An Eco Parent Reflects on Cars… Or Why I Love My Toyota

July 16, 2010 at 10:52 pm Leave a comment

The car I drive now is a conventional car, a Toyota sedan. It’s over 10 years old, and it’s holding up well– incredibly, someone even got in the car recently and said, “Nice car!” (It was night time…)

Since making that purchase, I’ve become a parent, and parenthood has led me to become both an “unlikely environmentalist” and extremely eco conscious consumer– because I want to ensure my children, whom I love fiercely, a future in which they can thrive.

The main concerns driving that purchase (pun intended!) were that the car would accommodate the family that my then-husband and I planned, and that it would offer sufficient head room for my tall now-ex-husband. And, importantly, we were also drawn to Toyota’s reliability record.

The car has indeed accommodated two growing boys, and did supply adequate headroom for my then-husband. And it has definitely proven reliable.

What I’ve learned since going down the eco path is that durability and longevity are key considerations in determining a product’s eco impact.

Planned  obsolesence is antithetical to protecting the planet. Products that are made shoddily interfere with our ability to live on the planet in a way that can sustain life– human life, the life of other creatures– on an ongoing basis. Products that are built to last have a lower environmental impact because they stay out of the waste stream, and the energy and resources it took to make those products have a longer useful life, which is intrinsically less wasteful and harmful to the planet. I drove a Saturn at an earlier point in my life– that car was built to fall apart. Not eco-friendly.

The Toyota sedan I drive doesn’t have the fuel efficiency or the reduced emissions technology of a Prius, but by being reliable and durable, it does keep itself out of the landfill.

I’m not alone in my family in driving a Toyota. In fact, you could say we’re a Toyota family. My brother drives a Prius. My sister drove a Prius until she and her husband had their second child and upgraded to a hybrid Highlander. My mom drives a Matrix. My ex? He drove a Camry– for 10 years– ’til it got totaled. Now, he drives a Sienna, which he loves. He says I should get one. Maybe, if they come out with a hybrid!

I’ve never done this kind of thing before, but I’m participating in a Toyota/TwitterMoms campaign, which inspired this post. My opinions, thoughts and feelings are my own. As a TwitterMom, I’m eligible for a courtesy gift of $50.

This is my first foray into the product promotion world. I’d love your feedback! Post a comment below!

Entry filed under: moms families green eco education parenting green sustainability, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

It’s HOT: Is Hydration Enough? Afterthoughts on my eco mom blog post about my Toyota

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