Green living extends to areas that might not occur to you at first. Things like heating your home or switching to solar panels for electricity are obvious choices. What about the less obvious solutions like green auto repair?
A proper eco-friendly autobody shop follows standards such as using biodegradable cleaners and maintaining a clean work area to keep from polluting the water supply. Improper disposal of chemicals is a common problem with these establishments. We can all do our part by taking responsibility and finding a repair shop that cares about its customers and the earth.
Ways to Find a Green Business
The first step is to find a garage that is environmentally responsible. Go online and do a web search using the name of your town. For example, “green auto body Rockville, MD” suggests a good direction where you have some proper sources. There are forums that list names of franchised green businesses as well.
Check with environmental awareness organizations in your area for recommendations on body shops. Many perform regular checkups on these businesses to ensure they follow certain environmental standards. Ask at recycling plants for a list of companies that donate to them regularly.
What to Look for in an Environmentally Safe Business?There are a number of key indicators that an autobody shop is green and friendly. Going to the office and asking a few questions might tell you everything you need to know.
What metal recycling plant do you use? – They probably provide scraps to more than one local plant. Donating metal waste means less ends up in landfills, or worse the side of some road, and reduces the need for metal excavations.
- Do you recycle Freon? A proper company will capture Freon to prevent it from escaping into the atmosphere.
- What offsite recyclers pick up tires, batteries and other waste material to keep them out of landfills? As with metal scrap, these components end up in landfills where they pollute the soil.
- How do you handle wastewater? A green establishment will have an onsite filtering tank that separates oil and debris to leave clean water that can go safely into the city storm drains.
- Do you repurpose glass products? Instead of throwing out a windshield, the glass can be refashioned for another car.
While there, take the time to look around the garage. What you see will tell you a lot about the character of the employees. The floors should be relatively clean. Rainwater hitting the cement surfaces carries oil and chemicals into the nearby soil. A friendly garage continually cleans the floor to prevent this run off.
Look out back at the dumpster area, as well. You should see cardboard separated out for recycling. There will be pick up sites for recycled material and storage barrels for oil and other fluids.
Living green means going a step further to help the earth. Consumers can help by supporting businesses that go the extra mile to recycle, repurpose and properly dispose of their waste.