Posts tagged with schools
Whether expressed in terms of billions of dollars in financial bailout money or tons of pollution created by commuter traffic, our nation’s young people stand out as the group whose future is most affected by our actions today. The faltering economy and the growing consensus toward environmental sustainability present an incredible opportunity: each of us is empowered not only to learn from the past, but also to teach future generations about what we can improve on … and how.
The opportunity to teach youths about protecting the air we breathe is taking shape each day across Georgia in more than 80 elementary, middle and high schools that participate in the Clean Air Schools program. Through this expanded program that launched at the start of the 2008-2009 school year, The Clean Air Campaign has equipped more than 200,000 students, parents, teachers, staff, bus drivers and administrators with the tools they need to:
- reduce unnecessary engine idling in the carpool and bus lane
- teach air quality lessons with plans approved by the Georgia Department of Education
- promote school bus ridership
- encourage students who live within a mile of their school to try walking
The exciting part about these programs is that they are so easy to put into practice and get young people thinking differently about their role in protecting the environment. That’s why Earth Day Network, in partnership with The Clean Air Campaign and The UPS Foundation, this week helped make the Clean Air Schools No-Idling program and lesson plans available to schools across the nation.
Teaching young people about the impact an idling engine can have on fuel savings, vehicle emissions and air quality expands their thinking to sustainability, conservation and thrift. It’s a certainty that with each new generation, these issues will take on increasing importance.
How do you introduce topics like these to your children/students? What are some of the ways you’re leading by example in your household/classroom? Post a response and let others read about your great ideas.
Back to school and back to the carpool line. Every year parents wait anxiously in the car to greet their students after the first day back. It’s very tempting to wait with the air conditioning running, especially since we’ve all heard the myth that idling uses less fuel than restarting your car. Actually, idling for 30 seconds wastes more gas than restarting your engine.
And every minute spent idling releases 6.6 pounds of pollution into the air around your child’s school. Pollution from vehicle emissions is especially harmful to children, who are lower to the ground near vehicle tailpipes and breathe on average 50 percent more per pound of body weight than adults. This means their young lungs could be breathing in twice as much pollution.
Not a healthy thought.
Through the Clean Air Schools program, The Clean Air Campaign offers solutions to unhealthy air on school grounds. No idling campaigns, walking school buses and bus ridership empower students to do their part to make the air cleaner and healthier.
Do the programs really work? During the 2007- 2008 school year, 10 Gwinnett County Public Schools participated in a no-idle pilot program and reduced idling on schools grounds by 69 percent, more than double their goal. And thanks to a grant from The UPS Foundation, The Clean Air Campaign will be able to take no idling campaigns to almost 125 schools this coming school year.
Through our longstanding partnership with Mothers & Others for Clean Air, The Clean Air Campaign is supporting greater awareness among school administrators of the health risks that children face when they participate in outdoor physical activities on Smog Alert days.
Do you know if your school system employs no-idling measures? Are students encouraged to form walking school buses or carpool? Let us know how your school keeps the air healthy or blog about getting involved with Clean Air Schools.