Earth Day has come and gone, and along with it, our focused attention on what families can do to leave the planet a better place. Luckily, we live in a city where we value the outdoors, animals and nature, so being good environmental stewards becomes somewhat ingrained in our lifestyles.
Sometimes, we recognize we might love our city…too much. One of the downsides of Austin’s rapid growth is reduced air quality. Unlike larger cities in Texas, however, Austin has yet to exceed federal air quality standards set forth in the Clean Air Act. Since our metro area is precariously close to having pollutant levels that are too high, Austin is part of a handful of cities across the state which has developed strategies to help improve air quality.
According to the EPA, heavy-duty trucks and buses account for about one-third of nitrogen oxides emissions and one-quarter of particle pollution emissions from transportation sources. So, the City of Austin is helping to reduce air pollution by replacing standard trash trucks with more Earth-friendly alternatives. The City recently added four Autocar E3 refuse vehicles to their fleet. These trucks feature Parker Hannifin’s RunWise® Advanced Series Hybrid Drive System, which is on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Clean Diesel Campaign’s Emerging Technologies List.
The four hybrid trash trucks will not only save the City (and taxpayers!) money in terms of maintenance costs, but will reduce carbon emissions by up to 55 tons each, a total of 220 tons, in one year – the equivalent of removing a total of nearly 40 mid-size cars from the road, or planting as many as 5,200 trees and letting them grow for 10 years, according to Tom DeCoster, business development manager for Parker’s Hybrid Drives Division.
“We are excited about the addition of these trucks to our fleet and look forward to the expected efficiencies,” said Bob Gedert, director of Austin Resource Recovery. “The City of Austin is constantly looking to introduce innovative ways to reduce our carbon footprint in an effort to protect the environment and make Austin the most livable city in the country.”
As the proud owner of a hybrid, I’m happy to hear that the “little things” my family can do, combined with the larger efforts of business and government, can give us all little breathing room as our fair city grows.
The price of gas is going up, up, up, so we’re excited that Parker Hannifin is offering one of our readers a Going Green Prize Package which includes a gas gift card.
Giveaway Details: Parker Hannifin is giving away a Going Green Prize Package to one lucky LiveMom reader! The prize package contains a $50 gas gift card, a reusable grocery bag, an environmental puzzle and a jar of fresh, clean air (the total prize package is valued at $60). The deadline to enter is Monday, May 14, 2012 at 9:00am CST. The winner will be announced here and contacted via email on Monday, May 14, 2012 with 24 hours to respond to claim the certificate. Only one entry per household, please. The gift card holds no cash value. There is no purchase necessary.
What do you have to do to win? Fill out the form below and share with us how your family is going green — whether it’s something small, like making sure to turn off lights when you leave the house, or something bigger, like buying an electric car! It’s that easy. By filling out the form, you agree to the above terms of the giveaway.
Disclaimer: Parker Hannifin has provided LiveMom with a prize package as well.
Written by: Nicole Basham