Limousines gone green

August 13, 2010

She says she has always been kind to the environment. He, on the other hand -- not so much. But the husband and wife duo say they are now committed to making this a cleaner planet by greening your airport commute.

No, it's not a fleet of stretch limos. There is just one, and it only goes out by special request. Going Green Limousine is actually a fleet of hybrid and flex-fuel vehicles used to shuttle passengers to and from the airports and for charter services.

"The Ford Escape is our signature car. It gets around 38 to 40 miles per gallon on the highway," said Jess Sapp of Going Green Limousine. "We put an after-market device on it. It's called the blade. It has a filter that captures some particulate matters that come out. It also helps it to burn cleaner, so we reduce our emissions by about twelve and a half percent."

Jess Sapp and Rebecca Schmuck started their car service just over a year ago and they still run it out of their North Side home.

Schmuck had just been diagnosed with cancer. It was a turning point that made them focus on the environment.

"I am a vegetarian. I'm a health nut. I used to exercise religiously and I got cancer, so it's the environment, kind of a big concern for us," said Rebecca Schmuck of Going Green Limousine. "If it's gonna happen to me, it can happen to anybody."

They say more people have been seeking them out as a green alternative, including some high-profile clientele.

"We've had Al Gore, Ron Howard, Bobby Kennedy, Jr.," said Schmuck.

Sapp has been a professional driver for the past twenty years. He says this is a service that's long overdue.

"In the past five or six years here in Chicago, I've noticed that the hybrids were on the streets, but no one was using them for livery service," said Sapp. "To me it was a no-brainer."

To offset the use of driving its actual limousine, which is not a hybrid, Going Green Limousine plans to make donations to Chicago Gateway Green, a local non-profit organization that plants trees and gardens along the expressways and in city neighborhoods.

Going Green Limousine
Chicago Gateway Green

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