Drive Smart for Clean Air

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 principal greenhouse gas (GHG) linked to climate change. One simple and effective way to reduce the production of CO2 emissions is by choosing to eliminate unnecessary vehicle idling. 

Objectives of the 2009 PGAIR Idle Reduction campaign included:

  • building community partnerships;
  • promoting awareness and education of the environmental, health, and economic impacts of idling;
  • identifying idling “hotspots” and increasing the number of idle free zones throughout the City;

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

Top Tips for Eco-Driving 

Vehicle Maintenance

  • Keep your car well maintained. A poorly-tuned engine uses up to 15% more energy when idling than a well-tuned engine.
  • Operating a vehicle with just one tire under-inflated by 8 psi (56 kPa) can reduce the life of the tire by 15 000 kilometres and increase the vehicle's fuel consumption by 4%. For improved fuel efficiency and enhanced safety, make sure your tires are properly inflated.
  • Keep your air filter clean. A clogged air filter can increase fuel consumption by 10%.


  • Minimize your use of air conditioning to improve your fuel efficiency in summer. To stay cool at highway speeds, use your car's flow-through ventilation. When driving in the city, open a window.
  • About 50% of the fuel consumed in city driving is used during acceleration. Accelerate gently and steadily and anticipate traffic.
  • Don't speed. Since wind resistance increases exponentially with speed, maintaining highway speeds of 90km/hr rather than 120km/hr can reduce fuel consumption by up to 20%.
  • Drop extra weight. Avoid carrying non-essential heavy items such as tools and sports equipment. Extra weight requires more fuel.
  • Reduce wind resistance. Roof racks and open windows at highway speeds will increase drag, decreasing the efficiency of today's aerodynamic vehicles.

Idling Reduction

  • In cold climates, use a block heater on a timer. This is a more efficient way to warm your engine instead of idling for long periods of time.
  • Avoid using drive thrus, especially if there is a lineup. Walk into coffee shops and restaurants instead.
  • If you are going to be stopped more than a minute, except in traffic, turn your vehicle off. 
  • Park your car and walk your children into school. Children are particularly vulnerable to airborne pollutants, and tailpipes are located right at their breathing height.
  • Work with your school or workplace to install Idle-Free signage in parking areas. Contact us for more information on available resources.
  • Consider eco-friendly tricks for removing ice from your windshield instead of idling. Use a windshield frost guard to prevent the buildup of ice and frost, use a spray of water with vinegar or rubbing alcohol instead of a chemical de-icer spray, or simply use a scraper.