Remove a Gas Guzzler from the Road for Carbon Credits?

I have a 1997 GM Suburban with 260,000 miles that my family dearly loves and that has served us well. We are ready to part with it and would prefer it pass from our hands to a noble and non-polluting destination. I called several car donation places, including the one affiliated with Car Talk, to find out if I could donate it with a stipulation that it be only used for parts or scrap, even if that reduces its value. Nobody offered this assurance. Next I wondered if, since there is carbon trading managed in the northeast, I might get carbon credits for removing it voluntarily from the road. Anybody know of anyone offering this as an option? Thanks!

Do private citizen’s have a carbon credit account?
How can I check my score?
Next year a line on my 1040A?
Maybe something like when we all burned our Disco records/tapes.
A gas-guzzler destruction event.

I haven’t heard of carbon credits applying to mobile sources, or to non-businesses, so it may be a moot point. A couple of drawbacks to mandating that it be parted out or scrapped: 1) the amount you’re allowed for the donation may be much less than you would get otherwise, and 2) this may mean that someone else will end up buying a new large SUV, rather than yours, adding the CO2 load of manufacturing and transporting a new vehicle.

Didn’t some states (CA?) have a program to buy old, polluting clunkers to get them off the road?

You consider a 1997 vehicle with all the required emission equipment working to be polluting?
Lets set a base line here

I agree, compared to cars of 20 or 30 years ago. Modern cars are almost non-polluting. I have heard (and I have no comformation of this at all) that in Mexico City, the Volvos with the ozone-eating radiator actual help clean up the air.

You can’t imagine that ANYONE might need a vehicle like this that can haul, what, seven or eight people comfortably? You know, maybe a charity that caters to people who don’t have their own transportation? Would it be “greener” if they took two cars?

I appreciate the intention, but there are far more productive outlets for your environmental concern than worrying about what happens to one vehicle. One thing you could do is donate it directly to a charity that actually needs it as opposed to doing one of the car donation places that will likely auction it in which case it MIGHT ultimately end up with someone who will use it as a commuter car.

Also, to add to MrPhil’s post, another drawback of making sure it’s scrapped is that it will likely go to an auto recycler which will sell parts which will make it easier for everyone else with this era Suburban to keep theirs going.

I suspect that if someone can use the car as is, rather than causing a new car to be manufactured, it would be greener overall by eliminating a lot of carbon making steel and all the other parts of a car and assembling it.

All of these answers make a great deal of common sense.
Thank you all, it’s refreshing.

I bit my tongue and sat back on this one.

keeping this car on the road wouldnt stop another being manufactured!they arnt made to order you know?i would sell it to a scrap yard,and let them break it for spare parts.

According to the Honda Service Mechanic it should be changed at 5 years OR 90,000 miles

Of course not, but in the long run, only the number of cars needed will be made. That is why there are plants closing down this year, fewer cars are needed and each car that stays on the road is one less that will eventually made.

A 1997 Suburban is a gas guzzler and large CO2 emitter. So taking it off the road permanently will have a net beneficial effect on the environment since the car to replace it will be a far less emitter.

We had this post before, but manufacturing a car takes only 15% of the total life cycle energy a car consumes! So scrapping a gas guzzler and replacing it with something more frugal has a net positive effect. The only exception is if the car was sold to someone who only drives a few miles a year. That’s why senior citizens are often reluctant to give up their paid-for large cars, and don’t feel guilty.

GM used to have a program caled “Car Heaven” and they would take your old car and give you $1000 credit towards a new GM car. Your old car would be destroyed and recycled! GM wants that car off the road as much as you do.

Thank you all who’ve provided useful information.

The critiques were interesting but not useful. FWIW I submit that removing a 97 Suburban is removing a 97 Suburban. It has a known benefit, the destruction of one gas guzzler and no predictable relationship with what happens elsewhere in the car population. Not removing it has a predictable outcome-a low efficiency vehicle will be driven and there will be zero destruction benefit.

Just my own view of course but it seems best to not base decisions on what might occur without attending to what is and what is not predictable and knowable. In this sense, I see it as less useful to trade in a guzzler for a Prius than buying the Prius and assuring the destruction of the Suburban. Someone willing to buy a 97 Suburban is likely to buy something “better” if there are fewer bad choices to make or if the supply of gas guzzlers is smaller and therefore more expensive. Again, just my view. I am sure some MIT whiz kid could make a study…

Thanks again for everyone’s thoughts.


I would obviuosly recommend buying the Prius, but warn anyone that to donate money to organizations that promise to plant trees in Latin America or elswhere in no way guaranteed any reduction in greenhouse gasses.

Last year I privately sold a V8 full size Chevrolet in mint condition. I had the prospect of driving a great deal more and the guy who bought my car drove very little. I did not take GM up on their $1000 offer because I did not find any GM car I like and my old car was worth a lot more than that. I did buy a car with 80% better gas mileage and greenhouse gas generation.

You are being VERY wasteful. If the vehicle is in fact running fine or working well enough to repair there very well may be a larger less well to do family or application of using this vehicle.

For example my mum’s trusty steed a 1988 Suburban with 250k and severe rust was sold in 2001 to a funeral home. It moves caskets about to this day.

in england vauxhall(gm)are running that offer,that if you let them scrap your old car,they give you ?1000 off a new vauxhall.but only if you buy the smallest engine! thats a 1.0 litre corsa,or a 1.4 litre astra!

Down With The Suburban!…Glub! Glub!

You should sink the Suburban, off-shore, so that it would become one of those “environmental” man-made reefs!

All the little fishies and other “Marine-mustn’t-touch-its” would think they died and went to Marine World!

It’s a win-win!

At Four Bucks a gallon for gas, I suspect if this vehicle is sold, the person buying it will have a legitimate use for it. Perhaps a business for heavy hauling or a private buyer using it as a tow vehicle. I also suspected the said buyer could be buying it to replace a really old polluting POS which will be scraped. In that scenario you will be saving the environment by not scrapping it because it would in effect replace a much worse polluting vehicle.