Tuesday, 23 December 2008

An idle question...

The Post Office in many towns is the worst place for it: idling, aside from those who block a laneway, it bothers me no end!

It is not just a winter issue, either.
The white car (below) was sitting, engine on, in August heat. I would swear that I could feel air conditioning as I walked past, too!

I recently read a terrific article about the cost of idling.
For those of us concerned about the environment idling is not An idle question...as it was cleverly titled.

*Brrr! It's another cold morning out there! Better run out and start the car before you have breakfast so it's toasty warm when it's time to leave for work in 15 minutes. As you head into work, you stop by the drive-thru and wait in line for 5 minutes for a coffee. That afternoon, you keep the car running for 10 minutes while waiting to pick your kids up from school - it's pretty cold out and they'll appreciate the warmth. later still, you need to stop by the drug store and pick up a prescription - you'll only be 5 minutes, so you leave your son/daughter/spouse/dog in the vehicle with the engine running.

Idling bylaw or not, we've all done it, haven't we? Well, we ask you to give some thought to what the costs are. An idling engine burns about 3.5 litres per hour. That means the 35 minutes you left your vehicle idling consumed 2.03 litres of fuel. Multiply that by, say 24 days each month and you've burned up almost 50 litres of fuel. Even at our currently lower fuel prices, that still amounts to approximately $20 each month. When prices head back up to the summer levels of $1.30 per litre, that would mean you've idled away almost $64.00 worth of fuel. Multiply that by 12 months (we do need that air conditioning in the summer, don't we?) and say bye-bye to anywhere from $240 to over $750 each year. Keep going with the math, and over the years you could have financed some lovely dinners out, a nice family vacation, or padded your retirement fund.

And if it still seems like chump change to you, 'cos some of us would think, "hey, I don't mind paying $20 to $64 a month to keep my vehicle at a comfie temperature:, maybe you would consider the following. Every litre of gas used produces 2.4 kg of CO2. Idling that 30 minutes or so a day can produce about a quarter tonne of CO2 emissions each year. Idling contributes to bad air quality - an idling engine generates twice as much exhaust emission as an engine in motion, contributing significantly to air pollution.

Save money, save the planet! Don't idle longer than absolutely necessary.
*This is reprinted, by permission, from Two Guys Auto's December, 2008, newsletter.


Travis Erwin said...

Lots of idling takes place inside the post office as well.

Junosmom said...

Good point and one that few people recognize.

Jennifer Jilks said...

Travis, you are such a postcard!