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Be Cool Don't Idle at Our School

This spring CoolMom brought our No-Idling campaign to Greenwood Elementary School in Seattle. With the help from the children and some mighty Moms, the school created an Idle Free Zone and reduced the amount of idling minutes by more than 88%!
Be Cool Don't Idle at Our School

Greenwood Elementary Idle-Free Zone

Greenwood Elementary signed up for CoolMom's No-Idling campaign, which challenged schools to reduce their idling cars by 65% and Greenwood Elementary exceeded that goal!

By engaging the children to help count and calculate idling car minutes, uber volunteer Mom- Deb Fitzpatrick- and super cool Greenwood Elementary teacher- Beth Maahs- created an idle free zone. By providing parents educational materials, speaking to them at drop off and pick up and providing incentives to reduce their car idling behavior, parents changed their behavior and stopped or reduced idling. The kids were super excited to use their clip boards and timers to calculate the number of cars idling and how many minutes those idling cars were polluting the air.

The following is what they found out during their two week observation:

Week 1:
Total vehicles counted = 250
Total cars idling = 187
Percentage of cars idling = 75%
Estimated minutes idling = 193 minutes

Week 2: after information and signs were posted about No-Idling.
Total vehicles counted = 162
Total cars idling = 71
Percentage of cars idling = 44%
Estimated minutes idling =  23 minutes

As you can see these numbers tell the story. After parents were educated and some very enthusiastic and supportive children were set free to curb those idling car habits, the number of cars idling diminished and more importantly the number of idling minutes dropped dramatically.

Some Greenwood Elementary parents stated that their children are reminding them to stop idling their cars when they are in other public idling situations, such as drive thrus and while depositing money at the bank. Most parents were thankful for the idling information and are now more apt to turn off their car instead of idling.  Most said the information about how car pollutants are bad for kids to breathe and how turning off their cars can save money at the pump was most helpful.

Congratulations to all the parents, children and faculty on becoming part of an (almost) “Idle Free Zone” at Greenwood Elementary!   Greenwood’s participation in the Idle Free campaign will help CoolMom bring the No-Idle Campaign to even more schools throughout the city. Their school is looking forward to reintroducing their “Idle Free Zone” to the Greenwood Elementary Community next year, too. And, remember, if your going to be idling for more than 10 sec., turn the engine off!

Thank you to Puget Sound Clean Air for providing our No-Idle signs and incentives and to the City of Seattle's Office of Sustainability and Environment-Coolective Project for providing funding for the project.

For information about our No-Idle Campaign and how to get involved go here.

Thank you and have a great idle-free summer!