As mentioned in previous posts, I don't use the drive-thru option very often. Usually, I have the kids in tow, making a quick zip through the bank or coffee shop much easier than lugging them in and out of the van. Like everyone else, I sit there, car running, inching forward little by little, until it's my turn at the window.
About a month ago, I drove to the car wash. It was beautiful out - I'd just cleaned and vacuumed the inside of the van. It was sparkling inside, and I wanted it sparkling outside. And, while the weather was nice, it was not warm enough that I wanted to wash it myself! So off to the car wash I went. There were three other vehicles in front of me waiting, all with engines running.
I had a light bulb go off in my head. I wouldn't run the van while running into the store for a minute. Why was I idling when I was in the car wash line?
Looking around, and feeling a little silly, I shut the van off. The guy in the car behind me shot me a look, like he thought I was weird. As the car in the wash left and the new one entered, I turned my van back on, inched forward and shut it off again. This processed continued until it was my turn in the car wash.
Looking back on it, I save myself about 20 minutes of idling. That's a lot of gas and carbon emissions. I wasn't cold sitting in the van, although I'm not sure I'd want to do this when it is -20C out.
I've even applied the "no idling" rule to the bank machine drive-thru and any place where I have to wait to pick someone up or drop someone off.
Another small change to help our environment.
The inspiration for this blog came after reading Vanessa Farquharson's book, Sleeping Naked is Green, and wondering if her new eco-lifestyle was really applicable to a family of 5 that was already fairly environmentally friendly. At the urging of a friend, I took on the challenge of trying to improve my family's "green-ness", using the book as a template. This blog will record our attempts to improve our environmental foot-print one small change at a time.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Turn off car in drive-thru (Change 134)
Posted by Eco Mama at 12:40 PM
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nice! I've done this too! I even influenced another car to turn off their engine also - it just makes so much sense!ReplyDelete
20 minutes of idling is alot! Gas stations should put signs up to encourage this!