The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

Opinion: High school club works to curb idling

Bend Senior High School students designed flyers to reduce vehicle idling on campus.

As the winter weather approaches, it may be tempting to run your parked car to stay warm. This is vehicle idling — when the engine is running but the vehicle is not moving. Vehicle idling has many impacts, not only on the environment, but also on your bank account and even your vehicle’s engine. 

Vehicle idling releases greenhouse gases and is harmful to health. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, one pound of Carbon Dioxide is prevented from being released every ten minutes your engine is off and over 40 hazardous pollutants are emitted from engine exhaust. 

Vehicle idling wastes more fuel than restarting your car. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, idling costs an extra 650 dollars on gas annually.

Idling is bad for your engine, it can double the wear and tear on your engine by forcing it to run for longer periods of time.

Students of Bend Senior High School’s environmental club are working to control idling in the school parking lot. Students involved in the club believe that it’s important to promote idle free zones rather than enforcing rules against idling.

However, some students have not had a positive reaction to the posters hung around the school explaining the issues around idling. “Students are taking down idling signs hung in the bathrooms and flushing them down the toilets” said Lily Eckert, a senior at Bend Senior High. Students of the club have been brainstorming why it is happening and what they can do to stop it, “maybe because they are against an idle free parking lot,” Eckert said. “Or maybe it’s because they think it’s funny,” said Olive Nye, senior.

Students of the environmental club have faced other hardships in getting this project going, such as figuring out how to get the idle free zone message across to other students in a simple sign. Another hardship is connecting with administration and the maintenance team about getting signs posted in the parking lots, said Riley Ahmuty, a senior at the school. 

However, students have worked with Bend’s Westside Village Magnet School to see how effective idle free zone signs are since they recently put a sign up at the entrance of their parking lot. Once signs have been posted in the Bend Senior High School parking lot, students of the club plan to assign groups of students to audit the number of idling cars once a week in the morning and during their lunch break. Students have found that those who show up to school early to ensure a good parking spot idle the longest. 

COCC has no current plans for an idling campaign because it hasn’t been an issue on their campuses, but it could be considered if idling became more of a problem.

The biggest and easiest way to reduce vehicle idling is to turn off your own engine when not driving. 

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