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If you’ve visited a retail store recently, you’ve probably noticed the immensely large and unavoidable ‘Back to School’ section overflowing with notebooks and double pocket folders.

While kids are excited about using those new glittery mechanical pencils and fun-shaped erasers, there’s something else looming that parents in metro Atlanta have to face in the coming weeks: Waiting in the dreaded car rider line.

Believe it or not, you burn less gas going 60 mph than you do idling your car. That’s why we’re challenging parents to be idle-free this school year.

Idling is discouraged for many reasons, including but not limited to:

•          Idling releases harmful pollutants that are unhealthy for young lungs, including particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

•          Idling wastes fuel. Fuel is a precious limited resource and idling your car for one hour can burn up to one gallon of fuel, according to AAA.

•          Idling costs can add-up at the pump. Americans waste about 3.8 million gallons of fuel each year on unnecessary idling. Multiply that number by the national average price for a gallon of gas, which is roughly $2.65, and that equals over $10 million each year!

Back to school signifies a fresh start and a new year of learning, so avoid idling in carpool lines to cut-down on smog emissions. Making this simple switch can save you money and help your kids breathe a little easier when you pick them up from school.

To learn more about our partnerships with local schools in your area, visit our Georgia Commute Schools page. Looking to avoid the car rider line and back to school traffic all together? Consider switching to a clean commute alternative and registering for our incentive programs to get more out of your daily commute.