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IDLE-FREE for our kids

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


April 2015

Al MacPhee

Rachel
Poster Girl
(2007)

Honourary Chair

Key messages and FAQ The IDLE-FREE for our kids campaign
W hat do you m ean by going IDLE-FREE for our kids?

W hen youre parked, not in traffic and it m akes sense,


turn the engine off.
For any stop longer than a m inute, not in traffic and w hen
safe to do so.
Avoid long w arm -ups or long w aits w ith the engine running.

The benefits of
IDLE-FREE for our kids

Save fuel
Protect your vehicle
Clear the air

Clear the air from excess em issions


Clear the air on IDLING m yths
W hy is this im portant for our kids?
Kids / tiny lungs are at-risk from poor
air quality and clim ate change (im pact
on future generations).
How m uch m oney can you save?
A lot. The num ber w e use is 10 m inutes a day.
Its an anchor that people can relate to.
Go IDLE-FREE for our kids 10 m inutes a day and you can save
$200* a year.
*Based on a pum p price of $1.15/litre, the average vehicle consum es
3.5 litres of fuel per hour at idle, each litre creating about 2.4 kg of
CO 2.
This assum es a broad-average vehicle type; vehicle age betw een 1
and 10 years, average engine size of betw een 4 and 8 cylinders.
New er vehicles burn less, older vehicles burn m ore.
IDLING uses 3.5 litres per hour ($200 a year)
http://w w w .toronto.ca/health/idling/

IDLEFREE.org

Saving em issions:
As clean as todays vehicles are, m ost still use gasoline. Gasoline is
86% carbon, w hich creates CO 2 greenhouse gas. O ne litre of
gasoline puts out about three tim es its w eight in CO2.*
10 m inutes of IDLE-FREE tim e a day can save betw een and ton
of CO 2 per year. M ultiply that by hundreds of thousands of vehicles
- the num bers really add up.
*How Gasoline Becom es CO 2
http://w w w .slate.com /id/2152685/
Air quality:
As clean as todays vehicles are, there are a lot of older vehicles on
the road. Alm ost all cars and trucks have em issions w hich should
be avoided by tiny lungs.
The Nova Scotia Lung Association says that vehicle em issions
around schools, hockey rinks, etcetera, are a contributing factor to
poor air quality. Today, 1 in 5 kids have asthm a in Nova Scotia.
Aggravated asthm a is the num ber one reason kids m iss school (see
asthm a facts attached from The Lung Association of Nova Scotia).

WHAT ARE THE IDLING MYTHS?


MYTH:

It takes a long tim e to w arm up your vehicle.


FACT: Engines get hot in 30 60 seconds. Driving is the best w ay
to w arm up the entire vehicle.

MYTH:

Idling is good for your vehicle.


FACT: Excessive idling burns gas poorly and can harm t he engine &
exhaust.

MYTH:

Re-starting is hard on your starter.


FACT: Today's electronic starters can be turned on and off w ith
little w ear.

TALK TO YOUR SERVICE TECH.


GET THE FACTS ON IDLE-MYTHS.
2

IDLEFREE.org

A SAMPLING OF WHAT THE AUTO INDUSTRY SAYS:


GM 12 Steps to Greener Driving
5. Avoid Idling:
A car gets 0 m pg w hen the engine is idling: W hile it does take a
sm all am ount of fuel to restart a vehicle, 15 m inutes in the drive through can burn through a quarter of a gallon of fuel. So that
dollar m enu is m ore like a $2 m enu.
You're burning fuel w hile idling - up to a 3.79 litres every hour.
http://www.gm.ca/gm/english/services/certifiedservice/drivesmarter/driving-tips
http://www.gm.ca/gm/english/services/certifiedservice/drivesmarter/drivingarticles
http://media.gm.com/content/product/public/us/en/FuelEfficiency/tips.html

FO RD
Don't idle for m ore than 30 seconds. Today's engines don't need to
be w arm ed up. Prolonged idling creates excess em issions and
w astes fuel. Start the car and im m ediately drive aw ay.
http://corporate.ford.com/news-center/press-releases-detail/ecodriving-458p

Turn off the engine w hile w aiting.


http://support.ford.com/maintenance/fuel-saving-tips

See the letter attached from Ford of Canada.

W HEELS.CA
W arm -up debate gets pretty heated, but it's based on old facts
Published Decem ber 2, 2013
http://www.wheels.ca/news/should-you-warm-up-your-car-before-driving-it/

IDLEFREE.org

WHAT ABOUT DRIVE-THRUS?


IDLE-FREE for our kids isnt anti-drive-thru;
w ere pro-com m on sense.
M any of those w ho support IDLE -FREE for our kids use drive-thrus
w ith their kids. W e leave it to each individual drivers com m on
sense and know ledge of their vehicle in term s of w here and w hen to
shut off the ignition.
IDLE-FREE for our kids w hen it can m ake sense

Avoiding long w arm -ups; 1 m inute is best


(if free of w indshield ice and snow).
Run the radio on accessory w hile on break in the car or
w aiting for som eone.
Roll w indow s dow n for a natural cross-breeze vs. running
AC and IDLING w ith the w indow s up.
Avoid IDLING for heat on break or w hen w aiting for som eone
(existing heat in the vehicle cabin can last approx. 15 m inutes
after driving and parking).
Consider avoiding the drive through during long-lines. W alk in
for a large order.
After appreciating how sm all the sacrifice is and how large
the savings can be, prom ote the IDLE-FREE for our kids hab it
to fam ily, friends and colleagues.

W hy has IDLE-FREE for our kids attracted the support of car


dealers, m ajor businesses, m edia outlets and sponsors?
W e m ake it sim ple, and our kids m ake it stick.
W ere all-inclusive our goal is to not turn anyone off.
W eve proven that practical, positive m essaging coupled w ith the
em otional appeal of kids m akes it easy to say yes and hard
to say no.
Nine years of R&D has clearly revealed the TW O reasons 80% of us
IDLE w hen w ere parked:

W ere not thinking about it.


W e believe in (1970s) m yths related to old car technology

W hen it com es to IDLE-tim e, w e dont get stuck on inform ation


about tem perature conditions or technical specs.

IDLEFREE.org

W e leave it up to individual drivers w ith one sim ple m e ssage:


w hen youre parked and it m akes sense
go IDLE-FREE for our kids.
W e shy aw ay from the term anti-idling it turns off a large
segm ent of the public. Anti is a negative term .
W ere a positive cam paign.
Nine years of study and experience has show n that 80% of the
public (all dem ographics) buy-in to a positive, future-friendly
cam paign (kids). Car dealers, bus com panies and engine techs have
been som e of our strongest supporters (since 2007).
O ur branding / m essaging has proven popular; em braced at venues
such as stock car racing, transporta tion conferences (co-branded
by Allison Transm ission and M otor Coach Industries ) and in public.
Thanks to the support of car dealers w e have the credibility of the
car industry backing us up. Dont take our w ord about the IDLING
m yths talk to your service tech.
W e dont play favourites. W ere not concerned about w hat vehicle
you drive or how long you left it running this m orning. Our
approach is: heres the im pact w e can have together. Lets get
started. Lets do this for our kids.
It w orks am azingly w ell. How do w e know ?
O ur feedback and success w ith business, m edia, health, education
and the public since 2007.
The 2010 Vancouver O lym pics liked our IDLE-FREE Bus so m uch,
it carried the m ens hockey team s.
For m ore on IDLE-FREE for our kids and The Childrens Clean Air
Netw ork, visit our legacy w eb site w w w .IDLEFREE.org
Also visit IDLEFREEGuy.com

IDLEFREE.org

FACTS ABO UT ASTHM A

Asthm a is a Greek w ord, roughly translated as laboured


breathing.
At 9.3% , Nova Scotia has the highest rate of asthm a in Canada.
17%, or about one in five kids, have asthm a in Nova Scotia.
Asthm a attacks are the m ost com m on childhood m edical
em ergency.
Childhood asthm a accounts for one quarter of school absenteeism .
About tw ice as m any boys as girls develop childhood asthm a.
Health Canada estim ates that m ore than 5000 Canadians die
prem aturely each year because of air pollution, and thousands m ore
becom e unnecessarily ill.
Vehicle exhaust can trigger asthm a attacks and contribute to the
grow ing rate of lung disease in Nova Scotia.
Excess exhaust from vehicles is particularly harm ful to children for
three reasons:

Kids are shorter than adults and closer to particles from


vehicle exhaust
Kids breathe faster than adults and inhale m ore air per
kilogram of body w eight
Kids lungs arent fully developed and a re w eaker m anaging air
pollutants

IDLEFREE.org

About IDLE-FREE Guy and The Childrens Clean Air Netw ork
The Children's Clean Air Netw ork is a netw ork of like-m inded
partners prom oting IDLE-IDLE Free for our kids.
The vision is to inspire North Am erica to go IDLE-FREE - w hen
parked. The goal is to reduce vehicle em issions, ultim ately saving
billions of dollars in fuel and cutting m illions of tons of greenhouse
gas.
The Children's Clean Air Netw ork began as a grassroots cam paign
in 2006 at Kingsw ood Elem entary School, near Halifax, Nova Scotia,
Canada.
Its founder is father of tw o and hockey dad, Ron Zim a, also know n
as IDLE-FREE Guy. "O ur kids are depending on us to take care of
their planet. Hockey rinks, schools and public places are prim e
locations w here kids depend on clean air and w here together, w e
can have a huge im pact by going IDLE-FREE for our kids."
Partner organizations include schools, businesses, m edia outlets,
and health and environm ent organizations.
Alw ays-on vehicle em issions im pact the health and future of
children and represent a significant loss of fuel and resources.
The Children's Clean Air Netw ork seeks to inspire the public and
em pow er children to lead change.
Contact:
Ron Zim a ADpPR
GoGreen Com m unications
Founder / Chair,
The Childrens Clean Air Netw ork
902-456-2550
Info@ idlefreeguy.com
IDLEFREEGuy.com

IDLEFREE.org

Mission of The Childrens Clean Air Network


To reduce greenhouse gas and im prove air quality by reducing
vehicle em issions.
Vision
Excess vehicle em issions w ill becom e as socially unacceptable as
second hand sm oke.
Purpose
To em pow er kids to transform driver behavior. Kids need a voice on
clim ate change and poor air quality.
Strategy
To partner w ith business, schools and m edia to inspire through
sim ple and consistent m essaging.
W ell engage, inspire, and em pow er change in a positive m anner.
GoGreen Com m unications is a registered Nova Scotia agency in
support of The Childrens Clean Air Netw ork and its m ission.

IDLEFREE.org

Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited


Ford du Canada Limites
Cold weather idling is largely a waste of fuel. It is also a source of unwanted pollution. Except in the most
extreme conditions, once an engine has been started and the warning lights or indicator gauges show
normal, a vehicle can be driven away gently. There are other considerations besides engine function in
extreme cold weather axle, transmission, steering and brake fluids are also very viscous.
Extended idling is of very little benefit. Modern engines do not produce significant heat at idle and do not
need significant internal heat to operate properly. Diesel engines in particular are prone to cooling off to the
point where the injectors no longer contain the fuel properly and slobbering takes place. This puts
excessive amounts of raw fuel in the combustion chamber and can lead to damage. We urge people to use
thermostatically controlled block heaters overnight or when a vehicle is parked for lengthy periods. Timed
block heaters are also an option. Remote or automatic starting is not a route we recommend.
Many people are concerned about starter wear. Tests have shown that this is not an issue. Starter life will
not be seriously jeopardized by the few extra turns needed or the small increase in the number of times it
will be put to use. Tests done by a European automaker (albeit at room temperature) showed that an
automobile could be turned off and restarted 30 times per minute and still return better fuel economy than
when left idling for the whole minute.
Technically speaking, extended idling is not necessary. Interior comfort is another issue, (as) relative
warmth is certainly a consideration for the passengers.
Sincerely,

Wayne Pattee,
Mgr. Vehicle Emissions and Fuels
Reprinted with the permission of Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited!