Just so you know- The following is a list of the ways that your car pollutes the environment. When I started thinking about it this year, I wondered about a lot more than just the smog that comes out of your tailpipe. How many ways does your vehicle pollute? What are you supposed to do about it???
So many times when I suggest to people to use roundup in their yard to control weeds, they look at me as if I were an ax-murderer-rapist-litterbug-draft dodging tax evader. They are only half right. I often stand there understanding where they are coming from because this issue isn't what most people are familiar with, and start to explain about maligned roundup but am stopped in my tracks:
"I don't want to use chemicals!!!"
I am tempted to mention to them- "then why are you driving a car?" I'm way too polite for that but it's always in the back of my mind.
There is not one good thing about a vehicle that is good for the environment. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING about our vehicles is killing our planet. When I really looked into it, I realized that I never want to stand next to a highway ever again. It'll kill me! Too bad one can't look through a magic scope and witness first hand the stuff we pollute when we drive. We might start riding horses again!
1. Exhaust components too numerous to mention. Wonder why your cousin has cancer but never smoked?
2. Tire wear/particles/vapors/tire runoff/manufacture/disposal (bet you never thought about tire particle pollution, eh?)
3. Windshield wiper fluid is EXTREMELY toxic in the environment (there is a good home recipe)
4. Brake dust is EXTREMELY toxic- bet you never thought about that!
5. Paint wear/chips/runoff is extremely toxic
6. Oil drips off most cars- just look at a parking space that is used a lot. See where the engine sits? See how the asphalt is eaten away where the oil drips? Name one organism that can cohabit the earth with motor oil... I'm W-A-I-T-I-N-G! Give up yet? None.
It is going to take me a lot of time to finish this post so be patient.
Brake dust emissions-
I never thought about it until last week. Here is a scientific article about brake dust polluting the air we breathe. Let your eyes pass over some of this and just a little will give you an idea of why you do not want to stand near a place where cars slow down. You do not need to read the whole thing to get the idea- when cars and trucks use their brakes, each and every time, the brakes emit particles that kill microbes, amphibians, insects, and us!
"Rubber" tire wear-
You buy 'em new. Black and smelling great, they go on your car. Old and worn, they come off, four at a time. Millions (billions) of cars times four every two years or so. Trillions of pounds/tons of chemical rubber per year donated to our environment by tire companies with our complicity. Unregulated, unknown chemicals rinsing off the roads invisibly into our streams, lakes, oceans, killing unseen organisms all along that long journey from your trip to the oceans. The air we breathe contains microparticles of tire wear that we know absolutely nothing about, and we wonder out loud why we no longer see salamanders like we used to when we were kids, or why our cousin has lung cancer but never smoked. We are totally innocent yet at the same exact moment, guilty as hell! Time to wake up and educate yourself about how your actions are killing the planet. You are NOT innocent (neither am I).
Actual salmon death from tire particle pollution: