Save the Environment – and Reap the Rewards - Tire Review Magazine

Save the Environment – and Reap the Rewards

The green trend is red hotamong consumers. Most every major auto manufacturer now offers a hybrid model,Wal-Mart stocks its shelves with organic products, and San Francisco recentlybecame the first city in the country to ban plastic grocery bags.

Saving the environment is nolonger exclusive to "tree huggers." Average Americans are beginningto understand how their everyday actions greatly affect planet Earth.

But how much of a differencecan your dealership make? A big one, say owners who’ve taken up the cause. Youdon’t have to change your business model or donate all your profits to theSierra Club to be effective. There are simple and affordable ways to go greenin your business.

• Consider alternativeenergy sources – Geothermal systems in new construction, while initiallyexpensive, can save thousands upon thousands in the long haul. A solarpanel-driven electrical system can provide reliable electricity at a fractionof what public utilities charge.

• Insulate – Older buildingsin particular may be costing you in heating/cooling dollars. Insulate outerwalls and bay doors. Seal gaps between walls and door and window jambs, or anyother exterior opening. Consider new energy-efficient windows.

• Reuse/recycle – Leavingless of a footprint can be as simple as recycling soda cans or waste paper andcardboard or old phone books and catalogs or scrap metal from take-off parts(scrap metal brokers will pay you for your recycled metals) or as complicatedas buying recycled paper to use in the shop. And let’s not forget disposal ofwaste vehicle fluids, batteries and filters.

• Kill fewer trees – Switchpaper direct mail campaigns over to e-mail campaigns. Build a Web site that canserve as your primary advertisement, with locations, business hours, specialsand coupons – the sky is the limit because cyberspace – unlike paper – isunlimited.

• Plant a tree – In fact,plant many in your trade area by tying in with local community groups – thescouts, garden clubs, school groups, local parks departments – and donatesaplings they can plant around town. If possible, spruce up your own lot with afew well-placed trees.

– Courtesy of the NationalFederation of Independent Businesses. For more information on this topic, visitwww.nfib.com.

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