Going Green

  • What steps have you personally taken to be an environmental responsible person (if any)?

  • Since I created it, I’ll lead off…

    1.  Both of us drive VERY fuel efficient vehicles (Suzuki Aerios) that get better than 30 mpg
    2.  Recycling of the high value recyclables… glass, plastics, metals
    3.  I work for a company that re-refines millions of gallons of used oil every year, as well as spent solvents, hazardous wastes, etc.
    4.  Thermostat Settings.  In the summer it is mid 70’s here, in the winter, low 60’s.  Also we have an Energy Star compliant programmable thermostat to avoide heating/cooling when not needed
    5.  Storm Windows.  Windows are a killer for heat/AC loss.  Storm windows on all possible windows
    6.  Compact Fluros.  About half of the lighting in the house is low-watt Fluro instead of incandescent.

  • 1)relatively fuel-efficient vehical (Nissan Sentra)
    2)home recycling of recyclable materials
    3)introduced and maintainance of recycling program at our office
    4)seal windows in the fall to decrease heat-losses
    5)delayed purchase of air-conditioning system
    6)use a lower-than-average temperature on my thermostat (natural gas) (i.e. low 60’s) and supplement with electric heat in certain rooms - all timed.

  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    1.  Fuel Efficient Vehicles (2 2006 Toyota Matrixes, 2 WD not 4 for even better economy.)
    2.  Recycle, but that’s a moot issue since I have too or get hefty fines…so what’s the point in saying I would anyway?
    3.  I force my family to watch TV in the dark.  Screw ComEd.
    4.  What’s a heater?  If you’re cold, put on a bloody sweater and be happy about it.  Sheesh! 
    5.  Air Conditioner?  What’s that do?  I use 250 AC (2 windows down, 50 mph.)  And for the house, a 20" box fan is more then enough to make you feel 15 degrees cooler.  Don’t like it?  Well it’s your house, get naked!
    6.  If it’s yellow, let it mellow.  If it’s brown, flush it down!
    7.  I don’t kill spiders in my house, I catch them and put them in my flower garden. (it’s a small thing, I admit, but it’s still green!)
    8.  I am single handedly loosing the war on ants. (Hey, if I was winning, it wouldn’t be green!)
    9.  I plant a tree every year.

  • @Jennifer:

    2006 Toyota Matrixes,

    You have the more expensive Toyota version of what I am driving 🙂

  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    There’s slight improvements in the Matrix.

    Like my grandmother in law would only buy me a car if it was a toyota. 😛

    But the Aerio, Vibe, Mazda 3? (might be 5), Aveo, etc are all remakes of the Matrix.  Knock offs.  Even the Charger is.

  • But the Aveo is like a HALF sized version 🙂

    As for my “knock off”…
    Out the door lock-stock and barrel 14K even. 
    7 year, 100,000 mile warranty.

    And in 3 years I have only needed:
    2 tires (about to need 2 more)
    Oil changes
    Air Filter
    New keyless entry fob (they do not like solvent, being smashed by 55 gallon drums, or exsposed to Acetone vapor…).

    I will say this, be careful of buying Suzuki.  A number of their cars are actually NOT made by Suzuki, they just bear the name.  You can check by reading the data plate along the drivers door.  The breakdown and repair rate for the non-Suzuki vehicles is about 4 times hire than for the actual Suzukis (yes, I work with a LOT of dealerships).  Aerio and Vitara ARE Suzuki.  Most of their sedans are NOT.

  • 2007 AAR League

    If you realy wanna be environmentally friendly move to Iceland they are trying to become completely independent from fossil fuels.

  • With all the geothermal they have, should not be hard.

    Would be nice for Brazil to have company as an energy independent non-petroleum country.

  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Suzuki Aerio            Toyota Matrix

    Invoice                            $13,919.00              $14,114.00
    Vehicle Class                           Midsize Wagon Midsize Wagon
    Engine                                   2.3L 4 Cylinder   1.8L 4 Cylinder
    Drive                                     FWD               FWD
    Transmission                         5 speed Manual OD  5 speed Manual OD
    Fuel Capacity                         13.20 gallons           13.20 gallons
    MPG City                           25                       30
    MPG Highway                       31                   36

    Well, I hope that retains formating…

    Basically, while it is correct that the Aerio costs $195 less then the Toyota, what’s the added expense in Gasoline costing you?  The Aerios gets 83% the gas mileage of the Matrix in City driving and 14% the gas mileage on the highway. (Figures from Edmunds, confirmed by Car.com)

    Looks like mines the greener vehicle. 😛 spththt

  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    at some of my apartment buildings i have enrolled in the cities volunteer recycling program. A separate trash service comes and gets a container for plastics,glass,newpaper. I dont personally participate in this, but at least i offer it to tenants who may want to do this.

  • Matrix’s have come down in the past 3 years.  When I bought my Aerio they were in the high teens, loaded and with tax and junk fees they were $21K

    As for the fuel economy…
    Aerio’s have gone down since '03 as they have continued to increase the HP of the engine (notice that you are significantly over-powered by the Aerio).  I get 30 mpg doing a 2.4 mile commute, and over 40 on the highway, unless I am doing over 70 mph, then it drops off a bit (low 30’s if cruising at 80 mph)

    And lastly… how loaded is a Matrix at $14K?
    Mine had the whole shooting match except Automatic (that I did not want) and ABS (which I could not find one that had it).  So, power everything, AC, 6 disk CD, cruise…

    Glad to see that Toyota though has brought there version more in line with the pricing of comparable vehicles.

  • Prius baby 47.1 mpg currently
    Go out of my way to save all animals in my house
    Kept the pets I couldn’t find homes for when I see strays
    Help the recycling club at my school
    Bird Feeders
    Try and provide habitat in my backyard

  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    This is what the Matrix comes with, standard.  There are upgrades available.

    Aerodynamic multi-reflector halogen headlamps with Daytime Running Lights (DRL) 
    Integrated front fog lamps
    Color-keyed door handles, side rocker panels and power outside mirrors
    Washer-linked variable intermittent windshield wipers with mist cycle
    Intermittent rear window wiper
    All-Weather Guard Package
    Color-keyed front and rear underbody spoilers
    16-in. alloy wheels with P205/55R16 tires
    4-way adjustable front seats with fold-flat passenger seat 
    Fabric seat and front door trim with integrated armrests and dual front map pockets
    Fabric rear door trim
    60/40 split fold-down rear bench seat
    Driver’s seat vertical height adjuster
    Two 12V auxiliary power outlets
    115V auxiliary power outlet <===Another feature I love!  Don’t need an adapter for my laptop, just plug it into the dash!!!
    Cup holders (two front, two rear)
    Cruise control
    Power door locks with shift-activated locking feature  <====I love this, all doors unlock when I shift to park, they all lock when I leave park!
    Power windows and driver’s auto-down and retained-power features
    Heavy-duty rear window defogger
    Remote keyless entry system with lock, unlock and hatch-release features
    Stepless tilt steering wheel
    3-spoke steering wheel
    Optitron meters with speedometer, tachometer with LCD odometer, twin tripmeters and outside temperature gauge, coolant temperature and fuel level gauges 
    Airbag, seatbelt, low-fuel level, door-ajar, battery, check engine, oil pressure, brake and taillamp bulb failure warning lights, and Direct Tire Pressure Monitor System [6] warning lights (ABS and warning lights on ABS-equipped models)
    Oil (or scheduled maintenance) indicator light
    Defroster-linked CFC-free air conditioning with air filter
    JBL® AM/FM 6-disc in-dash CD changer with seven speakers
    Needle-punch carpeting with driver-side footrest
    Illuminated entry
    Day/night rearview mirror with mounted maplights
    Rear cargo track system with eight adjustable tie-down hooks and under-deck storage compartment
    Cargo nets (one side, one rear)
    Tonneau cover
    Driver front airbag and front passenger airbag with Advanced Airbag System
    Driver and front passenger front seat-mounted side airbags and front and rear side curtain airbags
    Engine immobilizer
    Front seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters
    3-point rear seatbelts for all positions
    Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with Traction Control (TRAC) and Brake Assist
    4-wheel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Direct Tire Pressure Monitor System
    Front and rear energy crumple zones
    Driver and front passenger 3-point seatbelts with adjustable shoulder anchors
    Automatic/Emergency Locking Retractors (ALR/ELR) for all front and rear passenger seatbelts; Emergency Locking Retractors (ELR) for driver seatbelt
    Side-impact door beams
    Energy-absorbing steering column
    Head-impact protection structure
    Child Restraint System (CRS) lower anchors and top tether anchors (LATCH)
    Child-protector rear door locks
    High-tensile-strength steel body panels

    Obviously those arn’t all “features” per se, but Toyota lists them as features anyway.

  • VERY similar…

    Though I do not have the cargo tie downs, the flat fold front passenger seat, tire pressure monitor, or the 110v plug.  The rest is a dead match (except that lock interlock thing… I have a 5-speed, so I NEVER shift into park.  Also, unlocking when shifting into park is NOT a good thing… carjackers existing and all…

    I do have smaller tires (185/55/R15), more horsepower, power mirrors, fog lamps, and the dash board (they changed it in newer models) is 100% LED.  And I have a better warranty 😄

    The options I did not get…
    Climate Control (I could only find ABS and Climate Control on the automatics, and I did NOT want an automatic)

    They do have one problem though, and it is with the automatics (Angel has an automatic)…
    It is only a 4 speed OD tranny.  And at high interstte speeds (80 mph) mileage drops into the upper 20’s due to high RPMs.  The automatic was dseigned as a local use vehicle.

  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    Well my paid off vehichle gets 28 city but I will get a hybrid when the ole VW gives up the ghost.

    I recycle the Aluminum (I’ve cut back my soda to the point I barely use any)
    I don’t get a newspaper (read someone else’s.)
    Keep the lights off I’m not using.
    I homebrew so I re-use my beer bottles as beer bottles.
    Use Star San instead of Iodophor.
    Don’t take drives for the heck of it. 
    Keep the thermostat at take the edge off settings.

    Not enough at all really.

    A farm is looking pretty good to me these days. Lots of room to get a windmill


    grow some things (my own hops for starters.)

  • You know, I was looking at wind power for years when I had my farm, but I cannot in this subdivision.

    I think the main theings that most of us can do are pretty cheap and easy…
    We are conscious of our fuel usage, and work to reduce the miles driven
    We take care of and upgrade our homes so that we lose let heat/cooling because of poor insulation and windows, and we use efficient HVAC units
    We recycle the materials that are cost effective:  metals and glass
    We reduce the amount of waste we produce by buying in bulk reducing packaging, etc.
    We reduce power usage by turning off lights, TV’s, computers when not in use as well as usign compact fluros.
    Compost organic matter insted of having it hauled off (grass clippings, sticks, vegetable waste, etc.)

    Some of the other things that we can do…
    Disposable diapers… talk about a nightmare… megatons of raw human waste being put in landfills, as well as synthetic materials taht do not break down.  2% of all landfill mass are DIAPERS.  Use a diaper service, or wash your own!
    Disposable Razors.  All that non-biodegradable, petroleum based plastic.  Just buy a razor and replacement blades.  Waste reduction:  95%

    And then the simple lifestyle thigns that add up…
    Carry your coffee in a thermos instead of buying it or getting it at work in a disposable cup (saves a TON of money too)
    Use re-usable containers for carryign lunch instead of disposable bags, or worse yet fast food packaging.

  • -Drive a standard vehicle. 
    -Bike/walk a lot (last time I got gas - didn’t even fill up - was late August)
    -Use low watt fluorescents
    -cloth diapers (seemed unreasonable at first, but it gets simple after a while)

    • keep furnace and ac off until i can’t bear it, then turn it as low as possible
    • I reuse plastic containers at my grocery, reuse plastic bags/ use canvas bags
      -Covered the windows with plastic (from an old tarp  😉) for less heat exchange


    I homebrew so I re-use my beer bottles as beer bottles.

    I find Grolsch bottles to be perfect, with their stoppers, even though brown bottles are preferred to green (but the beer isn’t bad, either!)

  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    I go 80 all the time and average in the low 30’s MPG, no real drop from what’s advertised.  (You have to bear in mind the testing is erronious, it’s got design flaws form the 70’s so we’re talking about an 18% difference off the lot from demonstrated and advertised.  You can read about it on Consumer Report’s magazine and online at their webpage, if you wnat to buy a membership.  I’m sure there’s also articles on Google.)

    But that power plug is great.  Got me a minifridge and a laptop in the car.

  • @Jennifer:

    But that power plug is great.  Got me a minifridge and a laptop in the car.

    LOL @ that with topic in mind…

  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator



    Solar Powered, Portable Pattery with standard American power recepticles installed.

    These things work great for charging Cell Phones or for that matter any battery.  I’ve never used it on a continual basis, but hey, it’s free energy for a modest investment, and when the Libs get back in power, and the Terror comes back to the states, at least you’ll have some power when the power plants blow up!

    BTW, Hybreds are more expensive then they save you in gas, just in dollar sale cost.  That’s not including such silly things as battery replacements every 7 years, extra parts to break/wear out over time…etc.

    Though, as i said, I almost got the Prius, it was just too hard to get any decent visibility out of the thing…guess that’s why the Federal Government requires all Prius’ sold in the United States that are model year 2006 or later to be outfitted with rear facing CCTV systems so the drivers can actually SEE something out the back.

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