Utah is experiencing some of its worst measures of air quality in years due in large part to vehicle idling. In order to reach new drivers with the anti-idling message and get them involved in creating change, Utah State University professors started a popular poster contest program that is educating teens, spreading awareness and teaching real-world marketing skills in the process.
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…
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. Help us make turning off your engine rather than idling as commonplace as wearing your seat belt!
“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.
Peer pressure can be a powerful thing. It’s not so great in middle school when it can lead to group bullying or encourage youth to take unnecessary risks. But when it comes to making small behavior changes, it turns out that we are more likely to take a step when we can look to our peers for support—or a little friendly competition.
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.
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.
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…