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Idle Free Schools
What is the Idle Free Schools Toolkit?
The Idle Free Schools Toolkit includes all of the information needed to run an effective idling reduction campaign at a school in order to reduce student exposure to toxic vehicle exhaust. It 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 a school?
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?
**NOTE: the files below open much more quickly when viewing this page in Firefox
- 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
Marisa McPhilliamy, US EPA Region 8
This Toolkit was inspired by the following idling reduction programs:
- American Lung Association in Colorado’s Clean Air at Schools (CASEO) Program
- EPA Clean School Bus Program Idle Reduction Campaign
- The State of Colorado’s Engine’s Off! Program
- The Idle Free Utah Program
- The Clean Air Partnership’s Idle-Free Campaign Kit
- AirWatch Northwest’s Idling Reduction Program
- The Cool Mom No-Idle Program
In addition to the sites above, here are links to some other idling reduction programs: