There are so many items from an automobile that can be recycled, renewed or stretched beyond their boundaries that I should really call this post “The Eco Friendly Car”. And if you can’t think of a way to keep it with the original car then you can always recycle it for used automobile parts. In fact since I’m not much of a car fanatic I’m sure many of you can come up with even more ideas so I offer the items below merely as a starting point. I look forward to seeing your comments on this post.
Renew a battery with the following formula: for each cell dissolve 1 ounce Epsom salts in enough warm water to fill the cell.
Clean it up and place it on your desk to use as a pen holder.
Pack the following recyclable items in a large empty coffee can stowed in your trunk. Evaluate the list according to the type of driving and terrain you will be driving.
- 2 candle stubs for starting a fire in damp conditions
- Wooden matches who’s heads have been dipped in melted candle wax which makes them moisture resistant. Store in a small box so the wax doesn’t get rubbed off. Or bend back the front cover of a book of matches and dip the entire batch of paper matches in candle wax. Bend the cover back around and to protect the matches. Waterproof matches are better than a lighter as a lighter must be warm to work and if the lighter is left in the trunk long enough the fuel can evaporate.
- Unopened bottle(s) of water.
- Granola bars or other nonperishable high-energy food.
- Shoe laces to make an emergency tourniquet.
Wrap a quilt made from old blankets (doesn’t matter if it’s ugly – ugly will still keep you warm) around the coffee can and secure with a pair of old pantyhose or tights which can be used for a variety of emergencies such as:
- replace a broken belt in your car’s engine
- a tourniquet
- filter liquids
- secure a splint to a broken arm or leg
Place a mat under leaky containers in your garage or basement.
Use a mat as a boot tray to protect your floors. You can spiff up a rubber mat by sanding it and then painting with a coat of primer, two coats of your chosen color and a coat of marine polyurethane sealer.
Place clean carpet mats next to a kitty litter box to keep the litter from being tracked all over the house.
A carpeted floor mat lining the bottom of a pet cage gives your pet a durable and comfortable place to rest.
Spread a mat across the tailgate of your truck to protect it while your dogs are scrambling into and out of the truck bed.
Put mats on top of the seats inside your vehicle to protect them from wet and muddy animals or kids.
Take mats with you on a picnic. They’ll keep you from getting wet when sitting on a wet picnic bench or on damp ground.
Place plastic mats under pet feeding dishes. Follow boot tray instructions to spiff them up.
Save empty motor oil containers. Mark with a Sharpie pen so you know that it contains used oil. Place a funnel lined with a coffee filter over the empty container. Pour used motor oil through the filter and use for lubricating drive chains and oiling tools.
It’s best to delegate a car for used automobile parts if it’s not running or is going to cost more than it’s worth to repair. Your auto mechanic can be good resource for finding a source to buy your used automobile parts or you can check out a nearby salvage yard. While you can probably get a receipt to be used for taxes, you really should get an award for most eco friendly car owner.
Spark Plug Cleaner
Use household ammonia.
Bags from the deli that are used to package purchases, bread bags, hot dog & hamburger bun bags, newspaper bags, magazine bags … I reuse them all at least once for food storage, then in my car for trash. I empty them out into a trash can when cleaning my car so I get quite a few uses out of them before they develop a hole or get too “icky” to hold onto any longer.
Before replacing an automobile’s window motor, try spraying a generous amount of a silicone spray lubricant into the window track. I thought I needed a new window motor, but after spraying the window tracks with silicone, the window now works perfectly!