My wife and I live in Alberta, and during the winter, it can often get down to -40 at night. This makes it a big problem for starting the car if we have to go out the next day. The most common thing that people do is let their cars warm up, while they sit inside where it is nice and warm. In principle, this makes a lot of sense, but when you think about it environmentally, it makes no sense. Nothing is worse than waste and needless CO2, and running a car when you are not in it ranks up there as a big environmental no-no.
So, what can you do? You can do what we do for Our Green Year.
First, frost on the windows is a pain in the butt, but leaving your car running to get rid of that frost is a big pain in the butt for the environment. Frost can be cleared in a more manual fashion, and it involves grabbing an ice scraper and using some elbow grease to get rid of the frost. This is a great way to get you warm as well.
Second, On nights that you are going out the next day, plug your car in but do it wisely. Instead of leaving it plugged in all night, put it on a timer so that it only draws power for a couple of hours before you need the vehicle. That way, you keep your engine healthy, and you don’t need to let your car warm up when you get in the vehicle the next day.
Third, when you don’t want to deal with frost on your windshield, you can put a piece of cardboard on your windshield. This will prevent frost from forming, and will keep you from having to scrape the windshield or start the car.
Lastly, if you are going into the store, even briefly, or leaving the car at all, you should turn it off. Not only will this keep it from being stolen, but it will help the environment. In fact, for anything longer than a stop sign or red light, you should not leave your car running. The heat in your car will not disappear in the few minutes you are gone, so conserve gas and help the environment.