Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Idle Minutes in the Carpool Lane

If your kids are back in school, you may find yourself in the dreaded carpool pickup lane this afternoon. The question is... do you leave the car running while you wait in line or turn it off?

For the answer, I turned to the Consumer Energy Center. They recommend turning off your car if you are going to be idling for more than 30 seconds. The difference can really add up if you're in line for minutes every day. One hour of idling uses one gallon of gas! Remember, no matter what kind of car you drive, you're getting zero mpg while you are standing still.

Want another choice? How about...
  • Walking or biking if you're close. According to the National Center for Safe Routes to School, the number of kids living less than a mile away who walk or bike to school dropped from 87% in 1969 to 63% in 2001.
  • Letting your child ride the bus.
  • Carpooling with another family.
  • Parking and walking to the pickup zone rather than idling and slowly crawling through the line.

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