Saturday, 15 August 2009

Dumb questions about being Eco-friendly & Green (8)

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Q15: If I'm stuck in a stop-start traffic jam, do I use more petrol turning my car on and off repeatedly, or leaving it running?

A: Unless you are certain you won't have to pull away at short notice, the inconvenience and tiny amounts of fuel involved make stopping and restarting the engine hardly worthwhile. The UK Automobile Association recommends switching off engines if you're likely to be stopped more than 3 minutes. Technology is already providing a better solution, though. Recognising that many hours of urban driving are spent at a standstill, several car manufacturers have started to introduce so-called "stop-start" technology. In fact, Volkswagen recently mothballed plans for a hybrid car, preferring to invest in stop-start technology on its standard models to achieve fuel efficiency savings of between 10 and 15% in urban traffic.

Q16: Does it really take more energy to recycle an aluminium can than to make a new one?

A: NO, absolutely not. According to Alcoa, the world's third largest aluminium producer, manufacturing a can from recycled aluminium uses only 5% of the energy required to make one from scratch - an energ saving that could power a 100 watt bulb for 4 hours!!

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