Hybrids are Happening

Hybrids are the current “it” car of the automotive industry. Why does this matter to you? For many of us, it’s almost that time—time to start thinking about what type of car we want. So why not make a choice that is not only stylish, but beneficial to the environment as well?

The distinguishing factor between a hybrid car and a traditional car is that a hybrid uses two or more power sources, unlike gasoline engines that strictly burn fossil fuels—mainly petroleum—to power their movement (Diesel Engines vs. Gasoline Engines). While hybrid cars still use gasoline, they get an average of 15 more miles per gallon. Better gas mileage means fewer fill-ups, which translates to money in your pocket from savings at the pump!

But the question remains: can hybrids actually help the environment? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, for every one hundred miles driven, hybrid cars emit 23.3 fewer pounds of pollution than traditional vehicles. Therefore, hybrid cars will be able to significantly reduce the carbon footprint for which the transportation sector is currently responsible.

If you still don’t think that a hybrid is for you, there are other ways you can get similar benefits. Walking and riding a bike are both options that would not only save you money, but would also help improve air quality.

Whether choosing the option of the newer, more innovative hybrid, or the option of simply walking, always remember that your actions have an affect on air quality—so choose wisely!

You can check out the Hybrid Cars website for more helpful information about hybrid cars. What are your thoughts? When it comes time to buy a car, would you consider a hybrid?

Resolutions to Make our World a Better Place in 2012

 

There are tons of resolutions out there with tips about self-improvement. But what about resolutions to improve our community? We hope this list helps you make 2012 your most environmentally-friendly year yet!

Go outside.

This one seems simple, but it’s an important first step in achieving your environmental goals. The more often people experience the beauty of nature, the more they want to protect it. Visit a farm, join a community garden, walk around your neighborhood, play a field sport, or watch a theater production on an outside stage.

Learn the other R’s.

You know them: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. In our efforts to recycle, we often forget to think about the other two. To reduce, think about cleaning out what you don’t need and donating extra items to a local charity. For reuse, try a DIY project with materials you have on hand for a birthday gift rather than buying a new present.

Make mindful transportation choices.

We’ve talked about how walking and biking help save our air, but how do we really commit to making meaningful change in a lifestyle choice as big as transportation? Take note of where you travel, how often you go and how you usually get there. Then think about alternatives. The more aware we are of our habits, the more power we have to change them.

Support Eco-fashion

More and more companies are beginning to consider how their production of clothing effects the environment. Dying for a new pair of jeans? Consider investing a pair that uses less water to make, such as Levi’s Water<Lessjeans. For sportswear, think about shopping at Patagonia’s reuse store on ebay, the Common Threads Initiative. Read clothing tags and online product descriptions to see if the materials used are organic. Ecouterre offers a list of eco-fashion predictions for 2012, along with some links to organizations already making a difference.

Join a green organization at your school.

Many high schools have clubs committed to saving the environment. If there isn’t a group you’re interested in, consider starting one. Organize a group to pick up litter, write letters to political leaders about the environmental topic you care about most, or start a carpool chain.

Help your parents make green choices at home.

Does your family compost? Shop local and organic? Eat vegetarian? Find a recipe that uses local ingredients and cook a “green” meal for your family. You can also attach a list of the recyclables your neighborhood collects on the fridge, or offer to take your bike somewhere rather than asking for a ride.

Keep educating yourself.

If you’re on this blog, you’ve already started learning about how young people can make a positive impact on the environment. The more you know about environmental issues, the more power you have to create change. Learn as much as you can through online research, reading books, watching documentaries, and talking to environmental sustainability professionals.

Share your green knowledge.

As you learn more about eco-friendly choices you can make, tell your friends!

Make a list of your own green resolutions.

Once you discover the topics you care most about, make a list of concrete goals that you can accomplish. (Example: I will ride my bike to school at least once a week.) This time next year, review your original list and see how far you’ve come. You may be surprised!

What “green” goals do you want to achieve in 2012?