January 12, 2007, Newsletter Issue #30: Buying Green Vehicles

Tip of the Week

Even if you're not ready for a hybrid car, if you are purchasing a new vehicle there are some ecological points to be aware of. When buying a car:

• Look for a car with the best fuel economy possible. The car will use less gasoline – which is not only good for the environment (as there is a proven relationship between fuel economy and global warming), but good for the wallet as well.
• Look for a car with an excellent air pollution score. The air pollution score deals with the pollutants from the vehicle that produce smog and air pollution; the score is from 0 to 10, with 10 being the best.
• Check the car's greenhouse gas score. Like the air pollution score, it is on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the best. The greenhouse gas score measures the car's exhaust emissions of carbon dioxide.
• Buy a car with the US EPA “SmartWay” certification. A car receives a SmartWay certification if the combined total of their greenhouse gas score and their air pollution score is 13 or higher. The “SmartWay Elite” designation is given to cars that have a 9 or higher on both the greenhouse gas score and the air pollution score.

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