Saturday, June 5, 2010

Things I Do To Help The Environment, Go Green And Save Money

As you all know I am an Independent Amsoil Dealer so I will start with how these products help me save money, and the environment by reducing waste.

I have two cars. A 1997 Toyota Avalon 3.0L with 154,000 miles to date, and a 2000 Ford Windstar 3.8L with 112,000 miles to date.

I know what your thinking...This is supposed to be about saving money and how I am going green.  While my cars aren't the greenest vehicles on the planet - they are paid for!  This saves me a lot of money.  My wife and I would love to get a Prius and possibly a Mini Cooper, but this is not in the budget at the moment.  Also, I use the minivan to pickup and deliver Amsoil products to my customers.  So at this time I will keep these clunkers, maintain them, and upgrade at a later date when I can afford to pay cash for a car. No car payments for me thank you!

Each of these cars has Amsoil products under the hood protecting the engine and transmission. People always ask me why I would run expensive Amsoil products in these vehicles due to their age and mileage.  Now I realize my cars aren't anything special but I am very frugal and would like to keep these cars as long as possible with as little maintenance costs as possible.  Amsoil products allow me to do just that.

So, for the 1997 Avalon I run the Amsoil XLF 7500 Mile 6 Month 5W30 Oil, and The MANN ML1003 7500 Mile Filter.  In the transmission I use the Amsoil Synthetic ATF Transmission Fluid, and I have a 4 year 100,000 mile EA Air Filter protecting the engine.

Lets break this down as far as costs.. I will use the current costs for what I pay as a dealer which is the same prices a preferred customer would pay. I will do a break down of oil changes and air filter costs per year.

1997 Toyota Avalon - Oil Changes Every 6 Months, Clean Air Filter Filter Every Oil Change and Replace Every Four Years.

Oil Filter and Air Filter Change Costs Per Year With Amsoil
1 Case Of Oil - 12 Quarts - $59.25
2 MANN Oil Filters            $6.25
1 Amsoil EA Air Filter         $6.50  Cost is $26.00 - divided by four years
 $72.00 Per year to Change oil and filter with Air filter replaced every four years

Not bad this comes to $36 per oil change for me to change it my self only twice a year.  I am also only conserving resources by not changing oil every three months three thousand miles.
But to be fair I am an Amsoil dealer (preferred customers can pick up at warehouse) and I have access to the Amsoil warehouse near my home so I do not pay shipping and handling.  To get the prices above which are 20-30 percent lower than retail you need to become a preferred customer 6 month for $10 or $20 for a yearly membership(you can always buy at retail, but why?)

Add shipping shipping for above order roughly $13.00 and the membership for a year $20.
This would bring the cost to $105 per year to change oil on your car twice a year with Amsoil 7500, 6 month synthetic oil, or $52.50 per oil change to do it myself.  Unlike my van where I change the oil once per year or 15,000 miles I have to change my oil more often (twice a year) on my Toyota because it has an known engine sludge problem. Always Consult the Amsoil Product Interval Guide when selecting an oil to be sure you vehicle is not on the list with known engine manufacturer troubles - (my Toyota  is).

2000 Ford Windstar - Oil Change Once a year or 15,000 miles. Replace Air filter when dirty (no Amsoil 100,000 air filter available) so I will not include in prices.  Make sure you buy a good quality air filter.  I recommend WIX- stay away from FRAM!

Using Amsoil 0W20 25,000 Mile 1 Year Oil (normal service) or 15,000 mile (severe service - me)
Amsoil EAO34 Oil Filter 25,000 Mile 1 Year Filter

7 Quarts ASM                    $49.00 A couple extra quarts for top off!
1 EA EAO34 Oil filter         $13.15
 $62.15 To change Oil Per Year with Amsoil

Like above I need to be fair I have to add shipping - roughly $10.00.  Since most households have two vehicles you would already have the preferred customer membership so I will not add that in here.
For the Windstar it would cost $72.15 per year to change the oil myself.

In the same 15,000 miles per year that I put on my van I would have to change the oil 5 times per year if I were to follow the standard 3000 mile oil change standard.  It has been so long since I followed that I am not even sure what it would cost me in pricing of the oil and filters. How does $15.00 per oil change sound?  Still would be $75.00 a year. Something that I always keep in mind is time going to the parts store 5 times a year, 5 times hauling the old oil for recycling to Jiffy Lube, and the impact all these unnecessary oil changes would have on the environment.

Using my two cars as an example it would cost a preferred customer roughly $178.00/per year (add your local tax!) to change oil and oil filters, with one of them having a 100K air filter.

Using 15K miles per year as an example with 3K Standard Oil Changes Here Is A Comparison In Oil And Filter Consumption

19 Quarts of Oil Used  - I actually probably don't use 12 for the Avalon!
3 Oil Filters

50 Quarts of oil used
10 Oil filters

Just by using Amsoil I personally use 7 less oil filters and 31 less quarts of oil!

What if my whole neighborhood where to do this.  This is not a calculated analysis but in Carol Stream where I live the population is somewhere around 42,000 people.  My guess of dwellings would be 15,000, each of which may have two cars (like me)  - some more, some less.

15,000 households using 31 less quarts of oil of  is 465,000 quarts of oil saved or 116,250 gallons per year. This is only 1 town in a suburb of Chicago!!

While I am just one household I KNOW I make a difference.

Do I feel good selling and using Amsoil - you bet!

IMHO any company, person, municipality, school district could save money using Amsoil and have  significant impact on the environment.

Ok, Ok what else do I do?

We recycle everything we can.  Cardboard , plastic bags, aluminum, and plastic.
We have a worm composter. The worms eat our leftover vegetable scraps, paper shredding, and newspaper.  The worm compost is then used in the two herb plants we have growing my the windowsill and the worm juice (aka worm tea) is sprayed on the grass as a fertilizer with the addition of Aggrand Natural Fertilizer.  I try to never use chemicals on the grass or landscape. Sometimes the dandelions can be a bit overwhelming but a little grunt work pulling them out is OK by me. I have read that corn gluten meal is a good organic alternative for dandelions - maybe next year!  Besides, I have two dogs and these chemicals have been known to be very harmful to animals as well as humans.

I always mow my grass real high and never bag!  This is supposed to help the roots grow stronger and deeper which helps the grass become more drought tolerant and introduce more nitrogen back into the soil.  Because of this I rarely water the grass in the heat of summer, while everyone else seems to battle brown burnt grass and constant watering.  I guess mowing the grass high, no bagging and liquid fertilizer works. 

I NEVER produce yard waste that has to be put in yard bags for garbage company to pick up and fill the landfills with.  I use my compost tumbler for leaves and small items, and for larger items such as twigs, and bush clippings - trimmings I have an open compost heap.  When the compost tumbler and compost heap are decomposed I reintroduce it back onto the land as mulch and/or fertilizer.

While these are the big things our household does to save money and resources that is not all here is two more small things that come to mind.  We bring our own recyclable bags to store, while limiting our trips to the store and turn off lights when leaving rooms.

Sometime in the future I would like to purchase some rain barrels to retain water from the downspouts.  Further down the road I would like to look into solar panels and a tank less water heater.

Anyone else have ideas or suggestions?  Please comment!

Take Care!

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