• Apr 12, 2010
Green Calgary takes on unneccsary idling – Click above to watch the video after the jump

Flannel, Mounties, hockey, public urination – all these things that come to mind when we think of Canada. Okay, maybe not all of them. But the latter comes courtesy of a new spot developed by Joe Media Group for Green Calgary. The ad urges the city's drivers to stop all unnecessary idling as it's not doing the planet any favors. How do you turn that into a striking visual? By comparing it to taking a leak on Mother Earth.

We've never exactly drawn a link between relieving ourselves and sitting in traffic, but hey, we aren't exactly ad execs, either. One thing's for sure – we won't be able to look at our neighbors to the north in quite the same way ever again. Hit the jump to see the spot for yourself.

[Source: The Car Connection via YouTube]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 32 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is a dumb ad, it takes more fuel to restart the motor then it does, to idle for 5 min's
        • 4 Years Ago
        Every time I start any VAG product, the range until empty drops by 5 miles until empty. This is generally borne out by increasingly antsy fuel warnings as I approach empty. So clearly the start cycle does have an impact.

        And anyone who has lived where it is regularly -30C knows not to shut off the car without good reason or an electric plug nearby or you are snow shoeing your way to your next destination. Bunch of city slickers!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Still using carburetors? :P

        I really don't see a point of idling a vehicle... I mean I could personally care less about the environmental impact of my car (Which is beyond negligible), but hey, anything that saves me money is good, haha.

        Just filled up this morning, 6.47L/100km (A little more than 36 US MPG) in my '07 Civic 5MT, purely in Calgary at probably 6c average outside temperature... it's not even optimal fuel economy season yet. I'm not a hardcore hypermiler, but I shut off my car at long lights. Pop it in first gear to hold my car in position, hit the clutch down to start my car then go as normal when the light turns green... the people behind me won't even notice that my car is turned off for that short
        • 4 Years Ago
        I won't see for whom I worked, but I spent years starting vehicles in all sorts of conditions (cold, hot...), then analyzing fuel flow data. On a modern, fuel injected car that's been shut down for just a few minutes (and thus is still warm), the initial pulse of fuel required to start it is equivalent to idling the car for a few milliseconds (as in less than a second), nowhere near 5 minutes. This is the whole idea behind shutting hybrids when stationary as well as the 12 volt start/stop systems that will surely be ubiquitous in the next decade or so. I don't want to get too preachy, but there really is no argument for long idles other than driver comfort and/or laziness.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Never trust any message that refers to "the planet". It's got a guaranteed built-in agenda.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @wseroyer
        I'm genuinely interested in seeing some data comparing idle fuel consumption to that of stopping/starting the motor, but "5 minutes of idling equals restarting the motor once" sounds made-up.
        • 4 Years Ago
        As someone who as installed and tuned an after market electronic fuel injection system, Rob is absolutely correct. There is a priming pulse a cranking pulse and an after start (typically around 300 revs after you reach your "started" rpm). Then it is normal. Priming pulse is usually very short (1 pulse that is on the order of 2-5 times typical idle pulse). starting pulse is even shorter, and after start enrichment is some percent higher than what the car should be running at. This is also temperature dependent, so this will be very small for a warm car.

        As rob said, starting a car is equivalent to a couple of milliseconds of idle. And my car was tuned as a one off, so it is very hard to get exact data. Where as car manufactures spend millions to tune their engines because they only have to tune a few of them, then they sell a million of them to dilute the cost of tuning. It might take hundreds of thousands of dollars to tune my engine as well as factory engines can be, which means that for a stock modern car, the numbers I quoted would be even lower.

        Jim
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Ten seconds of idling can use more fuel than turning off the engine and restarting it."

      http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/myths/idling.html
      • 4 Years Ago
      People have been peeing on the Earth since the beginning of time, since when was that a bad thing?
      Anyway, no matter where you pee its going to end up in the earth.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not a single comment about the creative behind this ad. That's a truly sad commentary about our society right now. I'm no prude, but this spot was disgusting and while I understand the reason behind the concept, it's still inappropriate and downright self-defeating IMO.

      No one will remember what the spot is trying to say other than . . . well let's just say that the recall will be just "pissed away . . . "

      • 4 Years Ago
      screw fuel consumption.

      If the government gave back some of my taxes towards replacing my starter motor every year, i'll gladly start and stop my car 500 times a day while stuck in traffic.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just what the heck is wrong with taking a leak on Mother Earth? Urine returns nitrogen and other necessary nutrients (and water!) to the soil. It's a good thing. As for idling cars, there's no way I'm going to switch off the car when it's -40 outside. Which is not unheard of in Calgary.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You do it during the summer.

        Also, pee is acidic as far as I know. It burns the plants.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I recall an article saying to start an engine takes the same amount of fuel as it would to idle an engine for 6 seconds. Which is why stop/start engines over in the UK offer better city gas mileage real-world numbers
      • 4 Years Ago
      I live in Calgary - no wonder my sidewalks smell of pee.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Research indicates that the average person idles their car five to 10 minutes a day"

      "With today's modern engines, you need no more than 30 seconds of idling on winter days before driving away"

      "Frequent restarting has little impact on engine components like the battery and the starter motor"

      http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/myths/idling.html
        • 4 Years Ago
        Thanks zhatka, you beat me to the link.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You Republicans crack me up. There's no shame in caring about the planet (take that, AMcA) AND enjoying fast cars. The ad is obviously aimed at people who idle excessively, not the rest of us who idle when it is sensible to do so. Couriers and cabbies frequently idle for no good reason in smoggy city cores. A little common sense goes a long way.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Last time I checked, there's no Republicans here in Canada.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What..Green Calgary sez no idling?!

      Start...stop. Start...stop. Start...stop...

      Don't start on me tree huggers...that pisses me off!
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's better to get pissed off than to get pissed on.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Idling your car for 1 minute uses the same amount of fuel as starting the car.
      Here is where I found this info.
      http://www.gassavers.org/article.php?do=201-tips-to-save-gas
      It's tip #33
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