Ready to Save The Planet?

No Idle Zone Project


1-2 hours


School drop-off and pick-up zones


Throughout the school year


Students will need some help and support from school adminstration and parents


By encouraging parents not to idle while dropping off and picking students up, kids feel empowered and inspired to clean up the air they breathe and reduce their carbon footprint. Additionally, according to Hamilton County Environmental Services and Air Watch Northwest, 20,000 breaths are taken by the average American each day. Children breathe 50% more air per pound than adults. This means by reducing the amount of emissions in the air, we are helping students breather healthier air. Furthermore, by reducing idling, emissions are greatly reduced, which reduces the carbon footprint of the school.


Set up "no idle zones" at school to keep the air clean for everyone, especially kids. Cut down on hazardous carbon dioxide emissions by turning off car engines any time the expected wait time is more than 10 seconds, because idling for just 10 seconds wastes more gas than restarting the engine and for every 10 minutes the car engine is off, you avoid one pound of carbon dioxide from being released into the air.


1. Paper to create banners

2. Grades of Green "Idling Gets You Nowhere" artwork (download here)

3. Computer and printer from which to print the banners

 *If access to a computer/printer isn't easy to come by, create your own with markers and paint using the Grades of Green artwork as an example.



Talk to the principal or other administrator at your school to get their support for a No Idle Zone at your school. Contact Grades of Green at if you have any questions about getting started.


Sound like fun?VIEW INSTRUCTIONS to get started.

1. Talk to the principal or other administrator at your school to get their support for a No Idle Zone at your school. Explain to them that research shows idling cars are harmful to our health.

2. Create "Idling Gets You Nowhere" banners for the pick-up and drop-off locations at your school.

3. Hang the banners in front of your pick-up and drop-off zones.

4. Maintain public awareness of the No Idle Policy throughout the school year by sending home an informational flyer about the impacts of idling, writing an article for the school newspaper or newsletter, writing a similar article for the local newspaper, and/or preparing Earth Club members (if your school has one) or other volunteers to provide 5 minute in-class presentations on the environmental impact of idling for all science classes.

5. Get the Earth Club (or other student volunteers) involved by having them stand outside the school during drop-off and pick-up times with signs and posters reminding parents to turn off their engines. You can also have them pass out "thank you tickets" to parents who are not idling. The tickets can give some facts on idling and thank the parent for turning off their engine.

6. Once you have your school's No Idle Zone running smoothly, attend a School Board meeting to propose that the District proclaim a No Idle Zone district wide policy! (Why stop with just your school?)

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