Personal-vehicle idling wastes nearly 3 billion gallons of fuel per year in the U.S. and generates about 30 million tons of CO2.
Eliminating those emissions would be equivalent to removing more than 5 million passenger vehicles from the road for one year, and every little bit helps.
We’re not suggesting you turn your car off while sitting in traffic. In fact, please don’t (although some newer models with start/stop technology will do that for you!). But you can opt to park the car and walk inside stores when possible. Or if you do end up waiting in a line of vehicles, switch your engine off. The same applies to picking your kids up from school or sitting in a driveway while you wait for your friend to hop in the car.
To warm up your car’s engine in the winter, give it about 30 seconds and then gently hit the road. Most modern vehicles recommend against extended idling, because driving helps your car’s engine (and interior) warm up faster.
Don’t have a car? Congrats! You’re already a step ahead of the game. Now, spread the word on idling to your friends and family.
- Check out Slate Magazine’s review of cars that use “start-stop” technology to save gas!