by Kerry Linderoth, Upper School Faculty Member and Co-Director of Sustainability
Did you know that it is against the law to allow your vehicle to idle for more than 3 minutes? Rye Country Day recently hosted a movie screening of Idle Threat: Man on Emission. The event, which was open to the public, was co-sponsored by the RCDS Parents Association Environmental and Wellness Committee and the City of Rye Sustainability Committee. The event attracted members of the Rye community, as well as over 100 RCDS students, parents, faculty, and staff. Honored guest George Pakenham, creator and star of Idle Threat, led a lively discussion about the impacts of idling. The pollution from vehicle exhaust has been linked to asthma, allergies, heart disease, and other health problems. Turning off your engine reduces the amount of carbon dioxide, a contributor to global warming, from entering the atmosphere. Additionally, turning off the engine saves fuel and money.
The film has inspired several of our students to take action on the RCDS campus. Ninth grader Warren Kennedy-Nolle has been following in the footsteps of George Pakenham and spent one recent afternoon addressing the issue. According to Warren, “RCDS has a no-idling policy in pick-up and drop-off lots, but this rule is frequently broken as cars pile into the driveway circles and sit, running. RCDS is our school and earth is our ONLY planet, so I strongly feel it is our duty to make sure it stays clean and healthy. As Mr. Pakenham would say, “All it takes is a ‘turn of the key.’”
As we gear up for Earth Month in April, here are some tips on how you can help curb idling:
- Turn off your engine if you’re waiting in your car.
- Avoid “warming up your car” before driving it, which isn’t necessary for the engine.
- Spread the news and lead by example.
- Consider a hybrid or electric vehicle. We even have car-charging stations on campus!
Remember, RCDS is an idle-free zone!
For more information about the film, please see: www.verdantvigilante.com