Caring for your car will help you and the environment

Pitch-in Canada has these tips for drivers.

Drive LESS – cars pollute and burn fossil fuels. The car is the most environmentally polluting form of transport invented. Use public transport, walk and bike.

Idle less – turn your car off if you’ll stop for more than one minute.

Check your tires – poorly-inflated tires can result in up to 10 per cent fuel loss. Radial tires are more fuel-efficient than cross-ply. Ask your dealer or local/regional solid waste coordinator about recycling old tires.

Check for leaks – leaky gaskets, radiators, crankcases, etc… drip millions of litres of oil, anti-freeze and other automotive toxins onto roads, parking lots and pavement – eventually draining into waterways.

Keep your car in tune – this will result in 5 per cent better fuel efficiency and cleaner emissions. Check-ups will also detect leaks and other pollution problems.

Change Oil – frequent oil changes with high-quality oil gives better mileage and a cleaner burning engine. Recycle – used oil and antifreeze should be recycled and NEVER poured down storm drains or “behind the garage”. Ask for and use non-toxic anti-freeze. Call your local/regional waste management officials for the location of a hazardous waste drop-off or oil recycling program. Avoid AC – air conditioners burn incredible amounts of gas and release 2.5 pounds of CFC’s into the atmosphere each year per vehicle. Buy a fuel efficient car – look for ratings exceeding 10 km per litre. Fuel efficiency means less potential oil spills and offshore drilling. Get a life out of your new car or buy reused – new cars are “good” for at least 10 years. Keep it and reduce the amount of resources used to buy a new one. There’s also nothing wrong with buying a used car. Just make sure it’s well-tuned and environmentally friendly. There are many more tips for those who are environmentally conscious on the Pitch-in website, including “green” gifts.

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Need help around the house? Eligible seniors 60+ can get help with laundry, meal preparation, running errands, chores at home, either inside or out, including yard work and heavy housework such as cleaning walls & ceilings and snow shovelling. There is flexibility in regard to the number of hours and times a week a client can request a worker. There is an hourly charge. This program requires advance registration. Community Care has a list of pre-screened workers that you can hire at reasonable rates.

Apply for this service by calling 613-476-7493 for more information.

-Debbie MacDonald Moynes