I am not a tree hugger. I am not anti-automobile. And I have not done any quantitative research. In fact, I love a long drive in a fast car on a sunny day. But last Friday on my way north from Toronto, I say something that just turned my stomach. At a fast food outlet just off the highway was a line up of 30+ cars at the drive-thru! All idling at 0 miles per gallon (apologies for going non-metric).
Now lets do some simple math: assuming it took 30 seconds to serve each vehicle, that meant that each vehicle spent 15 minutes in the drive-thru line up!
And the really incredible thing? There were vacant parking spaces in front of the restaurant. A quick look inside showed multiple cash registers open none with more than 3 people.
Do the math again: with 3 people in line and at 30 seconds to serve each customer that worked out to less than 2 minutes to get service. And assuming each driver had turned off their engine before going into the restaurant, much less pollution.
13 minutes saved by going into the store rather than sitting in the drive-thru. And way less pollution from an idling vehicle.
One location of course won't kill the planet. But repeat this at all the drive-thru's throughout North America, and I think it is time to re-think this 'Convenience'.