Sustainable Blog

Announcing the ‘Turn It Off’ Anti-Idling Campaign

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

Sustainable America Idling Campaign

Think about the last time you got cash from a drive-up ATM. Did you leave your car running? If the transaction lasted longer than 10 seconds, you might as well have put some of that cash right into your gas tank.

That’s right — letting your car idle for just 10 seconds wastes more fuel than restarting the car. In fact, Americans waste 3.8 millions gallons of fuel every day from idling their vehicles. Not only is idling an easy-to-avoid waste of gas and money, it also takes a toll on the environment and our health. (Did you know that an idling vehicle releases as much pollution as one that is driving? And that vehicle pollution has been linked to asthma and other lung diseases, allergies, heart disease, increased risk of infections and cancer, and other health problems?)

Sustainable America is launching the “Turn It Off” campaign today 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. Our campaign asks drivers to take on online pledge to turn off their vehicle when they’ll be idle for more than 10 seconds. Pledgers can order “Turn It Off” bumper stickers and download free resources to help spread the word in their communities. Here’s a quick video with more info:

Stop Idling – Take the Pledge from Sustainable America on Vimeo.

“Sustainable America is committed to reducing our reliance on oil through a variety of ways, including fuel conservation,” says Sustainable America’s Executive Director Jeremy Kranowitz. “Idling your vehicle in drive-thrus or at school drops-offs, for example, is a habit we can so easily break. With this campaign, we are raising awareness that this small action can affect big change.”

Think of it this way: With 1.8 cars per average U.S. household on the road, eliminating just 5 minutes of idling per day per family would save enough money to pay for oil changes every three months, and a well-maintained vehicle gets even better gas mileage. This simple action can make a big change!

Visit iturnitoff.com to take the pledge and find out more ways to get involved!

Sustainable America is committed to helping the United States reduce its oil consumption by 50% by 2035, and conservation measures like curbing idling is a simple daily behavioral change YOU can make and have a big impact.

Learn more about the idling issue:

10 Reasons to Turn Off an Idling Car

Anti-Idling Laws Around the Nation

A Future Without Red Lights

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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.