How to Green your Garage

Every room in your house can be green. Being aware of our impact on the environment is an important way to go. Ecofriendly light bulbs, upcycling, water reduction and banning chemical opportunities can be found in every room – but what about your garage? How can you start a sustainability revolution in the coldest ‘room’ in your home?

Use a garage for what it was intended for … to house the car.

By keeping the car in garage for one day a week we lower our carbon footprint on the earth and reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses you produce. This takes organization, but you can:

  • Walk – great for the environment and great for the waistline too
  • Cadge a ride – meet up with friends and go together. See if you can fill a car and save on gas and parking fees. Take it in turns to drive for the week and watch the dollars you save mount up
  • Take a bus. Public transit is increasing in demand. Some buses now come equipped with a bike rack, and have ‘carpooling car parks’ pickups to easily reduce the need for personal vehicle use.
  • Cycle – oh yes, build up those leg muscles, skip the sweaty equipment in the gym, and get your exercise by riding your bike. They are much easier and cheaper to park and burn calories, rather than money.
  • Shop online – Ok, so why am I not saying ‘buy local’ – I am, but look at your local grocery store online and see if they do a delivery service. Many supermarkets are allowing you to book a two hour slot and they will deliver your groceries for a small charge. It’s like public transport for produce. And rather than take the car an hour away to the next town to pick up an item, check online and get it delivered to your home, or to the local store to reduce car use.
  • Work at home – telecommuting is gaining momentum. Staying at home and working virtually is fast creeping into every industry. Yes I know nursing may be an exception, but many medical services like x-ray interpretation is becoming a telecommuting job. An online x-ray can be viewed anywhere, so three hospitals could share the same medical staff and cut down on emissions at the same time.

Make your car more efficient

  • Did you know that driving with under inflated tires reduces your fuel efficiency? Check your tire pressure monthly when the tires are cold, and keep them up to the recommended inflation.
  • Service your car – Changing your oil filter is done automatically and keeps your engine running tickety boo, but is the same attention turned to your air filter? You air filter regulates the air in your fuel so it can ignite, if you have a dirty filter, less air gets through so you burn more gas.
  • Drive like your Grandad – Yes, I am suggesting you go slower. It saves on gas, so saves on emissions. Not only am I suggesting you go slower, I am also suggesting you accelerate less and use the brake less. By this I mean take your foot off the gas to slow down rather than brake, as opposed to not braking at all and totaling the car, and accelerate slowly and smoothly as possible. Remember less gas usage, means less emissions.

Detoxify your garage

Your garage is often a dumping ground for things you may need in the future, like old paint and weed killer. Make sure you dispose of it as recommended on the side of the can, or better still, buy earth friendly products in the first place.

Your garage can be a haven of green if you take the time to give it an environmental make over. Be savvy to the planet and give mother nature a helping hand, and you can lead the way with your ecofriendly car room!

Like what we’re doing? Want to share your story or tell others? Do you have a green business in Calgary and want to get in front of a large local audience? Let’s build a green community together!