Going Green With Your Car In The Winter

December 6th, 2008 BY Craig Baird | 5 Comments

My wife and I live in Alberta, and during the winter, it can often get down to -40 at night. This makes it a big problem for starting the car if we have to go out the next day. The most common thing that people do is let their cars warm up, while they sit inside where it is nice and warm. In principle, this makes a lot of sense, but when you think about it environmentally, it makes no sense. Nothing is worse than waste and needless CO2, and running a car when you are not in it ranks up there as a big environmental no-no.

So, what can you do? You can do what we do for Our Green Year.

First, frost on the windows is a pain in the butt, but leaving your car running to get rid of that frost is a big pain in the butt for the environment. Frost can be cleared in a more manual fashion, and it involves grabbing an ice scraper and using some elbow grease to get rid of the frost. This is a great way to get you warm as well.

Second, On nights that you are going out the next day, plug your car in but do it wisely. Instead of leaving it plugged in all night, put it on a timer so that it only draws power for a couple of hours before you need the vehicle. That way, you keep your engine healthy, and you don’t need to let your car warm up when you get in the vehicle the next day.

Third, when you don’t want to deal with frost on your windshield, you can put a piece of cardboard on your windshield. This will prevent frost from forming, and will keep you from having to scrape the windshield or start the car.

Lastly, if you are going into the store, even briefly, or leaving the car at all, you should turn it off. Not only will this keep it from being stolen, but it will help the environment. In fact, for anything longer than a stop sign or red light, you should not leave your car running. The heat in your car will not disappear in the few minutes you are gone, so conserve gas and help the environment.

  1. tater03

    Good advice. Thanks for sharing the tips. I do have to say that if I lived somewhere where my car got that icy on a regular basis I would have to find a warmer place to live. Holy Cow that is a lot of ice on a car.

  2. stav

    LOL Tater03, I have to say that if it got that sort of ice regularly, i’d move! My temperate part of theworld ever sees that kind of extreme… thank goodness… some good simple advice there though..

  3. Vishnu

    i have found a new method for this problem….
    And im still working on this.

  4. Liz

    my car becomes cold immediately after I turn it off.

  5. bob

    Doesn’t starting and stopping your car burn more gas then letting it idle for 3-4 minutes?
    Let’s say if you were grabbing something from the house, or picking someone up?

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