How tire makers are treading lighter on the planet

Every tire maker has eco-friendly tires to choose fromEveryone thinks you have to buy a new hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or electric vehicle to roll greener on the road, but you don’t. All you have to do is sling some new rubber on your current vehicle.

Whether you just have to roll name brands like Bridgestone and Michelin, or you realize the equally great quality and more affordable price of brands like Toyo and Yokahama, there are plenty of options for more eco-friendly tires to choose from.

My best bud sells tires for a leading tire wholesale dealer (and retail dealer) and recently sent me a couple of interesting stories that detail just how green the tire industry is going.

Modern Tire Dealer says,

“It’s the right thing to do, but it’s also good business,” says Bridgestone Americas Inc. spokesman Dan MacDonald. In one sentence, he summed up the “green movement” in the tire industry.

MacDonald, vice president of community and corporate relations, says there are many ways to embrace both goals. Reducing the weight in a tire not only saves on raw material costs and usage, but also can reduce rolling resistance. With gas prices climbing toward the $4.50 a gallon mark, that is a selling point.

Community involvement also is part of the movement, he adds. Bridgestone is one of many manufacturers with environmentally friendly programs that also promote their brands locally and nationally.

Green tire highlights

Tire makers across the board are getting really creative about how they are helping reduce the impact their product has on both our wallets and the environment.

  • Yokohama’s dB Super E-spec passenger tires combine sustainable orange oil and natural rubber to drastically cut the use of petroleum, without compromising performance. The tires even reduce rolling resistance by 20%…meaning you save some pennies at the pump.
  • Michelin’s “Energy Saver Construction” technology keeps their “Green X” tires running cooler, thus improving their fuel efficiency.
  • Bridgestone’s Ecopia tires rock a reduced rolling resistance double whammy by combining a “Fuel Saver Sidewall” that returns more energy to the tire than a normal sidewall, and tread made from two types of compounds in the tread.
  • Toyo’s Versado LX II features a new silica compound that delivers improvements in both fuel economy and tread life compared to previous Toyo tires. An asymmetric, non-directional tread pattern enables cross rotation that helps reduce irregular wear.

Read more at Modern Tire Dealer to check out what other tire manufacturers are doing to reduce their tires’ impact and learn why those companies care about more than just making tires.

What are some of your favorite ways to squeeze maximum gas mileage out of your tires. Would you consider a low-rolling resistance tire when it’s time to replace your current rubber?

Helpful videos for understanding what these technologies really mean

[Photo: CityCaucus/Flickr]

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About Jeffrey Davis

Yo, I'm Jeffrey, founder of and editor in chief here at Eco-Snobbery Sucks. I live in Nashville, TN and am a writer, personal trainer, web designer, and wookie hugger. I hang out on Twitter some but you can find me more active on Facebook. Enjoy the site!