Sustainable America Blog

8 Reasons to Turn Off an Idling Car

8 Reasons to Turn Off an Idling Car

It happens, we know. You’re picking up a friend, waiting for a 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 for your pocketbook and the planet.

We put together this infographic to illustrate the many benefits of turning off your car. Be part of the solution by taking our pledge to Turn It Off when you’ll be idle for more than 10 seconds.

8 Reasons to Turn Off an Idling Car Infographic

Visit to pledge to stop idling and find more information and resources.

1, 2, 3: Based on research from Argonne National Laboratory. Visit Clean Cities for information and resources.

2: Cost based on $2.466 average gas price on 10/31/2017.

4: Environmental Defense Fund, American Lung Association

5: Perera, Frederica P. et al. “Prenatal Airborne Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Exposure and Child IQ at Age 5 Years.” Pediatrics 124.2 (2009): e195–e202. PMC. Web. 1 Nov. 2017.

World Health Organization

Video: How Idling at School Affects Kids’ Health
7 Ways to Take Action on Idling
Meet the Man Who Asks New Yorkers To Stop Idling

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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.

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