Getting "green" or staying "green".

What exactly are we doing to contribute to a better environment? Watching the advertisements on television promoting the supposed new ideas on how green any particular product or idea is makes me chuckle. It seems most of them are just now jumping on the bandwagon and it is not because their true intent is to save the environment, it is to make the sale.

I have spent a considerable number of years working with Ford and servicing their vehicle and have gained a tremendous amount of respect for what Ford Motor Company does and the mind set they do business with. Henry Ford started making his cars green and used soy formula fibers in some of his first interiors. That's right, Henry Ford started using soy-based plastics in his vehicles in the 30's. With the assistance of George Washington Carver, Mr. Ford started using these "new" plastic materials in horn buttons and small parts and even enhanced his paint for the vehicles with plastic. On January 13, 1942 Henry Ford patented a car made almost entirely out of plastic. The vehicle weighted 30% less than the vehicles of that time and was said to withstand 10 times the amount of force of the metal used then. Here is the really big kicker, it ran on ethanol! The idea never caught on then but it shows what Henry Ford thought of what an automobile could be. It is foresight such as this that has made Ford Motor Company a leader when it comes to the environment and making cars more capable to meet the needs we face today.

Ford Motor Company has continually been involved with environmental issues and continues today. The Rouge plant, one of the largest Ford assembly plants was recently renovated and has become a model of future manufacturing facilities. This plant uses the ten acres of rooftop as a type of sanctuary. The "green" roof is covered with natural vegetation that not only gives many birds a home it also keeps the building cooler and retains ½ of the waterfall that occurs. This water is then used to cool machinery and equipment among other things and reduces storm run off into the Rouge river thereby improving water quality. The roof also aids in reducing energy use by keeping the building better insulated against extreme temperature variants. Extensive use of skylights improves interior lighting, again reducing energy use. Both at the Rouge and the Michigan Truck plant have developed innovative fumes to fuel systems that concentrates fumes from chemicals used in manufacturing, such as paint, into fuel used to generate electricity. Ford Motor Company also received the Energy Partner of the Year award in 2006, 2007 and again in 2008 as determined by the U.S. E.P.A and its energy program. Ford has been a partner in this initiative since 2001. In 1997 Ford's Ohio assembly plant received the states Governor's Pollution Prevention award. Four engineers working at the Ford Research Laboratory in Dearborn Michigan received patents for two different technological breakthroughs that enable vehicles to run with cleaner emissions. This science is currently being used in California. In addition, many Ford vehicles are designed with the intent to be recycled, the Ford Fusion, like many others, is 85% recyclable. Many products used in today's Ford vehicles are also manufactured from recycled materials. Here at McMahon Ford we do our part. We have done the usual things that most businesses do, shut down computers at night, ensure that unnecessary lighting is shut off when not needed and so on. We have taken further steps as well. For instance, all of the oil drained from your vehicle during a service is processed and used in our waste oil furnace for winter heating purposes. A licensed vendor of course, recycles all of our tires, as state law requires. We have taken the extra steps to research what our carrier does with the tires afterwards. Many of the tires we have taken off of your car are now being used in playgrounds. There are numerous actions we can take to improve our environment, you don't have to be an "environmentalist" to want to improve the world for you and your children, simple steps toward recycling and efficient use of waste help contribute to the overall picture every day.  

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