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Before the school year ends, let’s talk about possible harmful exhaust emissions on school grounds. Continuous engine idling daily by a caravan of vehicles often occurs during the dismissal period to pick up students. If so, our innovative Schools Are Not Drive-Thrus! project can do something about it! 

Green Driving America Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that educates on clean transportation and transportation efficiency, including addressing the issue of unnecessary vehicle idling. Thanks to funding a Grafton County foundation (that wishes to remain anonymous), we are offering to work with a middle or high school class, or a school's environmental/sustainability club, to implement student-led idle-free schools campaigns at three VT or NH Upper Valley schools this coming fall!

What does it involve? Four steps over eight to ten weeks:

1. a virtual initial training session in the classroom

2. three days of student-conducted data collection of idling vehicles on school grounds 

3. school announces support for the campaign and installs provided idle free zone signs

4. a two-day “driver contact event” where students offer handouts to drivers and discuss with them the benefits of avoiding idling during the dismissal period

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And, we provide school administrations the tools to sustain these efforts in proceeding school years.

WHY THESE CAMPAIGNS?: In previous Green Driving America idle-free schools campaigns, we have found that, on average, 50 vehicles wait for 15-30 minutes during the dismissal period and that 70 percent can be idling. Over a school year, this idling can consume up to 500 gallons of fuel, resulting in emitting up to five tons of CO2. At one school. These campaigns not only address the issues of climate change and energy waste, but the health impact on students.


The U.S. EPA states, “Idling vehicles contribute to air pollution.” "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.


Our previous measured campaigns at 11 Vermont schools reduced idling on school grounds by 40 percent overall.


With participation in these campaigns, students learn organizational, analytical and communication skills as they perform data analysis, are empowered by showing drivers the significant benefits in shutting off engines when parked, and take pride in making a positive difference in their school community.

Click here to learn more about Green Driving America.

Wayne Michaud (he/him) 

Executive Director
Green Driving America Inc.
Citrus Heights, CA • 916-209-0224

Hyde Park, VT • 802-267-4442