The following article is sponsored by Utah Clean Air Partnership.
Did you know that idling your car for more than 30 seconds is harmful to Utah’s air? According to Utah Clean Cities’ Idle Free program, idling vehicles in the U.S. consume more than two billion gallons of diesel and gasoline each year. That’s a lot of wasted fuel and emissions without even moving your car.
While there are some circumstances where idling is unavoidable, there are a lot of ways drivers can idle less. Here are some simple things you can do to reduce idling:
- If you are going to stop your car for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine. When you start your engine, do not step down on the accelerator, simply turn the key to start.
- Rather than waiting in line at a slow drive-through window, stretch your legs and walk inside to get your burger or caffeine fix.
- In colder areas, use an engine block heater to warm the engine. This improves fuel efficiency and reduces emissions.
- Use remote starters wisely. Don’t turn your vehicle on before you are ready to leave.
- Track your emissions reductions using UDOT’s TravelWise tracker.
- Talk to the principal of your child’s school about posting anti-idling signs in areas where school buses and parents wait for pick-up and drop-off.
- Unnecessary idling around schools can aggravate childhood asthma and other respiratory ailments.
- If you are in the market for a new car, consider buying a hybrid since the engine shuts off when the vehicle is stationary.
- Encourage your employer to implement anti-idling policies at the workplace.
Research indicates that the average person idles their car five to ten minutes a day. A car idling for about two minutes uses the same amount of fuel it takes to dire one mile. Imagine what a positive impact we would have on Utah’s air (and our own pocketbooks) if every driver stopped idling, especially during inversions.
UCAIR’s Idle-Free Program provides information about idling; including health impacts and calculators that show how much money you could save by idling less. Remember, every action you take to reduce personal emissions, whether big or small matters to Utah’s air. Show UCAIR today and commit to being idle free this inversion season.