always about the pocket change, isn't it?)

I like the moped idea, I wonder if they can ride on the bus racks? Have been saving for a motorized bicycle.

We also have the little hour cars (smaller than the old VW bug). But those seem randomly placed around town...Personal transit is fairly tricky everywhere but compounded by 4 seasons (one with blizzards and the rest with unpredictable rainstorms).
 
Eitnier_86 Eitnier_86
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In reply to this post by Jordan
I think electric cars are quite good as they are eco friendly. Moreover these cars require low maintenance which is another positive point of owning an EC. I have been reading the Electric car buyers guide these days and quite impressed with their features.
coldswim coldswim
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In reply to this post by Claire
Electric cars that require charging and can't be charged outside a private propertarian's garage aren't helpful for the masses who don't own garages.  So what difference will the small  cohort of "Leaf" driving people make if it's required that you own a garage to run your car?  It sounds bourgeois as fuck.
coldswim coldswim
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Costs to consumers? Or are you thinking only of the bourgeoisie who can afford this stuff?  People are going to be driving gas-powered cars for a long time if they can't afford electric cars.  

Electric cars should be free.  Just nationalize the fucking companies and give them away.