The following is a piece that was included in our school newsletter about our Idle Free Campaign:

 

ESSEX MIDDLE  SCHOOL VEHICLE IDLING STUDY

The Edge Academy team students are conducting a vehicle idling study for the second year and as a first step collected idling data for five days at the school pick up areas this fall.

The findings:

Initial data collection conducted for five days at school afternoon dismissal on 11/2, 11/3, 11/4, 11/5, 11/6

Average temperature: 64 degrees

Total vehicles observed: 164; total vehicles idling: 70 (42.4%); total minutes of idling: 465 = 7.75 hours

Amount of fuel consumed: 3.33 gal1/five days / 0.67 gal/per day average

Amount of fuel consumed annually (est.) – based on 180 day school year: 119 gal

Amount of CO2 emissions annually -2 (est.) – based on 180 day school year: 2,380 lb

1 based on passenger vehicle — car/SUV/pick up truck — idling consumption of 0.43 gal/hr

2 one gallon of gasoline consumed equals 19.64 pounds of CO2 emitted

NOTE: these findings are CONSERVATIVE as they do not include idling during morning drop-off, and the presumption idling is more prolonged during winter months.

Both the district administration and students are continuing to promoting idling reduction in the school community. They hope their educational efforts will make a positive difference when idling data is again collected in the spring.

VEHICLE IDLING: SOME FACTS AND SUGGESTIONS

Vehicle exhaust contains many chemicals that negatively impact our health. It can cause cancer over time, exacerbate heart conditions, and cause or exacerbate respiratory illnesses like asthma – children are most vulnerable. And CO2 emissions from vehicle exhaust contribute to climate change.

IN THE SCHOOL PICK UP LINE IN WEATHER EXTREMES: In winter, you are wearing coats and your car was warmed up before arriving; you can turn off the engine for a while. In summer, turn off the engine and open windows. Bluetooth and mobile devices can be used in Accessory mode. If you arrive early or if your child is late, consider parking and going into the school to be more comfortable.

WARMING UP: The Dept. of Energy states, “The best way to warm up a vehicle is to drive it. No more than 30 seconds of idling on winter days is needed.” Driving gently is the best way to warm up, allowing the transmission, bearings, catalytic converter, steering, tires, etc. to warm up with the engine; they don’t warm up when idling. Clear off snow and ice before starting. Caveats: if colder than 10 degrees, let it idle for one-three minutes as oil is thicker in extreme cold; defrosting must be adequate before driving; for infants and frail elderly, allow a few minutes of warm up.

ENGINE WEAR: Modern fuel-injected engines do not need long warm up times. Excessive idling causes engine wear, creating carbon soot buildup and shortening the life of engine oil, spark plugs and exhaust system. Many vehicle owner’s manuals advise limiting idling.

LAW: Vermont law limits idling of vehicles to 5 minutes in any 60-minute period (with exceptions).

Turn your key and be idle-free – for the kids!

For more information on vehicle idling, visit: idlefreevt.org