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Think Green, Save Money and Enjoy the Environment!

Author: Brian England 8 October 2010 No Comment

Recently, while driving the British American Auto Care’s free courtesy shuttle with a full load of customers that wanted to go in four different directions, the subject of the environment came up. I can’t remember how the subject came up, but I was surprised to learn that the majority of the people in the van did not know about the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA).

As a Board member of MPEF (Foundation), which oversees the operation of MPEA, I have a particularly strong interest in the environment and MPEA. But, I now realize that a lot of people might not know about this area that covers approximately 1,020 acres of natural resources land in the middle of Columbia.

It is a gem; it has 5.4 miles of trails and two numbered nature trails, one off Southwind, the other off Trotter Road. One trail has a boardwalk over some wetlands. The bridges and boardwalks on the rest of the trails make hiking very easy for most people. The Middle Patuxent River runs through the area, and on a hot day you will find teenagers splashing around or sunbathing on the rocks. This is a great area to explore every season of the year. See for yourself at www.co.ho.md.us/RAP/RAP_MPEA.htm

Now, you’re thinking, “isn’t this article supposed to be about cars?” Well, yes and there is a connection. Think Green!

We all know that driving cars and using gasoline is not friendly to the environment. But, you don’t have to stop driving and ride a bike everywhere (although for some of you that might be a great alternative). Just try and ensure that your vehicle operates in as “green” a manner as possible.

Thinking Green, can Save you Money. Keeping your vehicle regularly serviced will save gas. But, there are many other things that will save gas, save money and help the environment. For example, make sure your tires are properly inflated, remove extra “stuff” from your trunk and remove your roof/ski rack (when you’re not using it) will save gas. Drive your car at 55 mph on the highway and not 70 mph and you will get at least 5% more gas mileage. For a complete list of gas saving, driving tips visit www.gogreencarcare.com

More importantly don’t be fooled by oil companies and “quickie-lube” shops that tell you to change your oil every 3,000 miles!  Some vehicles might need oil changes every 3,000 miles, but most of today’s vehicles don’t!  In fact, some vehicles can go 15,000 or even 25,000 miles between oil changes. It all depends on your vehicle and your personal driving routine.

How do you know what oil change period is correct for your vehicle and your style of driving?  Customers regularly ask me this question. In response, I have produced a short questionnaire and posted it on our web site, www.britishamericanauto.com; just visit and click on the icon, answer a few simple questions and we will tell you what oil change period is best for your vehicle and driving routine.

Enjoy driving and enjoy the local environmental areas that Howard County has to offer. In addition to MPEA, there are many other areas you should explore:

Opening in 2011, you might want to visit the Robinson Environmental Center off Cedar Lane – the land was bequeathed to the County by long-time resident, Annie Robinson. (An interesting connection is that Annie, was along time customer and her grandson Kurt, was our first apprentice in the 1970’s.)

The Smith property, situated off Rt. 175, is also being developed. Some want to turn it into more ball fields, but I certainly hope they keep the majority of it as a natural environmental area that can be enjoyed by all.

Enjoy driving, and I hope you take time to enjoy the environmental areas in Howard County. They are great places to visit any time of year, but perhaps even more spectacular in the fall.

Additional posts by Brian England