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5 Minute Changemaker: Idle No More

Written by Marsha Rakestraw | Published on June 25, 2015 | Filed under Humane Connection
The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Humane Education website at http://humaneeducation.org/blog/2015/06/25/5-minute-changemaker-idle/
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car bumper sticker that says idling makes kids sick

Image via Neal Jennings/Flickr.

by Marsha Rakestraw

It happens numerous times a day around the world. We’re waiting to pick our kids up from school; just running into the convenience store for a sec; stuck at a train crossing; warming up our car in the driveway. Millions of us leave our cars idling.

It seems harmless – and often convenient; after all, it’s only for a few minutes – but it’s harmful to people, animals, and the earth, not to mention our pocketbooks and even our cars.

Sustainable America offers “10 Reasons to Turn Off an Idling Car” and their Turn It Off campaign encourages citizens to pledge to turn off their cars instead of letting them idle. When car emissions are just as deadly (if not deadlier) than car crashes, rates of asthma and other air pollution-related illnesses are on the rise, and global warming is one of our most pressing challenges, it’s an easy contribution to a healthier, more humane world to turn off our cars if we’re going to be idling for more than 10 seconds.