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Why go green?

Well, it is hard to avoid news about the environment these days and more often than not, it is not good news. Melting ice caps, global warming and the cutting down of virgin rain forests all contribute to a gloomy picture. Whatever your view on the evidence, climate change has led governments to adopt some pretty strict targets for the likes of CO2 reduction and that means the government wants to motivate you too. Buying a more efficient car will save you money on road tax, for example and installing solar energy panels attracts healthy incentives also. But there are plenty of more basic ways you can do your bit for the environment and stand to save money whilst doing so.

Thrifty is green

You have probably thought about buying food with less packaging and eating local produce to reduce your carbon footprint, but buying second hand non-food items is also good practice. Every time something is produced, it requires energy to build, uses up resources and takes fuel to transport to the shop. If you buy second hand goods, all of those things have already happened, so the product effectively has a zero carbon footprint. Before you make any purchase you should think about buying second hand. Try having a look at sites like Gumtree, Craigslist or eBay. You could land a great bargain and you will also be helping the environment.

Turn your wheels green

Motoring is an area that certainly attracts a lot of attention. The government penalises more polluting cars with more expensive road tax and promotes electric and hybrid vehicles. The truth is that electric vehicles are hampered by short ranges and hybrids have barely better mileage than economical diesels. They also have extremely nasty chemicals in their batteries and they are very resource intensive to produce and dispose of. Instead, use our system of buying second hand to purchase a simple and efficient diesel. Car-pooling isn’t new, but it could halve your fuel costs overnight and that is something you won’t be able to do with a hybrid. If you do a regular commute, ask colleagues or put an ad in one of the local web directories. At the end of its life the car is almost totally recyclable and some people are surprised by the car scrap valuation on their motor. In these ways, going green actually does mean more cash in your pocket.

Neil Turley is a keen car enthusiast who recently had to find out the car scrap valuation of his old Rover 75.