1 green thing: Cold weather snuck up on us

October 28, 2009

2009 Solar DecathlonBy Jan Herbert

Rockford Park District

Whether you were “green” before the color was fashionable or whether you’re just ready to find the “shade” that works best for you, here’s information about doing just “one green thing.”

It is not too late to get your car ready for winter. (I am still waiting for some nice fall days, how about you?)

Engine oil—Whether you have it done by someone else, or do it yourself, it is time to change to the recommended “winter weight.”

Antifreeze—OK, they are all “not good” for the environment, but when you get the radiator flushed, ask for a propylene glycol (PG) formula. It is less toxic to children, pets and wildlife.

Eliminate the summer items—Take off the roof rack (it hurts fuel mileage). In addition, you will want to get rid of the extra weight from coolers, picnic gear and other items.

University of Illinois' tidy lot mirrors its clean structural design at the U.S. Department of Energy Solor Decathlon 2009 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  Photo by Richard King/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

University of Illinois' tidy lot mirrors its clean structural design at the U.S. Department of Energy Solor Decathlon 2009 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Photo by Richard King/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Examine the tires—When tires show wear or are improperly inflated, it is bad for fuel economy, and they just are not safe for our wintery and slippery weather. It is best to get them inspected, rotated and balanced. Use that tire gauge monthly to check the pressure (unless, like me, your smart hybrid car tells you when tires need inflating!).

Do your car a favor, and get the garage ready as well. If you have been parking outside this summer, get rid of the aluminum cans and those bags of items for the local thrift store. In addition, be sure to get things up off the floor, to avoid the mess from the snow and ice as it melts from your car. Icky.

For more information, e-mail Jan Herbert at JanHerbert@RockfordParkdistrict.org.

From the October 28-November 3, 2009 issue

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>