Tuesday, September 9, 2008

#23 Idle no more.

School is back in session.  The weather is beautiful, so when school lets out I pack up the baby and the 3 year old into the stroller, don my running shoes, and get ready to push 70 pounds+ of children and stroller up a very steep hill.  It's great exercise, I feel good about it, and I even get cheered on occasionally by strangers who witness my battle with the full stroller on the steepest parts of the hill.  I finally reach the top, and inhale a nice deep breath of... car fumes?  My path takes me past the "pick-up line" where parents await the final bell and the rush of children from their classrooms.  I have noticed that about 75% of the cars, trucks, SUV's, and minivans keep their motors running while they wait, emitting a steady stream of exhaust right into the path of walking kids and parents.  I want to knock on their windows and say, "Could you please turn off your engine?"  There really is no excuse to keep it running (around here it's rarely even warm enough to need the AC.)  Starting your car again is NOT hard on the engine, does not use more fuel, and your car engine does not need to warm up to drive in cold weather (see here).   That information comes from old cars and old myths.  Idling wastes fuel and creates emmissions.  I'm not sure I could go for turning off the car every time it's idling (i.e. stoplights,) but there are definitely times that my car is running idle and I am working toward making turning the car off a habit.   I am grateful that the school buses do not idle their engines while waiting for the kids.

Pros:  Less fuel wasted, less exhaust emitted.

Cons:  You can't run the AC with the car off, and it takes a second or two to start the engine to get moving again.

1 comment:

Sasha Fisher said...

This is my first time reading your blog. I really enjoyed it. I did not know you were so environmentally friendly. Most excellent. I am striving (but seem to be failing) to be more "green." I wish somethings were not so convenient as they ruin the environment.