Save gas: Don’t use the drive-thru!

I know I’ve been all about cars this week, but I couldn’t resist mentioning today’s Ideal Bite tip, released as part of the Web portal’s Bust-a-Myth Week.

Myth: You burn more gas if you turn your car off and on than you do if you let your car idle.


In fact, according to Grist’s Ask Umbra, the ultimate authority on green decision making, an idling car will emit double the pollutants of a car that is turned off and then restarted during a nine-minute period.

I’m not sure if that holds true if you turn your car on and off nine times in nine minutes while waiting for a Chipotle-infused Snack Wrap at the drive-thru. But it reminds me it’s best to avoid drive-thru lanes at fast food restaurants, banks and espresso stands anyway.

Idling 15 minutes per weekday can cost you up to $100 in wasted gas over the course of a year. American drivers use more than 2 billion gallons of fuel each year while idling.

Bite’s advice: Turn your car off if you’re going to stay put for more than 10 seconds and you’re not in active transit.

Anyway, idling, when you could just get your butt out of the car, is just pure waste.

Parents, you ought best not idle in school parking lots either while waiting for the kids, according to the Bite.

If you really want to make change beyond your own Subaru footprint, check out this link for a list of resources for starting an anti-idling program at your kid’s school district, where school buses are the huge polluters when it comes to idling emissions.

While we’re at it, let’s start a conversation: Do you idle much? Have gas prices forced you to turn off your car while waiting for drive-thru services?



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