Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Turn off car in drive-thru (Change 134)

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.

1 comment:

  1. nice! I've done this too! I even influenced another car to turn off their engine also - it just makes so much sense!

    20 minutes of idling is alot! Gas stations should put signs up to encourage this!