The Green Life

The Green Life focuses on staying up-to-date with the latest green trends, events and news around the world.

They bring back old memories, you may have given it a nickname, it could be your pride and joy...or it might just get you from point A to point B. Whatever your car may mean to you, it means something completely different to our environment.

If you're still hanging onto your old clunker, it may be time to call it quits. Did you know that a model 1995 or older car emits 19 times more smog-forming emissions than a 2004 or newer car?

And by retiring your car, you can enjoy such rewards as: transit passes, discounts on car sharing programs or bicycles, rebates on a new vehicle from participating auto partners or $300 cash!

By getting rid of worst emitters, this will lead to cleaner air, less smog and pollutants. So, if you're ready to say goodbye to your car, think green.

Retire Your Ride
is a national program funded by the Government of Canada that will retire your car by responsibly recycling it. It's delivered nationally by Summerhill Impact and provincially by such organizations as Climate Change CentralScrap-it and Clean Nova Scotia. To date, the program has retired over 72,000 cars from Canada's roads and almost 4,000 tonnes of smog emissions have been reduced.

I had a the chance to witness the recycling process first hand at the North Queen Auto Parts in Etobicoke, Ont. There's nothing like the sounds and sights of cars getting crushed! Like all participants in the Retire Your Ride program, North Queen Auto adheres to the standards set out by Environment Canada and the Automotive Recyclers of Canada.

Recyclers remove tires, oil, gasoline, refrigerants and mercury switches before cars are scrapped. Mercury is the most dangerous, as one vehicle can contaminate the water in a small pond. Over 75 per cent of a vehicle can be recycled and many of the liquids, such as oil, antifreeze and windshield washer can be reused.

If emissions aren't enough to persuade you, recycling cars also helps the economy. About half of steel in industrial use is recycled. All materials that cannot be recycled (plastic, rubber) ends up as day cover on landfills. Most auto parts can be reused, depending on age and condition.

Don't keep driving that old clunker around. Retire your ride and make Canada's air cleaner!

For more information on the program, please visit: www.retireyourride.ca