LOGAN – If you are idling your car around town Saturday morning, you may get a friendly reminder to reconsider.
Utah State University Forestry Extension Educator Megan Dettenmaier said she will be teaming up with Herm Olsen of the Logan City Council to create and distribute brochures that educate people the effects idling vehicles can have on the air. The two plan on visiting parking lots of local businesses Saturday to hand out fliers and a friendly reminder to those idling.
Cache Valley is known for its winter inversions that trap pollution and create unhealthy air quality. Dettenmaier said 57 percent of emissions come from vehicles and that idling is just compounding the problem. She thinks valley residents are misinformed about idling and hopes that educating residents will help.
“We can’t do anything about the fact that we are always going to get inversions,” she said. “But we could at least educate people about the importance of minimizing trips, carpooling, turning your car off when you’re picking your kids up from school or going through the drive-thru – or better yet avoiding drive-thru windows all together.”
In Logan, refraining from idling is also the legal thing to do.
“We have an overworked, overtasked police force,” Dettenmaier said. “Do they really want to be going around tapping on people’s windows? Not really. The city police, they have a lot of work to do. Their job is to keep us safe. At the end of the day if we could sort of self-police I think we might be a little more effective.”
Dettenmaier said she believes the valley is close to understanding that it isn’t necessary, and that one day idling will be seen in the same light as littering.
“Idling is just as crazy as littering,” she said. “(By) taking care of our airshed of the communal resource that it actually is, I think we could all make Cache Valley a lot healthier place to live.
“It’s not that as Cache Valley residents we’re just polluting more and we’re dirty and we’re not good stewards of the environment. We live in a geographically constricting area.”