Every year when school starts back we see an increase in traffic which means an increase in vehicle emissions. One of the biggest areas of concern this time of year is the emissions caused by parents sitting in carpool lines with their engines running and children standing outside breathing this air.
The Idle Eddy is program designed to teach children and their parents about the effects of vehicle emissions on their health. The Idle Eddy program is offered in 115 schools in Jefferson and Shelby counties to date. Valton Johnson, the founder of Idle Eddy, hopes to expand the program into schools statewide within the next few years. Johnson also works with a number of community partners to deliver his clean air message, including: Alabama Partners for Clean Air, Commute Smart, Zyp Bikes, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and the United Way.
Alabama is known for hot summer days and many people idle their vehicles in order to remain cool. For those drivers who are willing to turn off their engines, the Idle Eddy program offers hand-held fans to help them stay cool during the short time they are waiting in the carpool line. The Idle Eddy program also provides education to students in the classroom to teach them the importance of keeping our air clean and offering helpful tips they can do to make a difference.
What can you do to help eliminate vehicle emissions?
- Plan ahead and combine errands
- Maintain your vehicle
- Walk or Use a Bicycle when possible
- Support Idle-Free Zones at schools
- Share your commute to work by carpooling or vanpooling
- Participate in a free emissions test
“If we want cleaner air, we all have to do our share,” said Johnson. “Idle Eddy says always to ‘turn the key and we’ll be idle free.”