Recently I've been reading a lot about idling: it's been a hot topic on the Fostering Sustainable Behavior listserv, it's hit Planetizen, and my mom's school's environmental club has asked parents in car line to turn off their cars.
Every day millions of people drive to work...and a lot of us sit in traffic or pause at the drive-thru. Or we use busses, vans, and taxis that idle. When our vehicles are running, they're spewing emissions (well, most of them except the ZEV's)...even if we're sitting still.
So, what's the story? Should we be turning off our cars? There's certainly a myth out there that turning off the car has greater wear & tear than idling. Here are a few bits of research that help dispell that myth:
- Greentips from the Union of Concerned Scientists
- Consumer Energy Center
- Natural Resources Canada
- EERE Resources (commercial vehicles, mostly)
- Smart Idle (more for trucks, but the principles still apply)
Image Source: slate.com