Clearing the air at BG Schools: Idle free policy starts


A seventh grade Earth Day assignment inspired the new Idle Free Schools program started earlier this
month at Bowling Green schools.
Drivers are being asked to stop unnecessarily idling their vehicles in front of Bowling Green High School
and Bowling Green Middle School.
“It’s mostly focused on carbon dioxide and carbon emissions, but there are all sorts of noxious things
that come out of the tailpipe of a car,” said Jodi Anderson, the district’s secondary curriculum
coordinator and Idle Free Schools campaign leader.
The concept for the program in Bowling Green came from an Earth Day assignment given out by seventh-grade
science teacher Paula Williams.
Signs went up on the school campus Wednesday.
Parents are being asked to sign a pledge form to turn off engines when idling. The new Idle Free Schools
program is voluntary, but urged as a general policy, even when away from the schools. It’s built off the
new idling reduction campaign started nationally by the Environmental Protection Agency.
“It’s not a rule, but something to think about. We have a tremendous number of parents who come to the
school to pick up their children,” Anderson said.
She added that it is not necessary to shut off cars when they are in the process of pulling forward at
the end of the day during pick-ups.
School buses were already parking with the engines shut off, because they use more gas to idle.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, cars that idle for more than 10 seconds use more fuel
and emit more carbon dioxide than if the vehicles were turned off and restarted.
The program goal is to improve the air quality for children. Because of their developing lungs, children
are at greater risk for developing asthma, cancer and other respiratory problems. In addition to the
carbon dioxide emitted by vehicles, there is also benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and other air

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