JUNE 27, 2018 BY 

Letter to the editor from Pam Pierce, Steamboat Pilot & Today

June 26, 2018

Even though I don’t ski as much as I used to, I still love a cold and snowy winter. Kind of weird to think of right now in the hot summertime, but it came to mind while reading the article about “Greening Your Commute,” which reminds us that transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions in the U.S.

The suggested solution is trying to put limits on using your car by riding a bicycle, using public transportation, car-pooling, etc. While I am certainly in favor of this and for fun things like the Commuter Challenge and winning prizes, I’d like to point out that many commuters are simply unable to go the “alternative-transportation route” due to the distance they live from their workplace.

Perhaps many of these commuters, who are unable to afford living close enough to ride a bike or take a bus, are currently trying to save expensive fuel by combining trips or car-pooling to drive less. We all need to drive sometimes, so I have another surprising fact about fuel consumption. Close to 25 percent of that expense is being used in vehicles that are standing still, getting zero miles per gallon.

The reasons for this are many and some are beyond our control. However, much of this unnecessary idling will be eliminated by the act of simply realizing that our car is running and turning it off.

You’re at a railroad crossing. Turn it off. You’re in a traffic jam or construction delay. Turn it off. You’re chit-chatting with someone. Turn it off. You’re in a drive-through. Turn it off. The recycling center … picking up your kid … getting your mail … “running in” for a six-pack. Please remember the 10-second-rule of idling. Anything more is a waste of gas, money and our precious snow.

Pam Pierce

Steamboat Springs