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The Great Green Hope: I Don’t Idle, I Only Watch It on TV

Posted by: Ryan Puckett
Posted: September 2, 2009
Categories: Uncategorized

You know, we Hoosiers are infamous for being idle. Our statewide obesity rate is atrocious, we aren’t active enough, we eat poorly, and so on and so on.

You’ve heard this too many times, haven’t you? If you’re like me, you say to yourself, “That’s not me.”

Then I’ve got a question for you—when was the last time you idled? That’s right, idled.

In other words, when was the last time you went through a drive thru, engine running, with the A/C kickin’ while you waited for your order? When was the last time you went outside, turned the keys in ignition and went back inside to wait for the A/C or heat to reach its full power? When was the last time you pulled up to the dry cleaner and left your vehicle running while you ran inside to pick up your laundry?

Hopefully you’re saying to yourself, “Never! I don’t idle—I only watch it (because I like Simon Cowell).”

Yesterday I received a “green tip” email from the gals at Green Piece Indy mentioning this very issue, and it just so happened I was thinking about writing about the same thing.

This issue has been nagging at me lately since I recently took my pooch for a lengthy walk around the neighborhood. He and I headed south on the Monon Trail and meandered our way towards home when all of the sudden I felt as if I had wandered onto a car dealer lot.

“What is going on here?!?” I wondered. Seriously, I was walking with my mouth agape as I marveled at the sheer number of minivans, SUVs and one Prius in some sort of a line, all idling, most with the windows up.

Then I realized what was going on—our daily walk had coincided with pick-up time at Christ the King School. There were at least 100 cars waiting to enter a parking lot from three different directions to pick up their kids ONE AT A TIME!

(I actually saw one mom park, walk up to the school and escort her child back to the car on this gorgeous summer day. I’ll bet she saved herself some time.)

The convenience is killing us. I realize most of you Indyhub readers aren’t picking up kids from school, or even considering starting a family. The point is idling is bad for the air and bad for your wallet. Why waste gas money and energy for a tiny slice of convenience?

So don’t be fooled by the myth that it takes more energy to restart your car than idling, that’s baloney. And that theory is blown out of the water when you crawl inch by inch to the drive-thru window.

Get out, get moving, go green and good luck!


Ryan Puckett is principal of two21 LLC, a communication firm with a focus on providing creative content, advocacy and communications strategy for all things pertaining to sustainability. Ryan is an Indiana University-Bloomington grad and alum of Northwestern University’s School of Journalism. He lives in Broad Ripple with his wife, son and dog, is a veteran of 160+ Phish shows and is a long-suffering Cubs fan. Contact Ryan at ryan@two-21.com or on Twitter @rmpuckett.

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