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Going Green? If so, then what shade of green are you?





While the whole world is going green these days, which shade of green is it? Maybe mint green? Sea foam green? Forest green? Is khaki OK.....That's a green right? I would imagine going green is GOING GREEN like the grass and trees, that's the green they're talking about right? Any other shade of green will probably do, but it may reflect the many inadequate attempts we are making to be totally green. Are you driving a Prius while throwing all of your paper and cardboard in the garbage? Maybe your recycling aluminum and plastic, but you're tossing your green treated lumber and cement chunks in the landfill? Sorry, not quite green enough!

Like Dr. Evil in Austin Powers said of his son Scott, "You're semi-green...You're quasi-green...You're the margarine of green...You're the Diet Coke of green, just one calorie, not green enough". Wait, was that EVIL or GREEN? Maybe I'm confused because the actor Seth GREEN played the role as Scott....oh well, either way, are we kind of green? Let's take this concept a bit further.

So Fergie (formerly of the Black Eyed Peas pop music group), has been on a high profile green kick doing all sorts of concerts around the world supporting "Live Earth", in an attempt for global and environmental issue awareness, and she recently pulled a stunt where she auctioned off her H2 Hummer on eBay, with all the proceeds going to Global Green USA......Is this green? Kind of I guess.

Well, the environmentalists and bloggers of the world didn't take much time to criticize these attempts claiming that concerts of this magnitude will create 1,000 times more metric tons of CO2 emissions than it will ever save, and that while Global Green USA does have the right eco-friendly programs at heart, and needs money, the gas guzzling H2 Hummer should have been taken off the road and recycled, with the said proceeds going to Global Green USA......Did the bloggers unanimously say "Recycle the Hummer?" Now that's green!

HEY, that's just what we do at PAM's Auto, Inc., in sunny St. Cloud, MN!

It's quite fun working for a company that's been 100% green since its conception in 1991, while watching our world 17 years later jump all over the "going green" concept. Pat and Mike (PAM's) have made every effort to be as eco-friendly as possible, and here are some estimated numbers to prove it. On top of all the gas, oil, and antifreeze being reused and recycled at PAM's Auto, here are some cool stats....

• 750 tons of steel are recycled each year
• 36,000 lbs of aluminum recycled yearly
• 5,000 lbs of copper recycled yearly
• 2,000 lbs of lead recycled yearly from about 750 batteries
• 2,000 obsolete airbags recycled yearly
• 2-3 lbs of mercury (enough to taint every lake in Minnesota) recycled yearly

These numbers only reflect the "non-useable" products that pass through PAM's Auto yearly, the rest of the metals and materials are sold to repair shops to be re-used in the form of quality recycled auto parts. The staggering amount of energy (CO2 emissions) saved by reusing these parts instead of producing new one's, is quite amazing I'm sure.

I've been surfing the web and looking into the automotive companies going green in the last year or so and it's pretty cool. Companies want to go green because it creates more attention to their business in an ever increasing competitive industry, so the question is "how can I go green with my auto repair business?"

Several body shops in Minnesota are jumping on going green by offering waterborne paints as an eco-friendly option, and that's a great way to separate your business from the competition. In California this has been in transition for years, and now in '08 has become fully compliant with the law and guidelines regarding the use of waterborne paints and low VOC chemical regulations. Some repair shops are advertising green repairs and maintenance programs; who would have ever figured that a synthetic oil change, reusable lifetime oil and air filters, long life platinum plugs, and checking your tire pressure for optimum MPG would be green? Well, it is I guess.

So is this eco friendly approach totally green? It's a great start! How about using waterborne paints along with quality recycled OE body parts? Getting greener? Is it really green to paint a car with eco- friendly paints while covering the "NEW OR AFTERMARKET" sheet metal you just installed, when perfectly good used parts were available for less money? How much CO2 emissions are produced to pollute the environment while manufacturing 1 new fender or grille vs. using recycled ones? I'm not sure if we will ever really know per piece, but the total of all products and materials (including the energy to produce them), as a whole, has to be staggering. But like Kermit the frog said, "Its not easy being green".....it's more work than you would ever think!

If you really want to go green, why not promote the use of OE recycled auto parts for the repair? Are you trying to keep the folks in Taiwan employed working in the aftermarket parts business? Or maybe the 50 parts plants and 72,000 people employed in Mexico, producing all those factory OE parts for the general? Maybe then you're just kind of green? The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence my father always used to say......Guess what, looking at where the green grass really is, maybe he was right.

Let's be trendy and tout our green colors by using quality recycled auto parts for the repairs when you can, and be REALLY GREEN! Yes we at PAM's Auto are bias, and we should be, it's our business, and it could be a bigger part of yours. There are many shades of green......What shade are you going to be?


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