Idle-Free Oakland was started by a local artist/writer and citizen activist who declared her gas-burning car a Homemade Hybrid in 2007 after learning about Canada’s 10-second rule* and kicking the idling habit. Since then, she has watched Idle-Free campaigns blossom in cities, states, and countries around the world. That same year, Oakland became the first U.S. city to develop an Oil-Independence Roadmap.

In Europe, the recommended guidelines for turning engines off are 10 seconds in Italy and France, 20 seconds in Austria, 40 seconds in Germany and 60 seconds in the Netherlands. In the United States the Environmental Protection Agency’s Smartway and DriveWise programs recommend turning the engine off if you’re stopped for more than 30 seconds.

Ask us to come speak to your group! idlefreeoakland (at)

*note: Canada has since changed this rule to 60 seconds, presumably under pressure from the tar sands oil industry.

2 responses

  1. Ariel Ambruster says:

    Greetings – I’m working with Nora Cody at TransForm/Safe Routes to Schools on projects in southern Alameda County, as part of an air quality resource team sponsored by the Air District.

    Our group really loved the bumper stickers, and we might be interested in getting some made with a different geographic area – possibly idlefreebayarea. Would you be able to put me in touch with your graphic artist to see what the cost would be?

    Thanks so much!


    • Kristen Caven says:

      Ariel, it was wonderful working with you! I’m so excited you’ll be distributing IDLE-FREE ZONE banners to 78 Hayward and Fremont schools!