I have recently been posting and reading up a lot on ways to save the planet..... That is actually a silly statement. The planet is not in need of saving. The ability of our planet to sustain us a species requires work. The planet will continue to be here, even without us. Douglas Adams said so.
Reduce. Re-use. Recycle. The reason that mantra is so stated is because it is in order of priority. Recycling, which I have been focusing on is actually the least I could do to save the planet because it requires energy to make the waste usable again. So I started thinking, what can I start doing to lower my carbon footprint by either redusing or re-using. Whilst chatting to Sherwin, an old racing buddy who many in Durban refer to as 'The Grand Guru of Automative Environmental Sustainability', we discovered a great way to save the planet. Replacing the disposable air filter in my car with a High Flow Performance Air Filter by K&N.
If, like my wife you rolled your eyes at this suggestion, think about it for a minute. Over 100 million disposable air filters are discarded each year (Source: statistic at the back of the K&N box). That is enough to fill Moses Mabhida Stadium to the arch 50 000 times (source: internet blog. No verifiable source required. If that does not sit well with you, I could always just write, 'INDEPENDENT STUDY'). But seriously. This filter is made of multiple layers of treated cotton gauze that provides great filtration (and also high airflow rates) and should last the life of a vehicle provided it is cleaned every 50 000 miles (That stat is not made up and is actually the manufacturers recommendation). Usage of this filter would actually reduce the waste burden created by disposable air filters made of paper or other synthetic materials.
Additionally (and this is the equivalent of cracking an egg and getting two yolks), the improved airflow results in increased combustion efficiency which would result in more engine power and hence better fuel mileage. I challenge you to find another device that would make your car sound better whilst saving the environment. This is actually my first pass at a more comprehensive study I plan to discuss with my wife on why a Jackson supercharger could effectively save a tree in the Amazon every time I go to get bread from the shop. Until then, I will continue to try and save the planet.... a quarter mile at a time.