Sunday, 6 February 2011

Pet Peeves (1)

Rant alert. About the Drive-Thru phenomenon. Any Drive-Thru. For coffee, fast food, banking or postal services. There are even drive-thrus for getting married and getting buried, seriously (US residents only, thank goodness).

I don't get them, drive-thrus. Why do people prefer to wait in their idling car, wasting time and fossil fuel instead of just parking the car and walk over to get that same coffee much quicker? Saves time, and in the process you get a little bit of exercise (some walking) and an interactive experience (with that cute server and maybe some other customers).

Point in case: I drive past a Tim Horton's almost every day, and each morning there's a line-up of at least 12 cars there. Often there are so many cars the line-up stretches well into the main road.
One day I stopped to time them how long it took to get their coffee: three and a half minutes. It would have taken me less than 3 minutes to park my car, walk into the restaurant, order my coffee and walk back to my car. Faster, with no engines idling.

An idling car consumes about 2 litres of fuel an hour (even more for trucks and SUVs). Twelve idling cars burn about 24 litres an hour, 12 hours each. Cars that are going nowhere, doing zero miles per gallon. Drive-Thrus are directly responsible for a lot of unnecessary carbon monoxide and other toxic gasses, just because we don't like to get out of our bubble. Heaven forbid we might get wet. Or cold. Or hot. Or (gasp) have a conversation with someone.

Let's face it, folks: drive-thrus don't belong in a green live style or any other saner life style. So next time you feel the urge, just park that car, get out, walk to the counter and order that coffee. You can do it, you'll save some time & fuel, and hey, you might even enjoy it!

Rant done, thank you. And tell that cute server I said hi.