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idling

7 Ways to Take Action on Idling

Reduce your idling impact and inspire others to do the same

Most people don’t realize how much gas they’re wasting by idling their cars. But once they learn the facts about idling, they’re usually more than willing to change their behavior. With that in mind, we’ve put together seven steps you can take to raise awareness about this important issue. Helps us make turning off your engine rather than idling as commonplace as wearing your seatbelt!

Meet the Man Who’s Asked Thousands of New Yorkers to Stop Idling

George Pakenham's vigilante approach to environmental justice

“Excuse me for bothering you… but are you aware that it’s against the law to idle your car engine in NYC for more than 3 minutes?”

Those are the words George Pakenham, a New Yorker who works in finance, has used to start thousands of discussions though car windows on the streets of Manhattan. What started as an impulsive act on his Upper East Side block in 2005 evolved into a full-blown citizen activism campaign that went all the way to City Hall and is still going strong. We caught up with George to find out more about his vigilante approach to environmental justice and “Idle Threat: Man on Emission,” the award-winning documentary he made about it.

College Student Speaks Out About Idling

Clare Roth wants to put an end to unnecessary idling

In January, Sustainable America received an unexpected call. It was from Clare Roth, a Northwestern University senior journalism student who had learned of our “I Turn It Off” pledge campaign to end unnecessary vehicle idling. A member of her school’s speech team, Roth had chosen vehicle idling as the topic for the prepared speech she would be competing with throughout the season—and she wanted to see if we could send her materials to hand out at the events.

L.A. Port Project Aims to Reduce Wasteful Idling

Can a new logistics system get standstill truck traffic moving?

Freight is an essential part of the world economy, and goods are largely moved with fossil fuels. But wait times, congestion, idling, and other factors all lead to wasted fuel and air pollution. With U.S. domestic freight expected to double and international freight to triple by the year 2035, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) is spurring development of information systems to improve the efficiency of moving goods. Here’s how they hope to do it…

5 (More) Anti-Idling Heroes

Another salute to people and programs committed to the idling issue

Back in July, we wrote about five people and organizations that were doing a great job of spreading awareness about idling. Every week we hear about more people and projects that are working to raise awareness about idling, so it’s already time to expand our list.

5 Anti-Idling Videos We Love

Slick, funny or campy, they all share this message: Stop idling!

You’ve seen our anti-idling video, right? It’s part of our I Turn It Off campaign to end unnecessary idling. Well, It turns out that we’re not the only ones working to end unnecessary idling. Local governments, school districts and air quality agencies all over the country (and Canada) have take up the cause — and some of them have made their own videos. Some are slick, others homemade and campy, but they all share a common message: Stop idling! Here are some of our favorites.

Thousands Pledge to Stop Idling

A progress report on our "I Turn It Off" anti-idling campaign

In June, we started the “I Turn It Off” campaign to raise awareness about how a small change to a daily habit—reducing vehicle idling—can make a big impact. So far, thousands of drivers have heard the message and taken our pledge to stop idling. Our goal is to reach 10,000 pledges. Here’s a snapshot of the incredible impact that would have.

5 Anti-Idling Heroes

Leading the charge against unnecessary idling nationwide

Individuals, cities, businesses and organizations across the country have been taking initiative to eliminate unnecessary idling in their communities. Allow us to introduce you to five anti-idling heroes that make us proud to say “I Turn It Off”.

Solving the Truck-Idling Problem

New technology aims to reduce the 1.2 billion gallons of fuel trucks waste every year due to idling

As part of our new anti-idling campaign, iturnitoff.com, we’ve been talking a lot about a simple personal change that can make a big difference — restarting your car instead of idling. But what if you drive a truck for a living? Drivers of heavy vehicles and tractor trailers often take breaks or even sleep in their trucks, and turning it off in extreme weather becomes is a safety issue rather than an environmental one. But with new anti-idling laws that can carry steep fines for idling more than a few minutes, not to mention the harmful impact on the environment, companies are starting to take note and explore alternative solutions.

The Truth About Idling [infographic]

Get the facts on idling, then pledge to "turn it off"

As part of our Turn It Off anti-idling campaign, we created this handy, shareable infographic that explains the facts about idling and why it is a crucial economic, health, and environmental issue. A small change to your daily driving habits can make a big change. Take a look, then take the pledge to stop idling and spread the word.

Announcing the ‘Turn It Off’ Anti-Idling Campaign

Take a pledge to stop idling — save money, gas and the planet!

Sustainable America is launching the “I Turn It Off” campaign to raise awareness about the negative consequences of idling and educate drivers on how a small change to a daily habit can make a big impact. Learn more and pledge to curb idling at iturnitoff.com.

10 Reasons to Turn Off an Idling Car

Save money, gas, and more with the turn of a key

It happens, we know. You’re picking up a friend, waiting for your fast food order or just trying to warm up your car on cold morning — and you leave it running for a little while. It’s easy to let those minutes tick by, but getting into the habit of turning your car off when you’ll be idle for more than 10 seconds can make a big difference. Here’s why…

Anti-Idling Laws Around the Nation

How idling wastes fuel and what states are doing about it

Americans waste some 3.8 millions gallons of fuel every day simply by idling their cars. Several states are trying to combat this polluting trend by passing anti-idling laws. You may be shocked to see the fines that exist where you live.

This Weekend: Visit Us at Boston GreenFest!

Free film screenings, entertainment, hands-on learning and more

If you’re in the Boston area this weekend and you’re interested in the environment, then you won’t want to miss Boston GreenFest 2014. This free, three-day festival, which brings together greater Boston’s green community to share ideas and learn about how to build a healthy and sustainable future, is happening Aug. 15-17 at Boston City Hall Plaza. Sustainable America will be there hosting screenings of “Idle Threat: Man on Emission,” educating about clean transportation and zero-waste events, and showing off innovative alt-fuel vehicles. Here’s where you’ll find us:

Collegiate Sports Are Going Green

New resource helps collegiate sports win the sustainability game

Momentum is growing in the green sports movement as folks are putting more effort into reducing waste and energy consumption at major sporting events. We are excited to see that this trend has spread to collegiate sports, as well. Last week at the Collegiate Sports Sustainability Summit a new resource was released that will make campuses and sporting events greener.

How the Trucking Industry Can Save Billions of Gallons of Fuel Per Year

Idling trucks waste a tremendous amount of fuel and money. Could new technologies could make idling obsolete? (Infographic)

For the 1.7 million truckers in the United States, their trucks are homes away from home. During overnights and rest breaks, they need to eat, relax, catch up with their families and get a good night’s sleep. The problem? Most truckers power appliances, computers, heaters and air conditioners by idling their engines — some up to 8 hours a day, more than 300 days a year — which wastes fuel and money and pollutes the air. Check out our infographic to learn more about the truck idling issue and some of the solutions the trucking industry is starting to use to save fuel.

Spring into Better Gas Mileage

Boost your MPGs with easy spring car maintenance tips

Finally, spring. Daffodils! Budding trees! Short sleeves! Rising gas prices! Wait, what was that last one?

In case you hadn’t noticed, the average price of gas jumped from $3.49 to $3.62 in the last month, and prices are expected to hover around $3.57 a gallon throughout the summer, just one penny below last year’s average.

“Why I Quit Oil”

Founder Nick Tiller on why he left trading to start Sustainable America

After 12 years of profiting from the energy and agriculture markets, I resigned my position as a hedge fund portfolio manager last year. Now, as the founder of Sustainable America, I devote a material portion of my time and net worth to helping make our nation’s food and fuel systems more resilient. Here’s why

How to Eat Local in Winter (Infographic)

10 foods you can find all season long

In many parts of the country, locally available fresh produce is strictly limited by the seasons. But despite the dearth of fresh produce in winter, you can still round out your diet with locally sourced foods like the 10 listed in our infographic below. You might have to do a little research to find them all in your area, but your effort will be deliciously rewarded.

Success Means Wasting Less

Your donations mean a lot — here's how we put them to work

As we head into an exciting fundraising campaign this Friday — Fairfield County Giving Day — we wanted to share more about the specific projects your generous donations help fund.



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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.