Idling Awareness

Round logo showing a red car with two cartoon goats as passengers and text around the outside reading 'Turn the key-be idle free'
The Glacier National Park Conservancy created this logo for the Idling Awareness campaign.
Stickers with the logo are available for free at park visitor centers.

"Turn the Key—Be Idle Free!"

With the help of the Glacier National Park Conservancy, the park launched an Idling Awareness Campaign. Idling awareness can help visitors and employees reduce vehicle emissions. Transportation emissions play a significant role in fueling climate change. Inventories of 18 national parks in 2010 showed that visitor’s cars produced 75% of park greenhouse gas emissions (Steuer 2010). Emissions have increased with the explosion in visitation to national parks since 2016. Most of Glacier's three million-plus annual visitors arrive by vehicle.

Climate change impacts on the park can be obvious, like the reduction of the park's glaciers. They can also be less visible, such as increased stream temperatures, or changing vegetation patterns. Learn more about climate change impacts here.

Vehicle idling often happens in parking lots, pullouts, and in traffic and road construction zones. Limiting idling times saves money on gas and benefits the health of people and park resources. Idling pollution has been linked to asthma, heart disease, chronic bronchitis, and cancer. It’s a common myth that turning your vehicle off and on again will wear out the engine. Today’s gasoline and diesel vehicles have starters and batteries that are much more durable than they were in the past.

Glacier National Park is committed to reducing vehicle idling among employees and the public. Strategies for employees include a management directive limiting park vehicle idling times, training frontline staff on idling reduction messaging, and communicating the importance of idling reduction to park staff. For park visitors, the campaign focuses on education and outreach.

The Glacier National Park Conservancy funded the design and printing of stickers for the Idling Awareness Campaign. The stickers depict mountain goats riding in a red vehicle with the slogan, “Turn the key - be idle free.” The stickers will be free and available at the park's visitor centers. The logo will also be displayed in park messaging, reminding employees and visitors to reduce idling. With your help, we can lessen the impact of vehicles in the park!

Sources:

Argonne National Laboratory, Vehicle Technologies Office. (2015, May). Idling Reduction for Personal Vehicles. U.S. Department of Energy. https://afdc.energy.gov/files/u/publication/idling_personal_vehicles.pdf

National Park Service: The Benefits of Idle Reduction

Steuer, C. (2010) Climate Friendly Parks: Performing Greenhouse Gas Inventories at US National Parks and Implications for Public Sector Greenhouse Gas Protocols. Applied Geography, 30, 475-482.

U.S. Department of Energy: Clean Cities National Parks Initiative

Last updated: September 9, 2021

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936

Phone:

(406) 888-7800

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