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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

Join the Campaign: Stop Idling and Start Saving Fuel

I Turn It Off is a new, national anti-idling campaign launched by Sustainable America, a nonprofit organization based in Stamford, Connecticut. The group is dedicated to making the nation’s food and fuel systems more resilient, efficient and sustainable.

“Each day nearly 4 million gallons of fuel is wasted in the United States by vehicle idling at drive-through restaurants, banks, schools, train stations and other places,” says Katrina Kazda, a program officer at Sustainable America. “The average American idles 16 minutes per day, which costs drivers hundreds of dollars a year and collectively results in the release of billions of pounds of CO2 emissions and other harmful particulates that damage our health and environment.”

Kazda reports that 10 seconds of idling wastes more fuel than restarting a car engine, especially since electric ignitions became universal in the mid- 1980s. “Restarting your vehicle does not result in significant fuel loss, and turning your car off is better for the engine than leaving it running,” says Kazda. “Numerous states have antiidling laws in place and they assess fines for non-compliance.”

Those wishing to join the effort can visit and sign the pledge to idle for no longer than 10 seconds when not in traffic. They can also share information about the harmful effects of vehicle idling and invite friends, family, classmates and colleagues to take the pledge.

For more information, visit