Greenpoint Eco-Schools "No Idling" Poster Contest
Welcome to the Greenpoint Eco-Schools "No Idling" Poster Contest site. Students from PS 31, PS 34, PS 110 and MS 126 are invited to create original artwork for a poster/sign to remind people to stop idling in front of our schools.
New York City has one of the strictest anti-idling laws in the country: The limit for leaving an engine running is three minutes in most places and one minute near a school. But it's not exactly strictly enforced — N.Y.P.D. officers are known to occasionally idle, too! [Link to NYC Idling regulations.]
On average, one out of ten children is affected by asthma, and asthma is the leading cause of school absenteeism, accounting for close to 13 million missed days per school year. Often times, asthma and respiratory related illnesses can be exacerbated by pollutants such as chemicals, cleaning supplies, pesticides and exhaust from idling buses and automobiles.
For more information on Eco-Schools' "Healthy Schools" Pathway to Sustainability, click here.
What is curbside idling? Idling occurs when a driver leaves his or her engine running while the vehicle is parked (legally or illegally). Everyday thousands of New York drivers needlessly idle their trucks and cars for minutes, or even hours. Idling wastes money by burning millions of gallons of fuel each year and risks public health by releasing thousands of tons of pollution into the air.
Why is engine idling a health problem? Pollution like smog and soot from vehicle tailpipes can irritate and damage human lungs, leading to higher risks of asthma, cancer, and heart disease. A major source of this pollution is idling. To make matters worse, people often park and idle right where we breathe - along our sidewalks, schoolyards, playgrounds, hospitals, shops, businesses, and homes. In fact, studies show that people who live near heavily-trafficked roadways face significantly elevated risks of asthma attacks and heart disease, stunted childhood lung development, adverse birth outcomes, lower IQ scores, cancer and other diseases contributing to premature death. Children appear to be especially at risk: exposures during pregnancy and early childhood to roadside air pollution have been linked to higher rates of subsequent respiratory and developmental problems.
Why is idling an environmental problem? Air pollution from idling engines is a contributor to elevated levels of smog and soot across the region. In New York City, idling engines create close to 24 tons of sooty particles, 940 tons smog-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx ), 2,200 tons volatile organic compounds (VOC), over 6,400 tons of carbon monoxide (CO), and about 130,000 tons of the green-house gas (GHG) carbon dioxide (CO2 ).
How much is idling costing New York City Drivers? NYC driver waste over $28 million dollars every year in fuel burned while idling. Idling also inflicts more wear and tear on engines, leading to higher maintainence cost. New York City has anti-idling laws with fines ranging from $100 to $2,000 for people who idle their vehicles for more than 1 minute adjacent to schools and 3 minutes for the rest of NYC.
Additional Educational Videos / Resources
- Vehicle Idling at Schools: "I Turn It Off" by Sustainable America: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWDOC-QyHrM
- Clean School Bus USA by EPA: https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi?Dockey=P100ABRA.pdf