Idle Free Zone Campaign

In June of 2007, ACAP Cape Breton launched the CBRM’s Idle Free Zone Campaign to educate the public on the risks that coincide with idling. Not only does idling have a negative effect on our environment and our health, but it also puts a dent in our pocketbooks.

ACAP Cape Breton has distributed “Idle Free” signs at participating businesses, organizations and schools throughout the CBRM. ACAP Cape Breton has also held tire pressure clinics and information booths offering easy ways to help improve the environment.

Myths About Idling

Myth: Engines should be warmed up before driving.
Fact: Driving is actually the best way to warm up your vehicle because most of the car’s moving parts don’t begin to warm up until the vehicle is moving. Even on the coldest winter days, as long as your windshield is clear, 30 seconds of warm up idling is all you need.

Myth: Idling is good for your engine.
Fact: When an engine is idling it is not operating at peak temperature, so fuel combustion is incomplete. The leftover fuel residues can contaminate engine oil and damage engine parts.

Myth: Shutting off and restarting your vehicle is hard on your engine and uses more gas than letting it idle.
Fact: Frequent restarting has little effect on engine components, such as the battery and starter motor. The estimated cost of wear and tear from frequent restarting is only about $10 per year. Also, 10 seconds of idling uses more fuel than restarting your engine.

Idling is hard on our environment, our health and our wallets!

Effects on the environment:

• For every litre of gasoline used, the average car produces 2.4 kilograms of carbon dioxide (C02), the principal greenhouse gas.
• Idling engines emit 8 million kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions every day.

Effects on our health:

• Health Canada estimates that 5, 000 Canadians die prematurely every year from air pollution, and thousands become unnecessarily ill.
• Children breathe faster than adults and inhale more air per pound of body weight, so they are particularly vulnerable to air pollution.
• Vehicle emissions trigger respiratory problems, such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Effects on our wallet:

• Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel than restarting your engine.
• Reducing idling habits by just 5 minutes a day will save drivers at least $80 a year in fuel.
• $1.8 million of fuel is idled away by Canadians every day.

Idling gets you nowhere! You have the ability to protect our environment from climate change, maintain healthy air quality and save money. All it takes is the turn of a key.

If you’d like an Idle Free Sign for your business or school, please call us at 567-1628.  Available While Supplies Last.

For more information visit Active Transportation or Climate Change.

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