Less Idling First on Concerned Scientist’s List of Oil Solutions

Linda Gaines: Less idling, less oil

linda-gaines-idlingLinda Gaines, a Systems Analyst in the Center for Transportation Research at Argonne National Lab, studies vehicle idling. We’re all familiar with idling—sitting at traffic lights, waiting in a running car to pick someone up, watching trucks idle while their drivers make deliveries.

Cumulatively, the impact of vehicle idling is huge. In the U.S. alone, idling uses more than 6 billion gallons of fuel each year.

In one study, Linda’s research team addressed a common dilemma faced by fast-food customers—do you use less fuel to drive-thru, or to park, go inside the restaurant, and then restart the car? The answer: idling for longer than 10 seconds consumes more fuel and produces more global warming pollution than stopping and restarting, so you’re better off going inside the restaurant.

Linda’s team turns their findings into practical tools to help drivers reduce their idling, and even created an online IdleBox toolkit in partnership with the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program.

Given the amount of oil wasted by idling vehicles each year, Linda’s work is making important progress towards improving vehicle fuel efficiency—a key piece of the UCS Half the Oil plan.

via Oil Solutions At Work: Experts and Entrepreneurs Working to Reduce Oil Use | Union of Concerned Scientists.

Why do YOU idle less?

See why people in “a cleaner Connecticut” do it!

‘What’s up with going IDLE-FREE?’ Nova Scotia gets it…

 

 

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Canada gets it… why can’t we?

via ‘What’s up with going IDLE-FREE?’ NS Auto Dealers and Chronicle Herald 2007 Newspapers in Education (NIE) Supplement.

Chinese Traffic Lights Make Non-Idling Easy

I just heard a report from a friend returning from China that traffic lights signal before the light turns green… so that drivers can re-start their engines and prepare to move.

An article from the South China Morning Post discusses the benefits of switching engines off while waiting for a light to change.

What I found most interesting was this sentence:

A Friends of the Earth survey has found that, although less than half of the drivers polled always switched off their engines when waiting, more than 60 per cent of the drivers who left their motor running said they would be willing to switch off regularly on realising this action helps the environment.

Less than half of drivers switched off their engines already? What a huge number! Here in Oakland it would be less than one percent! Apparently, even the most mainstream Chinese drivers are already doing better than we are in terms of ending the harmful practice of unnecessary idling.

Drive to cut idling motors | South China Morning Post

via Drive to cut idling motors | South China Morning Post.

KFOG’s Sustainable September

Kudos to @KFOGRadio for sponsoring Sustainable September! Those who can’t afford a new #NissanLeaf just yet can still save a lot of money and make an impact on the environment by just turning off their engines.

A lot of people still sit and idle for long periods of time because we’ve heard that it puts more wear and tear on your car, and/or uses more gas than turning it off. This is actually a myth. Today’s cars with fuel-injection only take about 10 seconds worth of gas to start up when they’re warm. And you don’t need to warm up a car before driving—it’s better to get those fluids moving when the wheels are turning. If you average in the cost of wear and tear, the rule of thumb is to turn off your engine if you’re going to be stopped for more than 30 seconds. 
 
In some countries—the ones with the cleanest environments—you have to turn off your motor if you’re the first, second, or third person at a traffic light! In California it is illegal to idle your engine for more than five minutes. You should turn your engine off when dropping off your kids at school, waiting for a train to pass, and when you’re sitting in the parking lot after a concert waiting for traffic to move five. And of course, never leave your car when the engine is idling!
 
New start-stop technology is arriving that turns engines off whenever cars are not moving, but it can’t arrive soon enough. Anyone can do this, just turn the key.
 

Say NO to Keystone XL!

Say NO to Keystone XL!

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Take public transit to the Forward on Climate Change (NO #KeystoneXL) Rally tomorrow! If you have to drive, turn that key and be #idlefree!

We are proud to be endorsing this event. Even top NASA officals agree that the Tar Sands pipeline means “game over” for the environment. As a nation, we could save twice as much oil in a year (10%) by giving up our idling habits than the pipeline will provide (5%).

 

 

Walking School Bus

Check out Sequoia Elementary’s “walking school bus” at http://www.kalw.org/post/get-school-walking-school-bus! The power of parent organization for a greener world and happier kids.

Check out our new co2 widget!

Did you know the atmospheric parts per million of co2 went from 392 to 395 in two years? Check out our co2 widget and get your own at co2now.org. Put one on your website, and tell your news source to start talking about this number. We need to get down to 350 or these crazy hot summers and melting glaciers will get worse.

While you’re at the site, stop and take the Pause n’ Park it Pledge…. because we know you can’t rush out and get an electric car yet.

 

What is 350?

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350 parts per million of atmospheric carbon is the safe upper limit. Today we’re at 390. We have to make every effort to get back to 350 for our species to survive. Every little bit counts! Please don’t idle. Click any of these images to learn more.

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Earth Hour this Saturday!

Don’t just turn off your lights for #earthhour from 8:30 to 9:30… turn off your engine, too!