How clean and green is your vehicle?
July 03, 2008
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching the SmartWay Leaf Campaign to encourage consumers to purchase SmartWay-certified cars and trucks. SmartWay is an innovative partnership among government, businesses, and consumers designed to protect the environment, cut fuel consumption, and improve air quality while reducing greenhouse gases. Roughly 20 percent of all vehicles -- covering a wide variety of makes and models -- qualify as clean and green enough to be SmartWay-certified.

The Environmental Protection Agency has posted a Green Vehicle Guide. By filling in a form with the name of the state of purchase and the year, make and model of the car, a person is able to find out how it scores in emissions and fuel efficiency and even make comparisons.

SmartWay-certified vehicles are the best environmental performers, as measured by a combination of their emission levels of greenhouse gases, hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides, and other pollutants. The EPA says that if every light duty vehicle in the country were SmartWay-certified, carbon dioxide emissions would decrease by about 214 billion pounds annually. The EPA says that's equivalent to the emissions from nearly 20 million vehicles each year.

The EPA has also made suggestions on what drivers can do to cut down on fuel use. These include maintaining a reasonable speed and avoiding rapid accelerations and braking. Vehicles should be well-maintained with properly inflated tires and clean air filters.

As a no-brainer, they also suggest decreasing vehicle use by walking or biking, combining errands into one trip, and using public transportation where available. The rising cost of fuel eventually will force carrying out these suggestions. They will be Poorman's way of protecting the environment. His old clunker will be left at home.

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