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Go Green By Driving It 'Til The Wheels Fall Off
The environmental impacts begin with mineral extraction and the production of the raw materials that go into the parts of a car. For example, iron ore is converted into steel. Steel can be recycled, of course. On average,
today's automobiles are about 75 percent reyclable, and using recycled steel helps reduce energy use and pollution. Other metal components, such as aluminum and copper are also largely recycled. The lead and acid in batteries are poisonous and dangerous. But batteries can be recycled, if they are returned to a service station, a parts store, or brought to a municipal hazardous waste facility. Plastics, which are mostly made from petroleum, are more difficult to recycle. In any case, some degree of pollution is associated with all of these components, much of it due to the energy consumption, air pollution, and releases of toxic substances that occur when automobiles are manufactured and distributed.
The bottom line is that the motorist who extends the life of his car, through careful maintenance and usage may be doing more to help the environment than the average prius owner, but the former gets much less visibility and recognition for his contribution than the latter.
The purpose of this topic is to have a introduce a forum for discissing the environmental impact associated with vehicle production. While I'm not as knowledgeable as I'd like to be on this subject, for some time now I've thought about the fact that maybe not enough effort has gone into studying the environmental effects of auto manufacturing, compared with the effects of fuel consumption.