Contrary to popular belief, air quality is increasingly becoming a real environmental health concern in Central Alberta. Vehicles emit greenhouse gases and air contaminants that are harmful to the environment and to our health. Eliminating unnecessary vehicle idling is a key way to address air pollution.

Per capita, Canada uses more energy each year than almost any other country in the world. One of the reasons for this is our reliance on the automobile. The transportation sector is responsible for 27 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Passenger cars and trucks are responsible for almost half of that total. Canadians own about 19 million cars, vans and light-duty trucks, and typically drive more than 300 billion kilometres (km) per year. Learn more about why Canadians idle.

Individual actions, when taken by millions of Canadians, can make a difference. Don’t wait – launching your own personal idling campaign is as easy as turning off your engine.

One easy way to cut fuel consumption and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is to avoid unnecessary idling. If all drivers avoided idling for three minutes a day, we would save over $630 million per year (assuming a fuel cost of $1/litre). What’s more, collectively, we would prevent 1.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere daily and contributing to climate change. This would be equal to saving over 630 million litres of fuel and equivalent to taking 320,000 cars off the road for the entire year.

Be Air Smart & Idle Free in 5 Easy Steps

Step #1

Turn off the engine if the vehicle is going to be parked for more than 60 seconds (except in traffic.)

Step #2

Drive the vehicle to warm it up, rather than idling the engine (usually no more than two to three minutes of idling is needed on cold winter days.)

Step #3

Use remote car starters wisely to avoid excessively long warm-ups.

Step #4

Use a block heater on cold winter days to warm the engine before starting it (ideally, the block heater should be turned on by an automatic timer 2 hours before leaving).

Step #5

Spread the word to your family and friends. Telling them about the benefits of reduced idling will help them save money and help protect the environment too.

Idle Free Toolkit

Municipalities are well positioned to tackle air pollution and to demonstrate leadership in this area. Through the establishment of their own policies and practices and through the careful development of targeted awareness campaigns, municipalities can be the drivers of change to improve air quality.

Download the Idle Free Toolkit today and see what you can do to help your community address unnecessary vehicle idling.

Additional Resources

A1. Idling Reduction Strategy- Olds

A2. Report to City Council, Dec.8 2015- Town of Sylvan Lake

A3. NRCan Objectives Planning Worksheet

A4. Example Terms of Reference- Lacombe County

A5. MOU idle Reduction committee-Lacombe County/ PAMZ

A6 . MOU idle Reduction committee- Sylvan Lake/PAMZ

A7. Partnership Agreement – Clean Air Day

A8. SWOT Analysis

A9. Constraints and Opportunities

A10.Environmental Literacy Ladder

B1. Vehicle Idling fact sheet #1- PAMZ Idle Free Committee

B2. Vehicle Idling fact sheet #2- PAMZ Idle Free Committee

B3. Idle free poster- Town of Olds

B4. Idle free brochure – Town of Olds’

B5. Idle free fact sheet-Town of Olds

B6: Idle free decal -City of Red Deer

B7. Idle free sign- City of Red Deer

B8 Positive Intervention Model

B9. Positive Intervention Form

B10. Breathe Easy Fact Sheet- Town of Sylvan Lake

B11. Breathe Easy Poster- Town of Sylvan Lake

B12. Idling Violation Fine – Town of Sylvan Lake

B13. Breathe Easy videos- Town of Sylvan Lake

B14. Idle Reduction fact sheet- Lacombe County

B15. Idle Reduction poster- Lacombe County

B16. Idle Reduction pledge sheet- Lacombe County

B17. PAMZ Idle Free Leaflet

C1. Draft Idle Bylaw- Town of Olds

C2. Corporate Idle free Policy – City of Red Deer

C3. Corporate Anti – idling Policy- Town of Rocky Mountain House

C4. Sundre Anti- idling Corporate Policy

C5. Anti-idling Policy for Company property (for businesses)-PAMZ

D1. Webasto Heaters

D2. Seven Technologies that can Slash Idling

D3. Idling- Emergency Service Vehicles

E1. Survey- Town of Sylvan Lake

E2. Pre-Survey results-Town of Sylvan Lake

E3. Pre- survey notice to residents- Town of Sylvan Lake

E4. Post survey results- Town of Sylvan Lake

E5. Survey- Lacombe County

E6. Survey costs- Banister for Lacombe County

E7. Pre -Survey results- Lacombe County

E8. Post survey results- Lacombe County

E9. Idling observation forms- Lacombe county

E10 Idling observation data- Lacombe County

F. Additional Resources

F1. Project Planning Guide

F2 .Community Based Social Marketing At-A-Glance

F3. NRcan 10 Step Guide

F4 .Levels of Engagement

G1. Lacombe County Idle Reduction Action Committee

G2. Convening Meeting of the Town of Sylvan Lake Idle Reduction Committee

G3. Lacombe County Vehicle Emissions Testing Clinic (LCVETC)

G4. Analyzer wand testing exhaust (LCVETC)

G5. Volunteer Testing Vehicle Exhaust (LCVETC)

G6. Volunteer collecting vehicle operator information (LCVETC)

G7 Volunteers discussing and gathering information (LCVETC)

G8. Collecting forms on driver information and vehicle emissions analysis(LCVETC)

G9. Emissions analyzer(LCVETC)

G10. Computer collectiing data(LCVETC)

G11. Picture Collage- participants making their pledge for Idle Reduction-Lacombe County