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!


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?


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.


Earth Hour this Saturday!

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

Occupy Your Gas Tank

Gas prices just jumped to over $4 per gallon again. Meanwhile, Exxon reported profits of $9.3 billion last year (yes, billion with a ‘b”) — “the highest profits in the history of money,” to quote Bill McKibben. McKibben founded 350.org, and is the voice of a grass-roots fight against the Keystone XL Pipeline project which, according to NASA’s top climatologists, would be “game over for the environment.” (Oil extraction from Canada’s tar sands is already an unspeakable environmental nightmare,using toxic chemicals and huge amounts of energy to strip-mine billions of acres of unspoiled forest land.) Nonetheless, a surge of money is pouring into congress to ram the project through.

Meanwhile, we’re so tired of being at war to protect our oil interests; tired of wall street greed; tired of climate deniers.

What can we, as car-culture consumers do? Boycotting oil is not as simple as boycotting other things. We can only make our voices heard with a two-pronged approach of activism and conservation.

Here are five ways to occupy your gas tank:

  1. Get a new car that is part of the solution.
  2. Take public transportation
  3. Ride a bike to work or school
  4. When you have to drive, drive green
  5. Turn off your engine!

The Doctor Prescribes Clean Air (Boston.com)

This is why all schools should be anti-idling zones!


Dr. Megan Sandel


Sandel, an associate professor of pediatrics and public health at Boston Medical Center, is an expert on asthma and air pollution.

Q. What is the connection between air pollution and health?

A. There’s a lot of evidence around how pollution affects respiratory health and cardiovascular health, particularly for vulnerable groups like children, people with asthma, or elders.

Q. What can people do to protect themselves?

A. I always talk about being able to moderate exposures as much as possible. I think air pollution is an example of something you’re not able to modulate easily on your own. You are relying on the federal and state government to regulate it because you have such insufficient alternatives: You can exercise indoors, you can try to reduce your energy use, and you can try to avoid going outside on certain days. But really, changing your environmental exposure is going to require a public health law.

Read more at: The doctor prescribes clean air – Boston.com.

Another reason to cut the engine habit…

Scientists Increasingly Link Vehicle Exhaust With Brain-Cell Damage, Higher Rates of Autism.

New public-health studies and laboratory experiments suggest that, at every stage of life, traffic fumes exact a measurable toll on mental capacity, intelligence and emotional stability. “There are more and more scientists trying to find whether and why exposure to traffic exhaust can damage the human brain,” says medical epidemiologist Jiu-Chiuan Chen at the University of Southern California who is analyzing the effects of traffic pollution on the brain health of 7,500 women in 22 states. “The human data are very new.”

Read the full article here.

It’s not just the Idling…

Ways to improve your gas mileage from high-country Aspen:

* Accelerate gradually.

* Avoid idling. The best way to warm up vehicles is to turn them on and drive. Idling for more than 10 seconds wastes more gas than turning your vehicle off and then back on again.

* Remove unnecessary cargo.

* Check your tire pressure. Under-inflation increases tire wear, reduces your fuel economy by up to 3 percent, and leads to increased greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

Better yet, give your car or truck a break! One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to use alternative transportation: Ride a bike, walk, take the bus, or skateboard. For every gallon of gas that you save, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint by about 20 pounds.