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Thursday, March 24,2011

Carhuggers love your ride

Green Garage makes auto care less toxic

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno

For most of us, owning a car is a necessity. And with the necessity comes the maintenance of oil changes every 3,000 miles, fluid flushes, brake repair and dozens of other issues that come out of daily use. There’s an abundance of maintenance shops in the area, ranging from well-known franchises to mom-and-pop garages, but most of them aren’t using products that are environmentally safe or disposing their waste in a clean manner. The folks at Green Garage are making that a priority.

Ryan Ferrero opened Green Garage in 2008 with a focus on making sure that every element of the garage’s operation was green. During his time working and owning various car dealerships, he was disappointed with how much waste manufacturers were allowing and how dealerships handled waste. Ferrero then ventured off to create a shop that not only works in an environmentally safe way, but also helps make your vehicle more environmentally safe, even if you don’t have a hybrid.

“We are a full-service shop, so we do everything but body work and put fuel in your vehicle,” says Ernie Lavigne,

Green Garage’s GreensKeeper (or operations manager). “The way we’re different is that we have our own basket of products that we use that are all environmentally friendly. We have ways of getting better fuel economy, saving natural resources, using less oil, those types of things; lowering the dependency on foreign oil. We do it all the way to when we decide to paint walls in the shop, we get environmentally friendly paint. It’s our promise that we’re green all the way through, every aspect of it we try to be as eco-friendly as possible.”

One of the top services Green Garage offers is its oil change, which is good for your car, your wallet and the atmosphere. They use an oil filter that lasts longer, oil that’s recycled and they recycle your used oil from your car. Most garages burn their used oil. The service costs a bit more than your average shop, at $69.95, but in the long run, the service is worth every penny.

“We have a special oil filter,” Lavigne says. “We compare our oil change to the CFL light bulb — it costs a little more up front, but it lasts so much longer that you come out way ahead. Depending on the year, make and model, you wouldn’t have to come in for as many 10,000 miles. So if you’re spending $30 or $35 on an oil change and you’re getting changed every 3,000 miles, you’re at a $100 at 10,000 miles. You have to go back and forth to the shop all those times. With us, you don’t have to do that.”

There isn’t that back-and-forth at all with Green Garage, if you don’t want it. If you make an appointment, you won’t even have to drive to the garage at all.

“We come to you, pick up the vehicle, at a set time and place, take it back to our shop, service it and return the vehicle back to you again at a set time and place,” Lavigne says. “That’s something, especially in Boulder, that people love. You know how bad parking is downtown. So people love it. We use bicycles, electric motorcycles, to do it. Again, it’s part of our brand promise, we try to drive as little as possible. When we do our valet, you’ll see [him] out there in 26-degree weather.”

With two shops, one in Boulder and one in Denver, Green Garage is looking to expand, possibly to another Denver location and a garage in Fort Collins. With staff called Carhuggers, Carhoppers, GreensKeepers and Smileage Coordinators, who wouldn’t want more Green Garages around town?

“We have a big sign here at our Denver location that says ‘Barrels of oil, saved.’ And it’s because of our oil filter, where you don’t have to change your oil as often,” Lavigne says. “We’re really proud of saving more than 1,200 barrels of oil because of customers using Green Garage. We’re just a little start-up company that’s trying to make a difference.”
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