2019, CINCINNATI, OH, UNITED STATES
Chris Murtaugh, Bella Saba, and Kiernan Cinque thought of the idling problem in their school community when presented with the Caring For Our Watersheds competition. They saw that some people do not realize when they are idling, consequently harming the environment, the people around them, and even their wallets. Anytime an engine is running, a car releases exhaust that contains harmful particulates and greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. When released, these particulates can simultaneously put people at risk of various health issues including asthma, heart disease, and cancer. Idling additionally hurts your wallets.
Unfortunately, in their school’s community idling is extremely prevalent. They have 3 school carlines where parents will show up as early as 2 PM to pick up their kids despite school being dismissed at 3:15 PM. This means cars will be idling for over an hour. Their solution to this problem in their community was to post 6 “no idling” signs around the campus to help diminish the harmful environmental and health effects of idling. Additionally, they posted an excerpt to their school’s weekly newsletter, informing the community of the traffic and environmental changes on campus.
Through these signs and the continued circulation of the newsletter, they hope to limit and eventually eradicate the idling problem on their campus. Through their campaign they not only helped to prevent idling, but also spread awareness about air pollution, their watershed, and environmental sustainability as a whole. Ultimately they felt that creating a more cognizant and responsible community was their greatest achievement throughout the entirety of the project because of its impact on the lives of future generations.