I guess the first irritant should be a big one and I have to say this one is right up there for me:   Idling Vehicles.

I walk my dog Annie 3 times a day and everyday I encounter vehicles needlessly spewing out their toxic gases while idiot owners chat on the phone, text, put on makeup, nap, pick their nose – whatever.  Or the car is empty because the owner is in the house waiting for it to warm up.  I cannot tell you how many running cars, trucks, vans I see outside banks, convenience stores, coffee shops, or in drive-through line ups.  Then there’s the parents who wait outside day care centers and schools in running vehicles for 10, 15, 30 minutes.  Don’t even get me started on vehicles running at train crossings. What are they thinking?!

I could give numerous examples – one of my ‘favorite’ moments one morning was coming upon a rather large woman, sitting in her running car eating a bowl of cereal.  She stared at me jumping up and down in front of her mimicking the hand motion for turning off the ignition.  She shook her head NO and continued eating.  Just loved her.

For some reason, many people actually think their vehicle is their own personal heating or cooling machine.  It really has nothing to do with what the vehicle needs – it’s all about the owner who thinks that whenever they get in their car, it should be the perfect temperature.  And they also think because it’s their car, they can do what they want.


Ten seconds of idling can use more fuel than turning off the engine and restarting it.

Every 10 minutes of idling uses at least ,75 litres of gas and up to 2.65 litres for an 8-cylinder engine. Every litre of gas used produces over 2 kilograms of carbon dioxide.

For more info go to:


I see vehicles from blocks away as I patter down the street – the running lights are on and exhaust curls into the once fresh air.  I prepare myself and at least 3 or 4 times a day, winter or summer, I knock on a window or wave madly in front of a windshield and choose my approach, all the while trying to smile and be pleasant:

‘Please don’t leave your car running.’

‘Do you mind turning off your vehicle?’

‘Is it necessary for your car to be running while you sit here?’

‘Did you know this is an idle free zone?’

I am always coming up with new lines and am open to any ideas.  The responses I get are varied – a lot of “Fuck Offs’, a few sarcastic ‘Thanks for that note’ and even some genuine thanks.  Many reach over and turn off the engine, some cheerfully, some begrudgingly.  At least everyone I challenge can no longer look in the mirror and tell themselves they didn’t know.

Some even ask me ‘why?’ and then I get to launch into other one liners:

‘Because it poisons the air’

‘Because it’s bad for the environment’

‘Because I’m trying to breathe’

‘Because we share the air”

‘Because my ferocious Jack Russell Terrier will take a bite out of your tire’ (I have to run like hell after that one)

Unfortunately I live in a country that gets cold and worse in a city that is backwards beyond description so we do not yet have anti- idling laws.  Nothing to back me up – yet.

I encourage others to speak up.

End Idling.