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March 17, 2009

Go Green with AskPatty for St. Patrick's Day!

AskPattylogoStPaddys Happy St. Patrick's Day! While many people might celebrate the Irish Saint's special day with a mug full of green beer, at AskPatty, we encourage our readers to go green in a different and more responsible way: By going green and ecofriendly in their car! At, we recognize our responsibility to the world around us and are continually striving to reduce our environmental impact, both through the products we promote and through our own on-site processes.

What can you do to be more eco-friendly in the car?

  • Keep your tires properly inflated. Driving with your tires at the proper inflation can improve your efficiency by up to 3%. That's a savings of $30 to $70 depending on how much you drive, and can reduce greenhouse gasses by 1.42% to 0.69 percent. Under-inflated tires alone cost the country more than $3.5 million gallons of gasoline each day.
  • Observe the speed limit. As a general rule, assume that each On average, every one mph increase over 50 mph reduces your fuel mileage by .1 miles per gallon. That's one mile per gallon less for every 10 mph over the speed limit you drive. Depending on your driving style and how fast you drive, you could waste 20 to 70 cents per gallon.
  • GreenButton_-_125x125 Relax. Avoid hard or "jackrabbit" starts and stops. Aggressive driving can reduce your gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city.
  • Reduce excess vehicle weight. Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your trunk. Each 100 pounds can reduce your economy by 2%
  • Keep your car properly tuned. A well-tuned car can run 4% more efficiently than one that is out or tune or has failed its emissions test.
  • Check and replace air filters regularly. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your fuel economy by as much as 10%
  • Don't idle. Idling for just 10 minutes per day can waste as much as 22 gallons per year. At $3.00 a gallon, that's $66 in your pocket.

Yokohama_green_trees And here's another thought: Even though your tires are black, that doesn't mean your car can't also have "green" shoes. In fact "As more green tires come on the road, the amount of fuel and pollution savings could be staggering," says Martin Harvey, Dow Corning global market leader, Materials Manufacturing Industries. "Wider use of green tires could save millions of barrels of oil per year and would also reduce carbon dioxide emissions significantly."

Here are some especially ecofriendly tire stories that focus on ways to make those black tires "green":

Yokohama_eco_trendsetters It seems that Yokohama Rubber Company is quite active in green technology R&D, not just in improving the environmental impact of using its tires, but also in how these products are built.  Its Environmentally Conscious Designs initiative seeks to help combat global warming through increased resource recycling, reduced energy consumption in manufacturing, while still improving products safety and comfort. On top of that, Yokohama gets kudos for its ongoing green efforts,  including its announcement that the company plans to plant 500,00 trees at 18 of its facilities over the next 10 years. Yokohama has also launched an online green social network, Eco Treadsetters,  that offers daily green news and forums.

Additionally, in 2009, Yokohama Tire Corporation will introduce a motorsports first: the series-wide use of environmentally-friendly orange-oil-infused race tires "The orange oil technology is extremely exciting for our race program; reducing petroleum inputs by approximately 10 percent and increasing recyclability while maintaining the high-performance levels of previous race slick compounds," said Mark Chung, director, corporate strategy and planning.

Green_tire_art Dow Corning is researching the use of silicon to create more energy-efficient "green" tires. In the 1990s, tire engineers discovered that if they used silane-treated silica instead of carbon black as a reinforcing filler in tread compounds, tire rolling resistance was reduced. The tires also gripped better on slippery roads. Studies have shown that silica-reinforced "green" tires can reduce tire rolling resistance by up to 20 percent, which can reduce vehicle fuel requirements by as much as 5 percent. Additionally, Dow Corning claims these silica-reinforced tires are more resilient than traditional tires, giving them better traction on wet and icy surfaces and reduced stopping distances by as much as 15 percent.

Modern Tire Dealer has an article on the benefits of low-rolling resistance tires, identifying them as the green tire trend of choice, and highlights three manufacturers whose tires help save fuel because they roll more freely than previous tires.

Green_bibendum Who doesn't love the Michelin Man? As the official spokesblob for Michelin,  good old Bibendum (as he is officially named) has also gone green as he promotes the company's new line of tires meant to help reduce fuel use. Michelin's new HydroEdge tires claim to last up to 33,000 miles longer than other tires, thanks to  "MaxTouch Construction," which boasts a unique contact patch shape that evenly distributes the forces of acceleration, braking, and cornering. Claiming they are "The Most Fuel-Efficient Tire in the Category," Michelin promises these tires' silica-based compound and wide center-groove design deliver excellent fuel efficiency by requiring less effort from your engine, and braking up to 14 feet shorter than the competition.

Green_tire_tread_by_xpsquid_at_morguefile.com_archive_display_207426 Did you know that there are still companies out there that will retread tires?  According to Rich Gostenik, owner of Green Diamond Tire-West in Colorado, Green Diamond Tires "were 'green' well before green was 'in.' For each Green Diamond Tire that we build, there is one less tire casing clogging a landfill." And, depending on tire size, a Green Diamond retread "saves between three and nine gallons of petroleum" in its production, and a "single set of Green Diamond light-truck tires saves more than a barrel of oil in manufacture," he said.

Bridgestone is making its racing tires green too!  The tire company has confirmed that, instead of a white line, it will visibly distinguish its softest racing slicks at Grand Prix this year by painting GREEN circles around the edges of the sidewalls. "The green colour has been chosen to show Bridgestone's continued support of the FIA's Make Cars Green campaign," the Japanese manufacturer explained in a statement.

Green-gift-box According to WIkipedia  "Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated worldwide by the those of Irish descent and increasingly by non-Irish people (usually in New Zealand, Australia, and North America). Celebrations are generally themed around all things Irish and, by association, the color green. Both Christians and non-Christians celebrate the secular version of the holiday by wearing green, eating Irish food and/or green foods, imbibing Irish drink (such as Irish stout, Irish Whiskey or Irish Cream), and attending parades."

So regardless of how you celebrate the day, we hope you enjoyed this alternate, tire-related twist on another way to go green for St. Patrick's Day!

Jody-devere_president_askpatty Jody DeVere
President and CEO

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