This week Tipp FM looked at Clean air week and cars idling outside of schools
During October and November 2023 Green-Schools Travel Officers and local students conducted vehicle idling surveys (engines running while stationary) with over 100 schools across the country. The aim was to capture the extent of idling outside schools and provide a snapshot of the issue in Ireland. Idling was recorded for all vehicle types, and ranged from one to 25 minutes, with one Tipperary school recording one driver leaving their car idling for 20 minutes while there was no-one in the car.
Why should we stop Engine Idling? Running a car without going anywhere just doesn’t make any sense! Here are four reasons why:
- Environment: When an engine is running, it emits carbon dioxide (CO2 ), the main greenhouse gas responsible for climate change. By switching off your engine when stopped, you stop these emissions too!
- Health: Idling makes for worse air quality, which is bad for human health. Young people are at greater risk of the health impacts of air pollution because their lungs are still developing.
- Money: Idling wastes fuel that you’re paying for – that just burns a hole in your pocket!
- Safety: When cars and buses are idling outside a school, it is harder for students to hear cars that are actually moving, which might be hidden behind the idling cars.
- Cost of engine idling: While engine idling is damaging and unnecessary, especially to children’s health, it is also damaging to our pockets. Ten minutes of idling could take you 8 kilometres. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Energy Academy highlights that an idling engine will use between 0.5 to 2 litres of fuel in an hour.
Here’s a few websites if you want to know more !
- No Idling Toolkit: https://greenschoolsireland.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Green-Schools-No-Idling-Toolkit-for-Schools.pdf