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Idle Reduction Campaign

Let's Make PG Idle-Free!

PGAIR is launching an expanded Idle-reduction campaign this summer to raise awareness about unnecessary vehicle idling and its impacts on the environment. Vehicle idling produces emissions that negatively affect the environment through climate change, and indirectly affect local air quality and human health.

Transportation is the leading contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in BC, and is responsible for approximately 50% of GHG emissions in the City of Prince George. For every litre of gasoline used, a vehicle produces about 2.3 kilograms of CO2, the principle greenhouse gas (GHG) linked to climate change. Studies have shown that climate change impacts may include everything from more severe weather events, such as intense rainstorms, floods and droughts, to hotter summers, rising sea levels, and more forest fires. Climate change can also indirectly affect air quality by magnifying the effects of air pollution. One simple and effective way to reduce the production of CO2 emissions is by choosing to eliminate unnecessary vehicle idling. This is an action that you – as a driver – can take. If every driver in Canada reduced unnecessary idling by just three minutes a day, over the year we would save over 630 million litres of fuel, and prevent 1.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. This would be equivalent to taking 320,000 cars off the road for the entire year!

Objectives of the 2009 PGAIR Idle Reduction campaign include:

Remember – Idling gets you nowhere. Reducing the time you spend idling is a simple, cost-effective way to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and save money and fuel. Together we can make Prince George “idle free” and all breathe a little easier.

The 2009 Idle-reduction campaign is generously sponsored by Natural Resources Canada, the Ministry of Environment, and the City of Prince George.

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Facts About Vehicle Idling

Vehicle idling creates excess and unnecessary emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary greenhouse gas linked to climate change. Idling your engine also wastes fuel, costs money, and is actually harder on the vehicle engine than restarting your car.

We all share the air, and everyone has a part to play. Don’t stay idle – take action to protect the environment and conserve resources by turning off your vehicle when parked.

Natural Resources Canada recommends that if you're going to be stopped for more than 60 seconds – except in traffic – turn the engine off.

Did You Know?

VEHICLE IDLING IS NO IDLE MATTER

Research has shown that in the peak of winter conditions Canadians let their vehicles idle for a combined 75 million minutes a day. That's the equivalent of a single car running for 144 years!

If drivers of light-duty vehicles avoided idling by just three minutes a day, over the year Canadians would collectively save 630 million litres of fuel and 1.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. This would be equivalent to taking 320,000 cars off the road for the entire year.

If every driver of a light-duty vehicle in Prince George avoided idling for three minutes a day, this would:

IDLING CAN AFFECT YOUR HEALTH

The effects of climate change can have a negative impact on health. For example, hotter summer weather can make smog episodes worse, affecting air quality and health.

Children, whose lungs are still developing, breathe more rapidly and inhale 50% more air per pound than adults. As a result, they are more susceptible to air pollution. Unfortunately, one of the most common places that diesel idling occurs is in school bus drop off zones, subjecting our school age children to higher doses of pollutants.

IDLING CAN AFFECT YOUR VEHICLE

Idling creates unnecessary wear on vehicle engines – 500 hours of idling is equal to 100,000 km of wear.

Idling for over ten seconds uses more fuel than restarting your engine.

Frequent restarting has little impact on engine components like the battery and starter.

Excessive idling can be hard on your engine because it isn’t working at peak operating temperature. Fuel doesn’t undergo complete combustion, leaving spark plugs dirty and contaminating engine oil. Idling decreases the life of engine oil by 75%!

Idling increases fuel consumption and wastes money! Gasoline engines consume 2.5 to 4 litres of gas per hour of idling, while diesel engines consume 1 to 4 litres, depending on various factors.

IDLING CAN AFFECT OUR AIR AND CLIMATE

Carbon dioxide, which is released into the atmosphere through vehicle emissions, is a major contributor to climate change. Every litre of gasoline you use produces about 2.3 kilograms of carbon dioxide, and every ten minutes of idling (for an average vehicle) uses over one quarter of a litre (over one cup) of wasted fuel.

Transportation is the leading contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in BC, and is responsible for approximately 50% of GHG emissions in the City of Prince George. The almost 50,000 personal vehicles in the City generate the majority of these emissions.

Climate change, caused by greenhouse gas emissions, can magnify the effects of air pollution.

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Common Idling Myths Busted

Myth: Shutting off and restarting your vehicle is harder on your engine and uses more gas than if you leave it running.

Fact: Extensive testing on behalf of Natural Resources Canada has proven that idling for periods as short as 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more GHG emissions than stopping and restarting your engine. For diesel engines, 30 seconds of idling uses about the same amount of fuel as restarting the engine. Additionally, frequent restarting has little impact on components such as battery and the starter, which are designed for many thousands of cycles over their lifetime. Component wear caused by restarting the engine is estimated to add around $10 per year to the cost of driving - money that will likely be recovered several times over in fuel savings from reduced idling.As a general rule, if you're going to be stopped for more than 60 seconds – except in traffic – turn the engine off.

Myth: The engine should be warmed up before driving.

Fact: Contrary to popular belief, excessive idling is not an effective way to warm up your vehicle, even in cold weather. The best way to warm it up is to drive it. Idling only warms the engine, not the wheel bearings, steering, suspension, transmission and tires. These parts also need to be warmed up, and the only way to do this is to get the vehicle moving on the road. In fact, with today's computer-controlled engines, even on cold winter days, no more than two to three minutes of idling is usually needed for warm-up before starting to drive. This also reduces fuel consumption and GHG emissions. For diesel engines, most manufacturers recommend letting newer engines run for about 3 to 5 minutes before and after driving. Like gasoline engines, driving is the best way to warm up the entire vehicle. Using a block heater in the winter can help reduce warm-up time for both gasoline and diesel vehicles.

Myth: Idling is good for your engine.

Fact: Excessive idling can actually damage your engine's components, including cylinders, spark plugs and the exhaust system. That's because an idling engine is not operating at its peak temperature, which means that fuel combustion is incomplete. This leaves fuel residues that can condense on cylinder walls, where they can contaminate oil and damage engine components. For example, fuel residues tend to deposit on spark plugs. As the amount of engine idling increases, the average plug temperature drops and plug fouling is accelerated. This can increase fuel consumption by 4 to 5%. Excessive idling can also allow water to condense in the vehicle's exhaust, which can lead to corrosion and reduce the life of the exhaust system. The same applies to diesel vehicles. Excessive idling actually harms the engine, and oil contamination is even more prevalent in diesel engines because of the large amount of intake air used in the diesel combustion cycle.

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Don't Stay Idle!

Top Tips For Reducing Idling

 

 

Eco-Driving Campaign

Eco-Driving Campaign

To promote education and awareness about the impacts of vehicle emissions, PGAIR is also launching an Eco-driving campaign. The Eco-driving portion of the campaign aims to promote efficient driving habits in order to cut down on emissions of pollutants that negatively affect local air quality.

In addition to creating GHG emissions, the nearly 50,000 personal vehicles in the City also have a significant effect on local air quality. Results from a recently completed chemical speculation study suggest that mobile emissions (including diesel vehicles) contribute between 22 to 24% of PM2.5 (fine particulate matter) on an average basis. These emissions have an even greater localized impact to people living next to major traffic corridors. Other pollutants are also generated by mobile sources, including nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and volatile organic carbons, which can have negative health impacts.

Objectives of the 2009 PGAIR Eco-Driving campaign include:

Adopting more efficient driving habits can help drivers save money and fuel, as well as benefit local air quality and reduce GHG emissions.

The 2009 Idle-reduction campaign is generously sponsored by Natural Resources Canada, the Ministry of Environment, and the City of Prince George.

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Facts About Vehicle Emissions

Vehicles emit many toxic pollutants that have negative effects on health and local air quality, in addition to contributing to climate change. By making a few simple changes to our driving habits, we can all make a difference when it comes to protecting our environment.

Did You Know?

In addition to emitting CO2, vehicles also emit many toxic pollutants that are harmful to health, including nitrous oxides, carbon monoxide, fine particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds. These chemicals have a negative impact on local air quality, and on human health.

Fine particulate matter is a major source of pollution in the Prince George airshed. Results from a recent study suggest that mobile emissions (including diesel vehicles) contribute between 22 to 24% of PM2.5 (fine particulate matter) on an average basis.

Auto exhaust emits pollutants into your vehicle as well as the atmosphere. The smallest pollutants – fine particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) – can lodge deeply into the lungs and cause lung damage, aggravate respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis, increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks, lead to cancer and contribute to premature death.

Vehicle emissions deposit 200 million tonnes of pollutants into our air each year, accounting for 60% of British Columbia’s air pollution.

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Be a Smart Driver!

Top Tips For Eco-Driving
Making a few simple changes to your driving habits can help you save fuel and money, as well as reduce vehicle emissions. Here’s what you can do:

VEHICLE MAINTENANCE

ECO-DRIVING

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Take Action!

Here are some ideas for even more ways that you can help reduce unnecessary vehicle emissions in Prince George:

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Downloadable Resources

Idle Reduction Colouring Sheet

List of links to school idle reduction programs from Idle Free BC

Review of the Incidence, Energy Use, and Costs of Passenger Vehicle Idling (Final Report) (11MB)
Prepared by GW Consulting for NRCAN’s Office of Energy Efficiency (2003)

 

Links

IDLING

Idle Free BC has information, resources, and materials about idling in BC.

NRCAN's Idle-Free Zone provides a vast wealth of knowledge regarding idling and also contains many materials which can be downloaded and used free of charge.

NRCAN’s idling calculator lets you calculate the impact you can have by reducing unnecessary idling.

FOR SCHOOLS

HASTE is a hub for groups taking action on reducing school transportation emissions in British Columbia with great information and resources about idling and other school transportation related issues. Resources include an “Idle Free Cookbook” with ideas for school idle reduction campaigns, as well as a transportation emissions calculator.

Your U-Turn is an organization in Surrey that has an Idle Free program with resources and ideas for school anti-idling projects, including ideas for creating banners, posters, and collecting idle free pledges.

Mississauga’s Anti-Idling School Initiative has a website with great ideas for anti-idling campaigns in schools, as well as ideas for incorporating anti-idling projects into school curriculum.

Clean Air Partnership’s Idle Free Campaign in a Box is a downloadable how-to guide that helps schools deliver idle free campaigns.

Clean Nova Scotia also has a downloadable action plan for creating Idle Free schools.

VEHICLE MAINTENANCE/ECO-DRIVING

NRCAN provides lots of great tips and resources for fuel efficient driving and vehicle maintenance.

Tire Smart has information about tire maintenance and proper tire inflation.

BCAA has tips about car maintenance and fuel efficiency.

 

For more information, please contact:

Katherine Lapadat-Janzen
Idle-Free / Eco-Driving Ambassador, PGAIR
Phone: 250-565-6167
Email: Katherine.Lapadat-Janzen@gov.bc.ca

Sponsored By:
Natural Reources Canada Ministy of Environment City of Prince George

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