Thursday, January 27, 2011

Calling All Seattle Elementary Schools

If you’re looking for a way to become a WA Green School or simply interested in improving your students’ health through better air quality, we invite you to apply to participate in CoolMom's No-Idle Campaign: Turn the Key, Be Idle Free
CoolMom is a local non-profit that empowers families to take action on climate change. With a grant from the City of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment, we can engage 3 elementary schools in the Seattle area to be a part of the No-Idle Campaign, Turn the Key, Be Idle Free. We plan to help you decrease car idling in your school zones by 65%, a goal which will improve the air quality in your school zone, leading to healthier children and fewer green house gas emissions.
If selected, your school will receive “no-idle” signs for your school zone, educational materials for parents and community members, grade appropriate curricula for students, and incentive prizes for drivers caught not idling in the school zone. This campaign will help interested schools meet objective 4 of the Washington Green School program: Transportation and Outdoor Air Quality. However, schools not participating in WA Green Schools are encouraged to apply.
Participating schools will be asked to provide support for the campaign through school-wide involvement, including: helping teach curricula, student participation in tracking the idling habits of their own parents or caregivers as well the people who drop off and pick up other students, and developing (along with CoolMom) incentives for school-wide competitions. No financial commitment is needed from your school.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Idling Myth Busters!

Myth: In the winter, vehicles must be warmed up for a few minutes
before they are driven.

Reality: Idling is not an effective way to warm up your vehicle, even in cold weather.
The best way to do this is to drive the vehicle. With today's modern engines, usually
no more than two to three minutes of idling is enough warm-up time(assuming the
windshield is clear). Keep in mind that warming up the vehicle means more than
warming the engine. The tires, transmission, wheel bearings and other moving parts
also need to be warm for the vehicle to perform well. Most of these parts don't
begin to warm up until you drive the vehicle away.

Myth: It takes more gas to stop and restart an engine than it does to
idle it.

Reality: Idling longer than 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more carbon
dioxide (CO2) – the principal greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change
–than turning off and restarting the engine. But won't this just result in higher
maintenance costs due to extra wear and tear on the starter and battery? Actually,
the break-even point for cost savings is under 60 seconds. If you are going to be
parked for more than one minute, the money you save in fuel by turning off the
engine should more than offset any potential increase in maintenance costs. And
your vehicle won't be producing unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions!

Myth: When I idle my car, I’m not contributing to climate change.

Reality: Anytime your vehicle is running – whether you are travelling down the road
or idling in a parking lot – it produces carbon dioxide (CO2), the principal greenhouse
gas that contributes to climate change. That's because CO2 is an unavoidable by-
product of burning gasoline and diesel fuel. Luckily, turning off your car – just like
turning off the lights when you leave a room – is easy to do, takes little time and will
save you money! To make an even bigger difference, leave your vehicle at home and
try walking, biking or taking public transit. All of these modes of transportation are
good for the environment and will keep you active and healthy.

New Blog

CoolMoms is a 501 (c)(3) organization working to address the most important issue of our time: global climate change. Act Now for our children's future! To find out more information stay tuned to our blog or visit our website at