An Easy Way to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions – Stop Idling

January 5, 2022

If your new year resolution involves improving your health and saving money which, by the way, are two of the top 10 new year’s resolutions, why not make an anti-idling pledge to help you on your way!  

Each year in the United States idling from personal vehicles wastes 3 billion gallons of fuel and generates 30 million tons of Carbon dioxide.  Eliminating unnecessary idling could be the same as taking 5 million cars off the road!  

Reducing idling is not only good for the planet but it’s good for our health and our pocketbooks.  Saving fuel saves us money and cutting back on idling also reduces vehicle emissions which release harmful chemicals, gasses and particle pollution in the air.  Air pollution has been linked to asthma as well as cardiovascular and respiratory disease. 

Some of the most common locations for idling include our driveways, drive thrus, schools and car washes.  The next time you get in your car, think about the places where you are most likely to idle and challenge yourself to avoid doing so.  Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Avoid using a remote starter, which encourages unnecessary idling
  • If the line is long at the drive through, shut off your engine while waiting or park your car and walk inside instead.
  • While waiting in the carpool line at your child’s school, take advantage of this extra time to squeeze in some exercise by turning off your engine and going for a short power walk or taking a nice long stretch.
  • Today’s vehicles don’t require idle time to reach ideal operating temperature.  Instead, most manufacturers recommend driving away gently after running the vehicle for about 30 seconds.  Turning an engine on and off will not damage today’s gasoline vehicles either.
  • Consider the purchase of an electric-drive vehicle or one with stop/start technology, both of which eliminate idling at traffic stops and while waiting in lines. (For a tool that helps drivers evaluate the costs and benefits of specific electric vehicles compared to specific conventional vehicles, see the EVolution tool.)

Adopting even one or two small changes to our driving habits is pretty easy. By doing so, we can not only help achieve our personal goals, but help improve the overall health of our planet too!   Here’s to ringing in 2022 with a pledge to idle less to help us achieve more success with our new year’s resolutions.  Happy New Year!