The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
7 Ways to Take Action on Idling
In the U.S., nearly 4 million gallons of fuel (enough to fill five Olympic-size swimming pools!) is wasted every day as a result of vehicle idling. All this unnecessary idling pollutes our communities, wastes money and contributes to our reliance on foreign oil.
But most people don’t mean to be so wasteful—they just don’t really even think about it. Or, they may be following the outdated notion that restarting your car wastes more gas than letting it run for a few minutes. Once you point out the facts to someone, they’re usually more than willing to change their behavior. With that in mind, we’ve put together some steps you can take to raise awareness about this important issue. Help us make turning off your engine rather than idling as commonplace as wearing your seat belt!
1. Take the “I Turn It Off” Pledge
“I pledge to idle for no longer than 10 seconds when I’m not in traffic.”
Visit iturnitoff.com to join the growing number of individuals and organizations committed to “Turning It Off.” Turning off your engine when idling for more than 10 seconds when not in traffic is the easiest way for you to get involved and make a difference. Once you get into the habit it will become second nature. You’ll save gas and cash, you’ll lengthen the life of your engine, and you’ll contribute to a cleaner, healthier planet.
2. Learn More
Extensive information about anti-idling is available online. Visit our I Turn It Off Campaign website to get started. Read inspiring stories on our blog about what others are doing to tackle unnecessary idling in their communities.
3. Spread the Word
Share what you’ve learned about vehicle idling by asking your friends, family, classmates and colleagues to take the pledge and join you in making a difference. Order an I Turn It Off bumper sticker for your car. Consider writing an editorial in your local newspaper. Share the facts on social media with these Facebook and Twitter updates:
Did you know that 10 seconds of #idling wastes more fuel than restarting your engine? Learn more and take the pledge to stop idling.
Find out how much money you can save by cutting down on #idling.
4. Start a Campaign in Your Community
Launch an I Turn It Off anti-idling campaign in your city or town, at your school, work, or place of worship, and encourage others to get on board for a safer and healthier community for all! Download posters, postcards and flyers in our idling toolkit at iturnitoff.com.
5. Organize a Screening of IdleThreat: Man on Emissions
Idle Threat: Man on Emissions is the story of George Pakenham, a New Yorker who got fed up with people idling in his neighborhood. He took action by asking them to stop and advocating for anti-idling enforcement in New York. Watching this entertaining film is a powerful learning experience and can be a great springboard for collective discussion and action. The film can be purchased for community screenings of varying sizes through The Video Project.
6. Engage with Local Government
Begin by researching anti-idling laws, ordinances and policies in your town, city and/or state. If these are in place, are they being enforced? Are there opportunities that you see for improvement? Develop a set of recommendations and identify the appropriate person(s) to meet with in your community. Identify potential allies such as like-minded local environmental or health organizations.
7. Tell Your Legislators That Idling Is an Important Issue
Currently, 28 states have anti-idling laws in place. While this is a great start, all states should have laws against this harmful practice. A national law would likely be best, as inconsistency in rules makes compliance difficult for drivers, particularly long-distance drivers like truckers. Also, in recent years several car manufacturers have started offering automatic start-stop anti-idling technology in their vehicles as an add-on. Like higher MPG legislation, this technology could be mandated, which would significantly cut down on unnecessary idling times.
BONUS! If you’re passionate about this issue, please donate to help us raise even more awareness about vehicle idling. Your donation will help support efforts like our new Idle-Free Fleet program, which educates and trains universities, municipalities and businesses about how to reduce idling in their vehicle fleets.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Jason Bittel
High up in the mountains of Montana's Glacier National Park, there are two species of insect that only a fly fishermen or entomologist would probably recognize. Known as stoneflies, these aquatic bugs are similar to dragonflies and mayflies in that they spend part of their lives underwater before emerging onto the land, where they transform into winged adults less than a half inch long. However, unlike those other species, stoneflies do their thing only where cold, clean waters flow.
By Bob Curley
- The new chicken sandwiches at McDonald's, Popeyes, and Chick-fil-A all contain the MSG flavor enhancement chemical.
- Experts say MSG can enhance the so-called umami flavor of a food.
- The ingredient is found in everything from Chinese food and pizza to prepackaged sandwiches and table sauces.
McDonald's wants to get in on the chicken sandwich war currently being waged between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A.
By Andrea Germanos
Youth climate activists marched through the streets of Davos, Switzerland Friday as the World Economic Forum wrapped up in a Fridays for Future demonstration underscoring their demand that the global elite act swiftly to tackle the climate emergency.
By Tim Radford
The year is less than four weeks old, but scientists already know that carbon dioxide emissions will continue to head upwards — as they have every year since measurements began — leading to a continuation of the Earth's rising heat.