Tomorrow (Saturday, May 14) is Westport GreenDay.
Organizers hope it will be a real turnoff.
Well, actually, they’re encouraging drivers to turn off their car engines.
Nearly 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions in Connecticut are transportation-related. Turning off an engine, then back on again is more fuel efficient than idling for just 10 seconds.
First Selectman Jim Marpe urges all Westporters to sign a “No Idling Pledge” (click here for the environmentally friendly online version).
(NOTE: State law prohibits “unnecessary idling” for more than 3 minutes. Provisions are made for weather extremes, certain service vehicles and health-related conditions.)
Other GreenDay activities tomorrow include a cleanup of Parker Harding Plaza and the riverfront; family events and a talk about the town’s new arboretum at Earthplace; a tour of Westport’s wastewater treatment plant; activities at Wakeman Town Farm, and a 3:30 p.m. library talk about Westport’s Net Zero goal for 2050.
Tomorrow afternoon, electric vehicles are on display at Jesup Green, and a few lucky folks can test drive Teslas. There’s also a free EV shuttle service from the library to Town Hall, where the Westport Cinema Initiative sponsors the film “Who Killed the Electric Car?” at 6 p.m.
It should be a great Green (if gray) Day.
And if Westporters don’t take the “No Idling” pledge to heart, “06880” will start posting photos of drivers sitting in their cars, while their engines run.
Don’t mess with us.
(For details of the weekend’s events, click on www.WestportGreenday.com)
For anyone planning on participating in Green Day, please stop by my girl scouts’ booth just outside the lower entrance to the Westport library. Kings Highway 5th Grade Troop 50889 will be educating people about Westport’s single stream recycling program and encouraging everyone to recycle. Fun games and quizzes to test your recycling knowledge and small prize give-aways if you know your stuff! Saturday 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
Dan, there will be oodles of opportunities to photo offending idlers at many locations. I’ve noticed many at the train stations, the beach, any shopping plaza and various grab & go venues around town.
Auto stop-start systems!
To toot my own horn, I have long called to the attention of drivers idling their vehicles in excess of the CT three minute limit rule. The responses have been varied. The worst was a limousine driver outside of the former Positano Restaurant at Old Mill Beach. The chauffeur told me he had to keep the engine running in order to operate the refrigerator so that the white wine remained chilled. Unfortunately, CT’s idling law has no sanction. I have spoken with the Westport Police Dept. and, at least as of a few years ago, they are not in a position to force people to cease idling. The noise is also annoying.
Check out the school busses. Invariably idling while dropping off or picking up. Sometimes as long as a half an hour.