Clear the Air – Reduce Idling
PGAIR’s latest video to urge folks to reduce idling
Prince George, B.C. – When the weather is cold, it’s not uncommon for residents in the Prince George area to idle their vehicles to either warm them up, or keep them warm while they whip into a convenience store. It’s a behaviour PG AIR is hoping folks will change.PGAIR has launched a new video, which it hopes will encourage people to see the impacts of idling. During the kind of cold weather Prince George has been experiencing this week, there is every possibility of a temperature inversion, which traps pollutants in the bowl area. Reducing idling won’t change the reality of an inversion, but fewer pollutants would be available to be trapped.
“Instead of idling your vehicle for ten minutes, try just idling for one minute” says Dan Veller Board member of PGAIR “If we all do a little bit, it makes an unbelievable difference to our airshed.”
The impact would not only mean a reduction in fine particulate matter, but reduced fuel costs (saving about $85 dollars a year based on current fuel costs) and reduced negative impacts on health.
Air quality in Prince George has improved over the years, although it’s difficult to say exactly by how much. While there is a baseline of particulate matter values when PGAIR launched about ten years ago, there are no current measurements with which to compare those numbers to see if in fact PGAIR is close to achieving its goal of reducing particulate matter by 40% by the end of 2016. Anecdotal information would suggest improvements have been made, but the impact of those improvements on the overall airshed have yet to be calculated.
A previous video by PGAIR indicated the pollution ‘pie’ is pretty evenly split when it comes to contributors to air quality issues in P.G. :
- Permitted industry 21%
- Vehicles and Road Dust 20%
- Other 18%
- Commercial 16%
- Naturally Occurring 15%
- Residential 10%
“The video is another addition to the education and awareness campaign” says Tiffany Bonnet, media relations person for PGAIR “It’s also an opportunity to check in with people and see if they are happy with the air quality and find out where they would like to see more work.” A third video, which will focus on dust issues will be released in early March when sweeping of streets, parking lots, and clearing lawns of aggregate moves into full swing.
People have multiple motivators for changing their behaviours says Bonnet, who admits not everyone may care about improving air quality, but they may care about their own health, the health of their family, or the cost savings that can be achieved by adopting other practices. Here are some tips that will help residents make a positive difference.
- Drive less. Try using transit or active transportation sometimes
- plan your driving trips ahead of time for the most efficient route.
- Maintain Your Vehicle. Get regular oil changes and tune-ups, and keep your tires properly inflated. A tune-up can improve the fuel efficiency of your car by 15% and up to 50% if your car has not been regularly maintained.
- Avoid Idling. It wastes fuel, time, money, and is hard on your engine.
- Take the PGAIR Pledge to Drive Smart for Clean Air.
“If people would just consider idling a little bit less, it would make such a big difference” says Veller