Letter: Make every week No-Idle Week

To the Editors:

“I don’t want anyone telling me when I should turn off my car.” When I was eight years old and started talking to people about car idling, this was unfortunately what I heard many say.

Now, several years later, our town is considered among the “greenest” in the state. In July, Wilton’s Board of Selectmen unanimously supported a resolution recommended by Wilton Go Green to back the Connecticut idling law by adopting a “strong anti-idling policy.” Yet, believe it or not, many drivers in town still feel that car idling should be a matter of “free choice.”

In 2050, when scientists believe our planet’s climate will be significantly changed and parts of the globe may become incompatible with human life, I will be 52 years old. Most of the adults I know now will be very old, if they are even still around. Unnecessary idling in the U.S. alone puts 132,000 tons of additional carbon into the atmosphere each day, contributing significantly to climate change. Your “free choice” affects my future.

The American Lung Association has given Connecticut an “F” for our air quality. Pollutants from idling emissions, which include poisons such as benzene, sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide contribute to respiratory illness and an uncommonly high rate of lung diseases, especially among children. Your “free choice” affects my present.

It is very easy to reduce your impact on the environment, all of our health, as well as to save money and wear and tear on your car. Make every week no-idle week! Remember that if you think you will be idling for more than 10 seconds, you are better off turning off your engine. As Little People Big Changes, an organization I helped to start back in the third grade says, “if you’re stopped for more than ten, turn it off and on again!”
Alex Scaperotta, Wilton High School ’16
Board Member, Wilton Go Green
Coordinator, WGG No-Idling Campaign
Wilton, Nov. 16