Earth mama

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

It's summer! That means it's finally time to wash all the salt off your car from winter. And where should you wash your wheels: Will you break out the buckets and suds and spend your Saturday morning scrubbing in your driveway? Or will you pony up $6 and drive it through a car wash? The decision is easy if you're tying to green up your lifestyle, according to Real Simple Magazine: Drive it through a car wash.

When you scrub your ride in the driveway, the dirty water, tinged with traces of motor oil, antifreeze, and gasoline that your car has picked up on the road, runs down the driveway and into storm drains, which empty into local rivers and creeks. The runoff can coat the gills of fish in these smaller waterways, suffocating them.

The runoff produced by the car wash is subject to waste water laws. That means it goes to the local sewage-treatment plant, where it is filtered and cleaned, just like the water in your household pipes. Automatic car washes also tend to use as little at 30 gallons of water per car; at home you'll use that amount of water in four minutes.

Save your self some time (and the environment while you're at it). Drive your ride through the car wash, yeah.