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LETTER: Turn off the ignition

From reader Terry Lowrey
Nelson, B.C. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Actions addressing climate change are needed now. Many folks are thinking it is a governmental responsibility but we citizens can act too. There are many things we can do but engine idle reduction is easy and gives a lot of bang for the buck.

Please search: NRC — The Idle Free Zone. It explains the concept, savings, and benefits. This is an easy and fun way to take meaningful action with minimal disruption to your daily routine. It’s as easy as turning your key.

When you start the vehicle, there is no need to idle. It is better for the engine to get moving and is the fastest way to warm the engine. A warm engine is a clean and efficient engine.

Look for ways to turn it off. At stop lights, turn it off. Many new vehicles have this feature as standard. It doesn’t harm the starter or battery and saves fuel. When you stop to talk to a neighbour or pick up the kids at school, turn it off. Idling engines pollute more and that pollution is harming our respiratory health. This is especially true around young people whose lungs are still developing, but vehicle exhaust hurts us all.

We Canadians typically idle about 10 minutes each day. If we could cut that in half, we could save approximately 1.6 million litres of fuel. That is the equivalent of four million kilograms of carbon emission, every day!

If you care about our climate future, please do your part. We need all hands on deck if we are to turn climate change around.

Terry Lowrey