Idling Your Car is the New Second-Hand Smoke

This is fitting for today’s unacceptably hazy air, (most days in Utah are just that; this is the problem. Sad but true). Some of the problem is the location and pollution is essentially funneled right down to us. That is just all the more reason to think outside of the box and to get creative toward a solution.

Reflecting lately: I was glad that my university is spreading the word about not idling. It is a waste in every way; it would be difficult to justify. Utah alone has exceedingly poor air quality, and this past year especially, price of gas has been on everyone’s mind.

If you have that much money to burn-literally, here is a list of causes you could support with all that extra dough; while you wait in line at the bank for thirty minutes imagine how much how many $ you torched up. This is money that would help others instead and not literally burned while waiting: Getting Involved and Giving Something Back

We can narrow it down, considering Utah alone: Look at Utah’s two big environmental issues: a Great Salt Lake disappearing, and yellow air quality most days of the year. These two issues, combined with a severe drought the past few years influence each other. Unfortunately, in Utah, more often than not, the pollution makes your hair greasy within a few hours of washing it; the eyes start to sting after going outside; you may start to sneeze. You may blow your nose and it’s the consistency of vaseline (petroleum jelly) har har no pun intended. Everyone looks at you like you have COVID. You can tell them you’re just allergic to Utah’s toxic air; it’s the truth and you can remind them that you both live, work and exercise in a casino. Never forget that symptoms of toxic are are similar to colds, flu and allergies. Coughing, sneezing, runny nose, red, watery eyes, etc. Of course! These are the symptoms of breathing toxic, casino air. This is not only detrimental to nature, but environmental toxins affect us too.

Positive thinking is a healthy practice, but it should be balanced with a healthy dose of the current nature of reality” (Buddhist term). The practice of looking on the bright side doesn’t mean denial. Perma-optimism by default without action toward a solution is at some point a form of complacency and denial.

Recently, there has been discussion about ticketing idling. What if these were put into place in the prevention of idling cars? Or, on another environmental spectrum, what if mandates were imposed for the requirement of the use of catalytic converters on small engines, or a requirement that a certain percentage of operated motor vehicles were solar/electric? People tend to dislike regulation, and I get that, and I agree to some extent, but clearly our version of self-regulation is not working. It’s time to try something else. I have to say I would be all for these. These levels of pollution have been a problem for over two decades now. With Utah’s casino-like air quality, these restrictions, (or any) would be a welcome change. This Utah’s air quality and drought (that affects all of us) we have no room to be arrogant. Just yesterday I noticed an e car charging station, with multiple cars charging. This was such a relief to see! I just wish it were faster and there were more incentives and awareness.

Creating green space, integrating lower emission transportation (both public and private), and improving the infrastructure that is interconnected and networked such as through parks, trails, and bicycle lanes would help reduce pollution and improve human health through having more incentives/opportunities available for exercise. There would be multiple benefits on multiple levels. It would be awesome!

If friends or family from out of state or overseas were to visit, I would be embarrassed. As mentioned in my second memoir I quickly learned that modern U.S cities are designed for autombiles, and not pedestrians. At a time when I was trying to save gas, (haven’t we all been this past year) and pollution and use my bike more, I literally took my life in my own hands just trying to ride to the next town, which was nearly impossible without a motor vehicle. It has been said that cars are money traps; the word rings true in multiple ways. There are new and improved implementations of zoning and city planning. The elected officials that are for these and make promises toward them will have my ears listening loudly like several of your coworkers together in a quiet space. Labels are for lids. And bumpers. Don’t try to put me in a box. I won’t fit. It has already been done to God, (I think she’s pretty pissed about it too). And how is that working for us?

Are You Loving the Snow?

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