Get on your bikes/buses and turn off your engines!

28 Jul

A few startling stats & terrific tips!
(from “Do One Green Thing” by Mindy Pennybacker & “Ecoholic” by Adria Vasil):

  • The average car produces approximately 11000 pounds of CO2 ever year.
  • Not driving just one day a week can reduce your CO2 emissions by about 8 pounds per week, or 400 pounds per year.
  • The average person drives almost 2000 miles a year for shopping trips.
  • More energy goes into extracting and refining petroleum from the tar sands than the oil produces.
  • Aggressive driving can use up to 40% more fuel than following the speed limit.
  • Keeping your car tires properly inflated can cut gas consumption by at least 3%.
  • Embrace public transportation!  Take the time to figure out your route & mean your neighbors!
  • 100 bikes can be built with the same amount of energy and resources it takes to build one mid-sized car.
  • In 2005, bikes outsold cars in the U.S.

As this is our last week this month to focus on transportation… I wanted to draw your attention to a compeltely unnecessary waste of energy.
Idling cars.
What is Idling?
Idling is a bad habit that wastes fuel, adds to pollution and can contribute to respiratory problems.  Unnecessary idling costs Canadians millions of dollars every year and it’s a major contributor to climate change.  Idling your vehicle less will save you money on fuel, improve air quality in your community and reduce emissions contributing to climate change.
On my 15 minute bike ride home from work yesterday, when it was a comfortable temperature outdoors, I counted 6 parked cars running their engines while they waited.

Although idling our cars is important in a few situations, and sometimes in winter 🙂  we are overusing this option!  What would it take to turn our city centres into idle free zones?  Many cities are moving in this direction.  Let’s pick up the slack Saskatoon – we can do better!

Here is some info from the Idle Free-Zone (by Natural Resources Canada):
Quick Fact

For the average vehicle with a three-litre engine, every 10 minutes of idling costs over one quarter of a litre (over 1 cup) in wasted fuel. Keep in mind that every litre of gasoline you use produces 2.3 kilograms of carbon dioxide.

Did you know?

Idling gets you nowhere – and it can be costly. Excessive idling wastes a significant amount of fuel and money and generates needless greenhouse gas emissions. If drivers of light-duty vehicles avoided idling by just three minutes a day, over the year Canadians collectively would save 630 million litres of fuel and 1.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions – and $630 million in fuel costs (assuming a fuel cost of $1/L) That’s the equivalent of taking 320 000 cars off the road!

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