These days, green is the way to be. It’s been a few decades in the making, but rigorous scientific research and data have persuaded most of us that our actions and product choices have real consequences for the world around us. From recycling to composting to reducing emissions, we are slowly but surely taking action and making headway. In addition to reducing emissions and increasing fuel efficiency, the automotive industry is responding to global warming with environmentally friendly cleaning products. A good cleaner can be hard to find, but a growing number of green car care products are hitting the market — and they’re worth looking into.
Making the choice to buy green car care products isn’t only good for the environment. It’s good for human health, too. We’ve learned a lot in the last century about the harmful effects of dangerous chemicals. As a result, there’s a push for consumers to buy eco-friendly products. The U.S. government has also passed policy and regulations that require companies to limit or completely dispose of harmful substances altogether. This has led to research and development teams producing more sustainable and harmless yet effective products. Of course, there are still hazardous chemicals floating around out there, but that’s where buying choice comes in, and where you should pay attention. You may know not to ingest that spray, but will children or pets?
What to Look For
The green market is a competitive one, especially as the auto industry moves closer to embracing environmentalism. However, it isn’t always clear which products are actually environmentally friendly. Many companies attempt to capitalize on the green trend by changing their branding but not their product. This phenomenon is known as greenwashing, and can make striving to buy green products a headache. Look for descriptions like “non-toxic,” “biodegradable” and “non-hazardous.” These labels indicate that the product can be used in close range of people and animals, but they also won’t adversely affect the planet. “Organic” is fine, but the label itself doesn’t actually say much about the eco-friendliness of the product. Some brands deliberately tout their status as child or pet-friendly, which is helpful. However, there will always be false advertising trying to jump on the bandwagon and make a buck, so read labels carefully, even if there’s a nice picture of a plant on the front. If in doubt about an ingredient, look it up yourself.
Do Your Part
So you’ve switched your car care arsenal for maximum eco-friendliness. Good for you! Now take it a step further and adopt practices in line with that. For instance, one major concern when it comes to environmental contamination is water supply. Some water receives more intense sanitization when it’s recycled than others. Water from toilets is sanitized more than water from storm drains, for example. If you’re washing your car outside, park it on softer, more permeable ground to limit runoff. On that note, conserve water! Instead of using a hose the whole time, fill a couple of buckets, turn the water off and choose reusable microfiber towels to get the job done.
Remember, what’s good for the environment is good for you too. With all the recent advancements and current focus on sustainability, there’s no good reason not to make the extra effort.
Check out all the chemical products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on green car care products, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.
Blair Lampe is a New York-based professional mechanic, blogger, theater technician, and speechwriter. In her downtime she enjoys backpacking wherever her boots will carry her, rock climbing, experimental theatre, a crisp rosé , and showering love on her 2001 Sierra truck.