exhaust pipes - car idling pollution

As environmental concerns take centre stage in today’s world, it’s important for everyone to take steps to do their bit to protect our planet. While it’s common knowledge that driving combustion-powered vehicles contributes to carbon emissions, there’s another element that often goes unnoticed.

Engine idling refers to when a vehicle’s engine is left switched on but it’s no longer moving. This commonly happens when stopped at a traffic light, dropping someone off, or using a drive-thru. Many of us are guilty of leaving our engines running when it’s not necessary, and some people have the belief that turning the engine off only to turn it back on shortly after will have a worse impact on our environment.

As this insightful article from Comparethemarket explains, the reality is that idling for only a couple of minutes can consume more fuel than restarting the engine. What’s more, when an engine idles, it releases additional harmful pollutants. And due to the vehicle’s stationary position, air pollution is emitted and absorbed into one concentrated area.

In this resource, you can also find helpful information about the laws and regulations surrounding engine idling, combined with both the legal and environmental consequences you may face. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to reduce your impact, even if you’re not fortunate enough to own a car with start-stop technology.

Mick is a university professor who strives to educate others on ways to help protect our
planet from the effects of climate change.