Stop idling your vehicle

Car exhaust pipe, close-up.

It wasn’t that long ago that you could save gas by leaving your car running if you planned on using it again within a few minutes. That’s no longer the case. Technology has changed and that means that it’s more energy efficient to turn off your car engine if you’re waiting for more than 10 seconds. The average American driver spends over 16 minutes a day idling their vehicle. By eliminating that 16 minutes of voluntary idling each day in a 4 cylinder car, you can save 32 gallons of gas, 704 pounds of CO2 and $116 in a year. Double that for an 8 cylinder vehicle. So where does all of this idling occur? Drive thrus, of course. But also at malls, in driveways and at car washes. The Hawthorne Bridge has signs on both ends to turn off your car if there’s a bridge lift. And if you’re idling at school, consider parking a block away and walking your kid to school. Idling by schools exposes kids and the neighborhood to a lot of carbon dioxide.

Stop idling your vehicle

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