Be Idle-Free: The Effects of Idling on You and the Environment

We’ve all done it. Every single person who has a car has been guilty of idling at some point. Whether you’re waiting for your friends in the parking lot, or picking your kids up from school. It’s so easy to idle your car. If you idle your car, then the radio can still play. If you idle your car, then the heat can stay on. Basically, idling your car is the most convenient way to wait for someone. However, idling cars are costly. There are easy ways to be idle-free. You could save yourself and the environment by becoming idle-free. Here’s why it costs to idle your car.

What Exactly Is Idling?

Idling your car means to leave it running without moving. For example, waiting, with your car on, in a parking spot for your friends to arrive. You didn’t turn off the car to wait but you were parked and not moving. Therefore, you were idling your car. All cars idle and all people idle their cars. Most parents idle their cars while waiting in the pick-up line at school. Sometimes, employees will idle their cars in the parking lot before going into work. Idling isn’t safe for the environment. Also, it costs you more than you’d think.

How Idling Your Car Effects You

Whenever your car is on, it’s using fuel. However, gas costs almost $3.00 a gallon. That’s a lot of money! You use fuel when you idle your car. Even if you’re not going anywhere, you’re using precious gas. Idling your car for 10 seconds uses the more fuel than to start your car. Basically, every time you idle your car, you have to pay. If money’s not enough to make you become idle-free, your health might be. Your car builds up its exhaust when it idles. That exhaust ends up in the air around your car. Sometimes, the exhausts can get into your car. Exhaust is dangerous to breath and unhealthy for your body. If your car is moving, then you don’t have to sit in the exhaust. However, the exhaust has nowhere to go when you’re idling. Therefore, it sticks around and finds its way inside your car.

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Image Source: The Telegraph

How Idling Your Car Effects the Environment

It’s no secret that our air is polluted. Cars are a huge contributor to that. Exhaust emissions contribute to the smog that you see around you. Unfortunately, idling your car doesn’t prevent exhaust from getting into the air. Idling your car contributes to air pollution. Even when your car isn’t moving. If you keep your car off for 10 minutes, then that prevents 1 pound of carbon dioxide from getting into the air.   

How to Be Idle-Free

It’s easy to be idle-free. There are 3 main ways you can cut down on your idle time. First, turn your car off if you plan to wait more than 10 seconds. If you’re worried about losing heat or your music, then there’s a solution. First, the car will stay heated for a while after it’s been turned off. Also, you can listen to music on your phone. Second, heat up your car engine by driving it. Sometimes, we think that we have to sit with our car in park to heat our engine up on a cold day. However, that’s not the case. Driving the car around will heat up your car engine, faster. Lastly, heat up the interior of your car by driving it around. You don’t need to wait for your car to be warm before you drive it. Driving will warm it up quicker than idling.


In conclusion, idling your car is unhealthy for you and for the environment. However, it’s easy to become idle-free. In fact, becoming idle-free will save you money and time. Also, it’ll help make the air around you healthier to breath. Overall, idling is easy but costly and becoming idle-free doesn’t cost you a dime.  

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Bailey Longhurst

I am amazed every day by the beauty that this world provides for us and think it is important to preserve it! Taking care of ourselves and our earth is crucial and I want to help people discover new ways to do both. Publishing for Green and Growing is a unique way that I can get my message across, and I hope you all enjoy what we write about!

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