Washington, February 16, 2009
Program to Reduce Pollution, Improve Children's Health
Earth Day Network, The Clean Air Campaign and UPS today announced the launch of a nationwide No-Idling Campaign. The program, designed for schools from grades K-through-12, is aimed at reducing harmful vehicle emissions around children and protecting the environment by eliminating unnecessary vehicle idling at schools across the country.
Made possible by a combined $350,000 grant from The UPS Foundation, Earth Day Network has partnered with The Clean Air Campaign, a Georgia non-profit, to take its program's statewide success to a national level. This school year alone, The Clean Air Campaign's No-Idling initiative has impacted more than 220,000 students, faculty, parents and members of the community. This campaign provides turnkey solutions through toolkits for administrators and teachers and collateral and educational materials for bus drivers and parent drivers.
"Turning off your engine while waiting to pick up your child is such a simple step to help everyone breathe cleaner air, save money on gas and reduce emissions all at the same time," said Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network. "Vehicle idling wastes fuel and money. In fact, idling for 30 seconds uses more fuel than restarting your engine, and idling for 10 minutes a day wastes an average of 24.6 gallons of gas per year."
Providing a healthier environment for children is a top priority of the No-Idling Campaign. "Children are more negatively affected by car exhaust than adults because they are closer to the ground and their lungs are still developing, but drivers just don't think about it," added Kevin Green, executive director of The Clean Air Campaign. "In fact, particle pollution and ground level ozone and can aggravate asthma and contribute to increased upper-respiratory infections."
The No-Idling Campaign not only targets drivers but also engages children, helping to instill a sense of environmental responsibility in the next generation. Program materials for educators such as signage for car pool lines, classroom curriculum, pledge cards and fliers will be available for download at the Earth Day Network web site.
"Environmental sustainability is one of The UPS Foundation's newest focus areas," said Lisa Hamilton, president of The UPS Foundation. "So we are thrilled to be able to expand on the tremendous success of The Clean Air Campaign in Georgia. By also partnering with The Earth Day Network, we look forward to protecting young lungs and improving the environment across the country."