ETCleanFuels formally started the Idle-Free Tennessee program during the 2010-2011 scholastic year, working in Knox County. The purpose for starting the program is to reduce unnecessary idling at schools, which will accomplish two significant goals: improve air quality around Knox County children and reduce oil consumption. Many anti-idling programs exist around the country and have shown to achieve these two objectives while saving consumers money on fuel costs (in 2011 and currently at ~$90/barrel for oil, that is a good thing!!)
The initial focus of this project is to place three idle-free signs at each participating school. Project Facilitator Kristy Keel is collaborating with the Knoxville metropolitan area Safe Routes to Schools team and with East Tennessee Children's Hospital (the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology), who provided the grant for the signs and poles at the schools. Keel is working with county staff, the principals and PTA leaders at each school (or their designated official) to select the sign locations and promote the program at the school and to the school bus drivers.
Why Start Such a Program?
Answer #1: The immune systems of younger children are not fully developed, and in many cases they are standing next to the tailpipes of diesel or smaller vehicles. Improving our children's health is an important part of this program!
Answer #2: We are focusing on unnecessary idling, not all idling. A small amount of idling is understandable; turning off your engine for five seconds certainly does not make sense.
Answer #3: The solution saves money for the school bus driver which in turn can save money for the school district, reduces harmful, toxic tailpipe emissions and greenhouse gas emissions, and makes for a cleaner, smarter community.
Answer #4: This program will help our country reduce its oil dependence—at a savings—to the driver.
• Norwood Elementary
• Sequoyah Elementary
• West Hills Elementary
• Bearden Elementary
• Cedar Bluff Pre-K, Elementary, and Middle Schools
• Sacred Heart Cathedral School
• Arnstein Jewish Community Center Preschool
• Pond Gap Elementary
• West High School
• Plus more in the near future!
• Kristy Keel, ETCleanFuels Project Facilitator
• 865-974-9665; firstname.lastname@example.org