Idle-Free Schools Toolkit for a Healthy School Environment
What is the Idle-Free Schools Toolkit?
The Idle-Free Schools Toolkit includes information needed to run an effective idling reduction campaign at a school to reduce student exposure to toxic vehicle exhaust. The Toolkit also provides the resources to make this a student-run science or community involvement project, providing students with the opportunity to learn how to run a public service campaign while expanding their science and math skills.
Why is it bad to idle vehicles?
Idling vehicles contribute to air pollution and emit air toxins, which are pollutants known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects. Monitoring at schools has shown elevated levels of benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and other air toxics during the afternoon hour coinciding with parents picking up their children. Children’s lungs are still developing, and when they are exposed to elevated levels of these pollutants, children have an increased risk of developing asthma, respiratory problems and other adverse health effects. Limiting a vehicle’s idling time can dramatically reduce these pollutants and children’s exposure to them.
How can the Toolkit be used at schools?
The Idle-Free Schools Toolkit includes everything a school needs to institute this simple, yet vital and effective idling reduction campaign. Schools can use all of the materials and follow the recommended schedule as written or can implement an idling reduction campaign of their own, using the materials that fit with the school’s desires and capabilities.
What tools are available?
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- Watch this short video for a description of conducting an idling reduction campaign at your school and the tools available in the Idle-Free Schools Toolkit
- Toolkit Introduction and How to Implement a Program at Your School
- Recommended Schedule
- Making it a Student Project
- Idle-Free Schools Presentation
- Clean School Bus Teachers Guide
- How to Conduct Observations
- Sample Observation Form
- Sample Idling Policies
- Sample Letters
- Brochures and Flyers (Select any of the following for use in your campaign)
- Pledge Forms
- Sample Language for the School Newsletter
- Hanging No Idle Signs
- Children Breathing No Idle Zone Sign (image for downloading)
- No Idle Zone It All Adds Up to Cleaner Air Sign (image for downloading)
- How to Conduct the Driver Contact Event
- Turn Your Key, Be Idle-Free Logo (image for downloading, supplied by Clean Cities Utah and Salt Lake City)
- Analyzing the Data
Who to Contact for Assistance
Marisa McPhilliamy, US EPA Region 8
This Toolkit was inspired by the following idling reduction programs: