The Ewing Green Team Launches It All Adds Up to Cleaner Air” Campaign Challenging Ewing Residents to Reduce Vehicle Idling

Vehicle exhaust is the leading source of hazardous air pollution in New Jersey, adding to rising rates of childhood asthma

Parents who idle their cars while dropping off and picking up their children at school probably aren’t aware that they may be putting their children at serious health risk.  With their “It All Adds Up to Cleaner Air” campaign, part of a nationwide effort to educate the public about the dangers of vehicle exhaust, the Ewing Green Team is asking parents to help keep Ewing kids healthy by turning off their car engines.

Did You Know?

Vehicle emissions are a major cause of air pollution, which contributes to increased rates of asthma, cancer, as well as other respiratory problems, reproductive effects, birth defects and other serious health effects.   Our kids are exposed to some of the most excessive exhaust fumes in their daily trips to and from school.  A February 2001 study, No Breathing in the Aisles, by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Coalition for Clean Air found that “children who ride a diesel school bus may be exposed to up to four times more toxic diesel exhaust than someone traveling in a car directly in front of it.  The study found that excess exhaust levels on school buses were 23 to 46 times higher than levels considered to be a significant cancer risk according to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency and federal guidelines.”

Why Not Idle?

Protect yourself and your passengers.  Exposure to your vehicle’s exhaust is much higher inside your vehicle than outside and is especially true when the car is idling. So if you are sitting idling in your car in a line at your Bank’s drive up teller or drive thru or whatever, Turn It Off!

Protect your vehicle.  Another little known fact is that excessive idling can actually damage your engine, so turning your engine off might help you avoid expensive engine repairs.  Idling more than 10 seconds also uses more fuel than restarting the engine.  Manufacturers assure that frequent restarting won’t harm an engine.

Protect the Environment.  By turning off your engines you can reduce pollutants that contribute to climate change and cause smog.  Each gallon of gas produces 19 pounds of carbon dioxide which is the principal greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change and pollution.

Save Money.  Vehicles that idle 10 minutes per day waste more than 29 gallons of fuel each year. Do the math. At $3.50 per gallon, that’s over $101 wasted per year.[1]

It’s the law.  Idling more than 3 minutes is against the law in NJ.[2] Ewing Township has also adopted an anti-idling resolution to protect our citizens.  You can help us keep our town clean, improve local air quality, and save money by conserving fuel and reducing health care costs.

“The health of our kids rests on all of our shoulders,” said Peter Boughton, Chairman of the Ewing Green Team. “It is estimated that in just one month, the average driver picking up and dropping off their child generates three pounds of emissions.  Just by turning off the ignition, we can make a huge difference in the quality of air we breathe.”

The Ewing Green Team asks that Ewing residents join in our efforts to promote a healthier Ewing by adhering to the following guidelines: (1) if you are going to wait more than 10 seconds, turn your vehicle off, (2) educate others about the effects of idling and (3) report diesel vehicles idling more than 3 minutes by calling (877) WARNDEP.    Take the Green Team‘s anti-idling pledge at https://ewinggreenteam.wordpress.com/pledge/

If you are interested in promoting a more sustainable Ewing, join the Ewing Green Team at our meetings on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Ewing Senior and Community Center, 999 Lower Ferry Road, Ewing Twp.   If you would like to learn more about us, please check out our website at https://ewinggreenteam.wordpress.com/.   Contact the Green Team at ewinggreenteam@gmail.com.

[1]http://www.epa.gov/region8/air/rmcdc/IdleFreeSchoolsPresentation.pdf

[2] http://www.state.nj.us/dep/aqm/Sub15v2002-12-26.pdf