We all have to do it- wait in the car. At school or sports. Picking up friends and family. In line at the bank or for fast food.
If your engine is running while you’re waiting, it’s generating harmful emissions- and everyone around you is breathing them in. (FYI- children are more at risk because their lungs are developing). Turn the engine off instead, even if just for a minute or two. Idling for 10 seconds wastes more gas than restarting the engine.
Idling adds up. According to an EDF report, in New York City idling cars and trucks (going nowhere) crank out 130,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year.
So next time you’re idling, make sure your engine isn’t!
The bottom line: the less you drive, the less you pollute. So do a little planning and combine your car trips to save time and gas. Swing by the grocery on the way back from the gym (my personal favorite), or stop at the bank after work. See how many errands you can get into one outing. Sound simple? Because it is.
According to the US Department of Transportation, the average driver is out on the road about 1,000 miles a month That’s a lot of time in the car!
What is the most polluting activity that many of us do every day? Driving.
Cars, trucks, and other transportation are the biggest contributor to air pollution in the US. When vehicles burn gasoline they create nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and other pollution. This dirty air is harmful to people and the environment, both locally and globally.
According to the US EPA, new cars are 75-90% less polluting per mile than cars from 1970. But today more people drive than ever before. And air pollution from cars is even higher in urban areas– and the highest near major highways.
Over the next couple of posts, explore how to drive- and pollute- less. I wish my kids could telecommute for their after school activities, but apparently it doesn’t work that way!