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.
 
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About Kristen Caven

A "liberal artist" with a generous muse, Kristen Caven writes in various voices on a variety of subjects to illuminate, enlighten, inspire, and amuse.

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