With Earth Day coming up, I thought it would be fun take a look at an interesting green business in Portland. With Portland known as one of the Greenest Cities in the U.S. it wasn’t hard to find one, but this one stood out to me: Green Drop Garage.
Green Drop Garage is an eco-friendly car repair shop in SE Portland. They have two locations, one on SE 9th and one near Reed College. The founder Farhad Ghafarzade, a molecular biology grad from U.C. Santa Cruz, started out converting diesels to run on vegetable oil for clients like Hopworks and Lucky Lab Brewing. He soon realized there was a bigger opportunity to make an impact. In 2009, he opened Green Drop Garage.
Today, Green Drop Garage offers full services including eco-friendly oil changes to green fleet services. The certified B Corp and Ecobiz is carbon neutral, collects rainwater to flush the toilets and even provides bikes and smart car loaners. They also offer Kombucha on tap in the waiting area, car care classes and partner with other local green business to further promote sustainable practices. Equal to Green Drop Garage’s eco-minded-ness is their focus on customer service. They designed a $15/month membership program that offers unlimited visits, to take the stress and skepticism out of trips to the car repair shop.
All in all, it’s a pretty cool shop and quintessentially Portland.
In honor of Earth Day, Farhad was kind enough to share these tips to help our readers drive greener and save money:
Farhad’s Top 5 Green Driving Tips
Drive The Speed Limit: Speed limit signs are there for your safety, but they also optimize your gas mileage. Rapid starts and stops waste gas and can reduce your gas mileage up to 40%.
Avoid Idling: Sure, it might not make sense to turn off the engine at every red light, but organizations like the Oregon Environmental Council are promoting the 10-second rule. If you’re going to be stopped for more than 10 seconds, especially around schools, turn the engine off. It saves fuel and reduces those harmful emissions. This infographic is a great illustration of the effects of idling.
Choose Rear Racks: Rooftop cargo carriers and bike racks significantly reduce your fuel efficiency due to wind drag. Consumer Reports found highway fuel economy fell from 42 mpg to 27 mpg when driving with two bikes mounted on roof racks. Consider a hitch mounted carrier or bike rack for better fuel efficiency if you need external storage space.
Regular Maintenance: Dirty air and fuel filters, low tire pressure and bad spark plugs can all drastically reduce gas mileage. It’s best to follow your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. Regular maintenance will optimize your car’s performance, keep emissions down and prolong the life of the vehicle.
Drive Less: This one’s a no brainer, but think ahead before you drive. Can you combine multiple errands in one trip? What is the shortest route? Can you walk or bike there? The less time on the road means less pollution and gas wasted.