Challenge #7 ~ Avoiding Idling

Read the blog post on the April Theme – TRANSPORTATION

When it’s safe to do so, avoid idling for 10 min per day to save 164 kg of CO2 per year.

Idling is when the engine is running but the vehicle isn’t moving. Although it keeps the air-conditioning going, the engine releases as much pollution as a moving car.

Typically, when do you let your car idle? While waiting at school drop off and pickup, at the mall, carpark? Try to turn your car off. Ask your taxi or Uber driver to do the same – turn off the engine while waiting (if it’s safe to do). If it’s hot in the car, try to find a shaded area to wait, either under a nearby tree or a shadow from a building. Another option is to turn off your car and walk to an air-conditioned entryway or lobby. You’ll work toward your 10,000 steps that way as well and don’t have to wait in your car. Ask your drivers to do the same.

Did you know that most AC systems will cool the vehicle faster while driving and running AC while idling is a lot less efficient? For quickly cooling your car, turn the AC on after you begin to drive or after airing out the cabin briefly.

For every 10 minutes your car is off, almost half a kilogram of CO2 is avoided.

  • Avoid idling 10 minutes per day = 0.45 kg CO2/day
  • Do this every day of the week = 3 kg/week
  • Every day, every week of the month = 14 kg/month
  • Every day, every week of the year = 164 kg/year


  1. Environmental Defense Fund, Attention drivers! Turn off your idling engines, accessed 23 Feb 2019
  2. US Department of Energy Clean Cities Coalition Network, IdleBox Toolkit for Idling Reduction Projects, accessed 23 Feb 2019