thegubmint asked in EnvironmentGlobal Warming · 10 years ago

If the USA banned all drive-throughs, how much oil would it save and how much impact would it have?

on "climate change"?

The amount of greenhouse gases and particulates spewed by cars idling in McDonalds alone must be in the megatons. Would it be a good idea just to ban all drive-through businesses?

As a side benefit, how much thinner would the overall population get if they had to burn a couple of calories to go in and get their supersized Big Mac meals?

9 Answers

  • David
    Lv 6
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    NW Jack's link gives the gasoline used when you start your engine to be the equivalent of idling for 30-60 seconds. I've seen various estimates of this figure (here is one that says 10 seconds: ). I'd imagine it depends a lot on the kind of car you're driving, and suspect that newer cars use less fuel to start.

    Even if there is no line (unlikely), you will almost certainly be spending more than 30 seconds between ordering, paying, and waiting for the food. Note that part of the process involves driving from one window to the next, which would further increase fuel use compared to having the car shut off in the parking lot.

    As for a rough figure, say that each minute spent idling you use .0033 gallons of fuel.

    The actual amount saved depends on how long the line is. I usually don't wait more than 5 minutes at a drive through. Let's say the average time is 2.5 minutes.

    There are about 200 million drivers in the US; assuming each one visits a drive through once a week, that is:

    (200,000,000 drivers / week)*(52 weeks / year)*(2.5 minutes / driver)*(.0033 gallons per minute)

    = 85,800,000 gallons / year

    About 220,000,000,000 gallons are burned annually in the US transport sector,

    So drive-through idling accounts for about 0.039% of US transport CO2 emissions. If you increase the drive through wait time up to 3 minutes, then drive-throughs represent .047% of US transport CO2 emissions.

    ...and, what the heck. Say it takes 2 extra calories to walk in and out of the store. That's 200,000,000*2 or 400 million calories saved each week. A pound of fat represents around 3500 calories, so by not having drive-throughs, we would cut 400,000,000/3500 or 114,285 lbs off of our waistlines.

    Source(s): On a side note, I find it amusing that deniers look at benign hypothetical questions like this and just can't help letting their paranoid uproars come out.
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    The layout of drivethrough ought to truthfully be greater by using having the autos force as much as a extra robust elevation, then roll down with engine off. this might then be not extra difficulty than parking and strolling in. yet that could no longer be your question. after we evaluate what proportion minutes the conventional motor vehicle operator spends in those force by using traces, whilst in comparison with minutes utilising, might we've a million%? No, closer to 0.a million%. Then we seem at gasoline used, it is going to likely be approximately .0.5% of finished motor vehicle gasoline used. ( autos rather do use extra gasoline utilising at even 50 km/h) Now there are a number of different issues shall we do this could shrink intake by using extra. after we are doing those issues we don't appear like hypocrites calling for a ban on force by using. force by using has a lots extra advantageous impact on exhaust pollution interior the on the spot section around the eating place, and we ought to choose directly to stay removed from that section, incredibly no longer park and walk in tho THAT eating place.

  • 10 years ago

    if all drive-through were band, then they'd have to make more parking spaces, destroying more land and creating more room for cars to park. I think they should just ban all fast food businesses, then everyone would just stay at home and stop leaving just to get food. That's all people do these days.

  • 10 years ago

    The cars idle for a minute or 2 while going through the line, if there is one.

    Vehicles that do not use the drive-through park, shut off their engines, restart them (about half a teaspoon of gasoline more),

    and drive out of their parking spaces. This means more gasoline wasted, and more incomplete burning of the fuel that is burned.

    It is doubtful that any fuel would be saved by such a ban.

    This seems to be a major Warmist fallacy. The thinking seems to be if they can find a way to reduce our standard of living by making something we enjoy more expensive or unavailable, they are making our lifestyles more sustainable, rather than just more miserable. Mostly, they are just wrong. Even when there is some truth there, the idea that reducing freedom of choice for some other goal is poor value engineering.

    Edit @Dawei:

    "drive through wait time up to 3 minutes"

    That's nearly the time people spend driving around parking lots, parking, and unparking.

    "deniers look at benign hypothetical questions like this and just can't help letting their paranoid"

    This question suggests that it is proper for the government to regulate every activity we do, and for the stupidest of reasons. If that is the type of government you really want, you should move to California.

    BTW: Who's paranoid?

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  • 10 years ago

    You fail to understand that the massive tonnage of fat in fast food diners is a carbon sink,

    which is sequestered when they die early of heart attacks and are buried.

    So what you should REALLY be trying to ban is Cremation & fitness programs.

    Skinny people have long carbon footprints & don't sequester much when they die.

  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    It would save much less oil in a year than running one jet on the land line one time...

    So, you are wrong..

    To fill up one flight of small jet from west to east in US you can run 500 SUVs all year.

  • 10 years ago

    I can't help but think it would be a good idea, however I doubt such a law would pass. It's sad really.

  • 10 years ago

    So, you think the planet would cool down if we banned drive throughs? By how much?

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    people would starve!

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