Treehugger Homework: Stop Engine Idling
Yesterday morning while I was waiting for the bus, I saw a ginormous pickup truck (Dodge Ram 1500) idle for over 10 minutes in a driveway. Come on! It's bad enough to burn huge quantities of gasoline while driving around (usually alone in the vehicle) and while stuck in traffic, don't burn lots of it going nowhere too! I know I'm preaching to the choir here, so your homework for this week (yes, you read that correctly – and I'm handing out grades to people who tell their stories in the comments of this post) is to convince friends and family that letting the car idle is a bad idea. Most of them probably already know and just need a reminder, others might believe in certain myths about internal combustion engines, but whatever the reason, it has to stop!Telling them about the environmental aspects first might not be convincing enough if they have a low level of eco-awareness, so I suggest that you appeal to their pragmatic side: tell them about all the money they are wasting, that even the most fuel efficient car is getting ZERO miles per gallon when it's idling and that modern engines don't have to be warmed up for a long period of time even in the winter (30 seconds to 1 minute is usually enough, though after that you shouldn't drive hard immediately). Any time you stop for more than 10 seconds (except in traffic) usually is worth shutting off the engine. So there is your mission, if you choose to accept it. You can even use these graphics and print material to make it easier. Those who don't do their homework won't have dessert!