We’re proud to announce that Crown Uniform and Linen is the first member of Sustainable America’s Idle-Free Fleet program. This family-owned uniform company rolled out an idling-reduction pilot program with just 20 trucks this spring and is already on track to save more than $25,000 a year. Here’s how they did it…
“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.
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.
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.
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.
It has been an exciting year. 2013 was the first full year of operation for Sustainable America. The generous support and clear vision of Nick Tiller, our founder and chairman, provided us with a simple mandate: to improve the sustainability of America’s food and transportation fuel systems, and we’re proud of our progress so far. We’ve just released our 2013 Year-End Report that details the year’s efforts and accomplishments and shares our plans for 2014.
As the year comes to an end, we’re asking for help from our supporters to implement more programs for a sustainable future. Read about our mission, highlights from 2013, and be a part of our efforts.
As more and more Americans realize the truth about idling their cars, we can’t forget about the millions of truckers transporting products for us across the nation’s highways. You might not realize how much time those trucks spend idling to power their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems inside the cabs of the trucks in which they basically live while on the road. Regulations require them to take at least an eight to 10 hour break every day—and for much of that time, their trucks are idling or using diesel-powered auxiliary units for power.
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.
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.