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5 Reasons To Stop Idling Your Car

5 Reasons To Stop Idling Your Car

It’s been over 90°F for days and days in New York, and I dread getting into a hot car to drive anywhere. So I can understand why some people might want to keep their cool, air conditioned cars idling while waiting for someone or at a drive thru.

But STOP.

STOP idling your car and TURN OFF the engine.

Idling cars cause serious air pollution that leads to health problems. Idling also wastes gas, and costs money.

Think idling is just a problem for trucks or school buses? Average drivers contribute to the problem. Idling is a simple habit to break, and it is especially important near schools and camps because kids are more vulnerable to air pollution.

Still not convinced?

5 Reasons To STOP idling NOW (adapted from Sustainable America):

  1. Saves gas – Americans waste 3.8 million gallons of fuel on unnecessary idling. If you idle for 12 minutes throughout the day, you burn enough gas to drive 24 miles – that’s two minutes spent idling is equal to one mile of driving.
  2. Saves money - Americans spend a whopping $13 million every day on unnecessary idling. Also, you can be fined for idling in some states since idling is actually illegal.
  3. Saves the planet - For every 10 minutes of idling you cut from your life, you’ll save one pound of carbon dioxide — a harmful greenhouse gas — from being released into the atmosphere.
  4. Makes us healthier - Idling is linked to increases in asthma, allergies, heart and lung disease and cancer. Kids are especially vulnerable because they inhale more air per pound of body weight, and lots of idling happens near schools. It’s been recently found that breathing exhaust fumes may be linked to autism. Also, a study in New York City showed that kids with a high exposure to combustion engine byproducts had lower IQs by age 5.
  5. Good for your engine - Idling can damage engine components. According to the California Energy Commission, “Fuel is only partially combusted when idling because an engine does not operate at its peak temperature. This leads to the build up of fuel residues on cylinder walls that can damage engine components and increase fuel consumption.” And did you know that today’s cars warm up more efficiently when they’re driving than sitting in a driveway? No need to warm up your engine by idling.

Check out more reasons at Sustainable America‘s Turn It Off campaign to educate drivers about the dangers of idling. Here is a great infographic with the facts and figures on why idling is a bad idea:

TELL YOUR SENATORS TO GIVE GINA MCCARTHY A VOTE FOR EPA ADMINISTRATOR

 

Related
Are Electric Cars Really Better for the Environment?
20 Ways to Conserve Water in the Home
Tips to Conserve Energy Costs This Summer

Read more: Asthma, Children, Eco-friendly tips, Environment, Green, Health

by Karen Lee

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Moms Clean Air Force

Moms Clean Air Forceis a community of moms, dads and others fighting for clean air and the health of future generations. Follow them on Twitter @ MomsCAF.

61 comments

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11:14AM PDT on Sep 1, 2014

Hope you don't mind a correction: Under "Saves gas"... if 2 minutes spent idling equals 1 mile of driving, then idling for 12 minutes uses enough gas to drive 6 miles (not 24). OR, if it is correct that idling for 12 minutes equals the gas needed to drive 24 miles, then the statement should read for every 1 minute idling you use enough gas to drive 2 miles.

4:44AM PDT on Jul 21, 2014

Excellent effort to make this blog more wonderful and attractive.Park Place Bellevue Review

4:10AM PDT on Jun 17, 2014

Unbelievable work man!! Keep your heads high you probably did it.auto service

12:42AM PDT on Sep 13, 2013

Thank you for all the information. Nice artivle. :)

4:05AM PDT on Sep 9, 2013

Thank you Moms Clean Air Force, for Sharing this!

6:19AM PDT on Aug 26, 2013

interesting info and conflicting comments

10:13AM PDT on Jul 30, 2013

Thanks for the info

3:54AM PDT on Jul 28, 2013

Noted

7:15PM PDT on Jul 26, 2013

The small town I live in claims to be an idle-free zone. I'm really not sure how strongly this is enforced, especially in winter, because everyone lets their car 'warm' up forever. There is one drive-thru Tim Horton's downtown but that's the only drive-thru in our town thankfully, but they're very busy in the mornings. There were banners and even TV commercials and newspaper ads about being idle-free... I haven't seen it advertised lately however... Plan your trips, carpool if you can, gas is getting super expensive too.

11:06PM PDT on Jul 23, 2013

Even better, go car-free if you can.

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