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Smithers Anti-Idling Campaign

Completion Date: Nov 30, 2009
Country: Canada
  • This project received funding from Environment Canada's EcoAction Community Funding Program.
Key Contact(s):

Meg Hobson, Anti-Idling Campaign Manager

Project Description

One Sky began an anti idling campaign in 2008 in Smithers, initiating local awareness and education around the issue of idling within the transportation sector. In the Smithers Community Energy Plan it was identified that 60% of the GHG emissions released in the community comes from the transportation sector. Given each municipality in BC will be required to become carbon neutral by 2012 according to the Union of Municipalities of British Columbia Climate Action Charter and the required target for individuals to reduce their GHG emissions by 33% by 2020 to reach the BC Climate Change target, reducing idling is one step that can make a big difference for everyone.

In the Bulkley Valley we have some challenges to overcome given our distances from large centres, our reliance of transportation for many of our daily needs and lack of sustainable public transport options, but we can all learn to be more efficient with our driving habits and needs. The aim of the project is to decrease idling within the Bulkley Valley, thus reducing transport related Green House Gas emissions which are not only one of our biggest GHG emissions in Smithers but in all of Canada. The benefits of reducing idling also enable fleet owners, businesses, individuals to save on fuel, save on engine wear and tear, improve our air quality and potentially enable alternate and more environmentally healthy and sustainable transportation options to become viable within the community.

In 2009 One Sky’s Smithers Anti Idling Campaign is working with many levels of the Smithers community , including the Town of Smithers, School District # 54, Provincial Government offices, residents both urban and rural, fleet managers and car dealerships.

Our program includes educational outreach workshops enabling individuals to learn about the myths surrounding idling, drive smart workshops, engine care and maintenance education, fleet management options, alternative transportation and an overall awareness on reducing our carbon footprint locally to address the global issue of climate change.

One Sky’s Smithers Anti idling Campaign also ties in with our Community Bike Program and the Energetic Olympics. The Bike program offers alternative sustainable transportation options around the town of Smithers, where short haul driving and idling can create the greatest emissions impact. Having businesses and individuals embrace anti idling habits will also benefit the challenge of reducing their energy consumption which can count towards points for the Energetic Olympics increasing Smithers chances of gaining a medal.

It’s all about energy solutions for the individual, the community and the planet. One Sky helps to bring awareness and options to reduce our consumption that will benefit us all globally, from a local perspective.

So, how can you make a difference?

1 Reduce your warm idling
Contrary to popular belief the best way to warm up your car is to drive it at a moderate speed. Even on the coldest of days, after 30 seconds of idling you’re good to go.

2 Turn off after 10 seconds
If you have stopped for more than 10 seconds, turn off your engine. It has minimal impact on your starter switch and idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel than it would to restart your engine

3 Avoid using remote starters
These devices encourage you to start your car before you are ready to go, which means unnecessary idling.

4 Use a block heater
In the north we have many cold days so consider using a block heater to warm up the engine before starting your vehicle. This reduces wear and tear on your vehicle and reduces your emissions

5 Plan your trips
Avoid quick errands around town, plan your journey for the most efficient routes and don’t leave your car on while you run into the fast food store or corner shop. Park and walk in, this saves you money and reduces your emissions.

It’s as easy as the turn of your key!

From Natural Resources Canada’s office of Energy Efficiency at