At the (Eco-Friendly) Car Wash, Yeah
The do-it-yourself option is generally the green way to go, but when it comes to cleaning your ride, the commercial car wash -- surprise! -- is actually the earth-friendlier choice.
The water you use at home, loaded with gas and oil, spills into storm drains and travels to rivers and lakes with all its additives, causing a traffic jam of nightmares for our water system. Washington state, in fact, is telling local governments they must prohibit the driveway car wash unless residents steer their waste water away from storm drains.
Commercial car washes in the U.S. and Canada are required by federal law to drain their polluted water into sewer systems before it flows back into nature. Additionally, the International Carwash Association reports that pro car washes use less than half the amount of water than DIYers do. New York state's Hoffman Car Wash uses a reclaim water system to clean cars, and similar practices are being adopted around the country.
If you must do it yourself, buy biodegradable soap to do the job.