Ten seconds is a small amount of time that can make a big difference. With our sights set on making small changes that make big impact, the topic of idling vehicles seems timely.
If you idle your vehicle for more than ten seconds, you are wasting money, draining your gas tank, and polluting the environment.
Now we understand, there are times when idling is necessary. You can’t help being stuck in traffic or waiting for that red light to change. But for all the other times we have turned the key prematurely to warm up our vehicle before hitting the road, or to keep the car warm while waiting for the kids to finish school, how long did you let that vehicle sit, clouding the air around with its exhaust fumes before you hopped in?
If it was longer than 10 seconds, well your toasty vehicle cost you and your neighbours. By delaying your drive, you added unnecessary CO2 – the main greenhouse gas culprit associated with climate change – into the air. And that is air we need to breathe, so it makes sense to keep it clean.
We think this next figure might make you gasp a little. Health Canada has estimated that more than 5000 Canadians die prematurely each year because of air pollution. Pardon the pun but unnecessary idling is playing a key role. With that in mind, here’s some handy idling information.
Turn it off
By avoiding idling for just three minutes a day, we could collectively prevent 1.4 million tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. That’s the equivalent of taking 320,000 cars off the road for the entire year.
Contrary to popular belief, the best way to warm your vehicle is to drive it gently. In fact, your engine will warm up twice as fast when the car is in motion.
Curb your expenses
Those few minutes you are spending idling outside the school, waiting in the parking lot or at the drive-through window are costing you money. Idling for 10 seconds wastes more gas that restarting your engine. Leave it for two minutes and you’ve just wasted enough gas, on average, to get you 1.6 km down the road. Idling also leaves fuel residues that will damage your engine. We don’t know anyone who enjoys higher maintenance costs or more frequent trips to the mechanic.
Give the drive-through a miss
Fast-food might not be the healthiest choice, and it turns out, a visit to the drive-through is bad for environment too. Try parking and heading into the restaurant to order, or turn your ignition off while you wait at the window.
The power to make a difference for our planet and our health is within reach. Why not get a clean start today!
About The Author
Serial Entrepreneur, Technologist and Inventor.
My objective is to develop useful products that have a net positive effect in the lives of those that use them and the environment that we live in.
CEO of Mission LED Lighting Company Ltd.
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