Vehicle idling wastes about 4 percent of a car's gasoline and is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, experts have warned.
"That's just a complete waste. It's energy generation you're not even using," said Michael Short, program director of the Cleveland-based Clean Air Conservancy.
According to a report in ENN (Environmental News Network), eliminating idling would cut a car's greenhouse gas emissions - carbon dioxide and other byproducts scientists believe cause climate change - by the same amount, i.e. 4 per cent.
"Any amounts you can cut are important," said Short.
Environmental advocates, local governments and industry associations are all working to curb the habit.
Eliminating idling would cut about 196,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from passenger cars and trucks alone, calculated from Environmental Protection Agency estimates and Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles statistics.
Add in commercial vehicles and tractor-trailers, often left idling during deliveries or at truck stops overnight, and an additional 64,000 metric tons would be reduced.