Everyone can make a difference

Posted on 19.07.2016

Everyone can make a difference, engine idling and its impact on our environment.

Air pollution is a silent threat with a substantial and undeniable impact on the quality and life expectancy of each and everyone of us. With over 430,000 premature deaths per year in Europe alone due to long term exposure to outdoor pollution, we should all take part in the responsibility of our future and the future of our environment. Although, as the saying goes, old habits are hard to break, even a small change in our daily routine can make a significant difference.

It would be particularly beneficial for our health and that of our cities to reduce unnecessarily engine idling. Regarded as a fairly innocuous practice by many motorists, idling a car is actually extremely detrimental to the environment: idling for just ten seconds in fact wastes more gas and consequently emits more pollutants into the atmosphere (CO2 and NO2 in particular, both linked to climate change) than restarting the vehicle. And if the environmental discourse does not sway your opinion and you think that idling the engine can do any good to your car, here are some myths debunked:

1. The best way to warm up a car is not idling; rather it is to drive it!

2. Automotive engines do not operate efficiently when they idle; idling reduces engine’s performances.

3. Frequently restarting the engine does negligible damage to it and does not drain modern batteries excessively; idling does worse!

To raise awareness of urban air quality and the ways this can affect us, Invisible Dust has teamed up with media artist Kasia Molga, scientist Frank Kelly and Manchester European City of Science 2016 for ‘Human Sensor’, a series of performances that will reveal the presence of particulates through hi-tech illuminated clothing to audiences during walks around various locations in Manchester.

The launch event will take place on July 23rd with performers leaving 70 Oxford Street at 9.20 pm.

The performances are accompanied by a full programme of related talks and workshop; find out more here.

For the entire duration of ‘Human Sensor’ (23rd – 29th July), Invisible Dust encourages Manchester drivers to use public and alternative means of transport, car sharing, and to reduce idling times.

Keep us posted on your commitment for the environment using the hashtag #thehumansensor and remember, we can all make a difference!

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