The Green Car Footprint

Charging of an electric car

A look at the environmental, social and financial advantages of going green and driving lean

Perhaps you've considered buying a green car to be kinder to the environment and to do your part to protect its natural resources.  However, if you think the benefits of driving a green vehicle stop at saving the earth, think again. 

In this section, we outline some obvious and not-so-obvious advantages of going green...and driving lean.

Drive a green car and save the planet

There are a host of ecological benefits to owning and driving a green car.  To begin, green cars are more environmentally-friendly than their gasoline counterparts due in large part to reduced emissions.  Unlike conventional internal combustion engines, green cars emit less harmful chemicals into the air — chemicals that contribute to air pollution, ozone and smog.  By using alternative fuels, electric motors, and/or renewable energy sources such as hydrogen, green cars are less reliant on non-renewable energy sources such as fossil fuels which require millions of years to develop and are depleted faster than they're created. What's more, green car technology creates reduced amounts of, and less harmful types of, vehicle emissions. Not only are conventional car emissions, such as carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, harmful to our atmosphere, they also pose a health hazard if exposure levels are too high.

Green cars mean fewer fill-ups

Not only are green cars more fuel efficient, meaning fewer fill-ups and less money at the pump, there is also a correlation between the amount of carbon dioxide your car emits and the amount of fuel it uses.  Hence, the more carbon dioxide emissions, the lower its fuel efficiency, with some of the worst carbon dioxide emissions offenders getting as low as 11 to 14 miles per gallon. By contrast, green vehicles have zero to low emissions levels, requiring less fuel and ultimately, less fuel expense.

Green cars get tax credits

If you own a hybrid vehicle, you may be eligible for a tax credit.  The amount of the tax incentive depends on the type of hybrid you buy, so be sure to ask your dealer if the vehicle you're interested in purchasing qualifies.  You can also visit to see if your hybrid car is eligible for a tax credit.  Green car tax incentives may be phased out completely, so be sure to do your research to determine if tax credits apply to the vehicle you drive and if they do apply, when they might expire. 

Go green.  It's the right thing to do

In addition to obvious ecological and financial benefits, driving green cars has become increasingly popular from a social perspective.  Today, 'green' is a way of life, from the cars we drive to the homes we live in to the foods we eat.  The green movement has been accelerated by many high profile celebrities, politicians and philanthropists who have not only incorporated environmental causes into their public personas, but who also drive green cars as a testament to their environmental commitment.  As such, 'driving green' has become a very public and socially responsible way of life.

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