Inspired by the blog post written by our L.A. intern Josh about air quality, our friends at St. Roza in Uganda reached out to us to share their own efforts to help with air quality!

Using designs from their fellow art students, the student eco-leaders at St. Roza have constructed an incinerator in order to reduce emissions produced from the burning of the waste they create. Before the students built their incinerator, some of their waste was burned in an open fire with no way to control the emissions created. This sent all sorts of toxins and pollutants into the atmosphere. These students are very concerned about the addition of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and its effects on global warming and rainfall, so using materials such as clay, sand, and stones, they took matters into their own hands and built an incinerator! They are always working to improve the quality of air and the environment however they can!

We are so happy to hear what these students are doing to reduce air pollution! Their eco-tip might even end up on a special Grades of Green reusable napkin made by our friends at Funkins! Did you submit your eco-tip for our custom napkin contest with Funkins? If so, be on the lookout for an email from us announcing the winners on March 25th!

Interested in spreading the word about protecting air quality or reducing air pollution? Register here to gain access to our 40+ Eco-Activities like our Air Earth Tips Activity!

San Pedro High School celebrated Air Quality Awareness Month in May by taking on our No Idle Zone activity. This green initiative matters a lot: idling is linked to higher rates of asthma (among other serious health issues), which is the most common chronic illness among children as well as the largest cause of school absences.

The school is located in California where school bus drivers are required by law to turn off their engine if they are waiting for longer than one minute. We’re talking about saving the school district money — on average, drivers waste 1-2 tanks of gas every year by idling — and making it easier for young lungs to breathe. To thank their campus bus drivers’ commitment to student health, San Pedro High School acknowledged these drivers with a certificate and a thank you gift (see photos here and here).

Eager to bring a No Idle Zone to your campus? Start by registering to unlock the full activity on our website. Learn more about the activity, the impacts of idling, and best practices for taking on No Idle Zones by watching our webinar.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our No Idle Zone webinar recently! We’ve uploaded and embedded the full webinar video as well as the idling pollution clip to this post.
​For the best viewing experience, click play and then expand to the full screen version!

Here’s a list of commonly asked questions about taking on the No Idle Zone:

– How do I join Grades of Green?
First, register here. ​This will give you full access to implementation instructions and resources for 40+ activities. You’ll then be matched up with a Grades of Green advisor who will provide free support as you roll out activities at your school.

– Where are the No Idle Zone implementation steps?
Click here to see the instructions.
​*Helpful tip: make sure you are registered for and logged in before you can access the full instructions and resources!

– How do I form a Grades of Green Team?
Click here to see the instructions.
*Helpful tip: make sure you are registered for and logged in before you can access the full instructions and resources!

– Where can I download a No Idle Zone banner to print out and hang up?
You can download and hang up this banner.
*Helpful tip: Feel free to make & decorate your own banners from scratch!

– Where can I find some facts on the negative effects of idling?
Check out Antonio’s No Idling Facts (PDF).​

– Are there more resources I can download?
Access the rest of our No Idle Zone activity’s Downloadable Resources here.
*Helpful tip: make sure you are registered for and logged in before you can access the full instructions and resources!

– What’s a tip I can read over the morning announcements, turn into an environmental display, use on flyers/handouts, etc.?
Feel free to use this No Idle Zone Earth Tip​.​

– How do I spread the word about my school’s No Idle Zone or educate the broader school community about idling?
Here’s the No Idle Zone Communications Toolkit.​

– How do I share our photos and videos with Grades of Green?
First of all, thank you for doing amazing work! You can email your media directly to or your school’s personal Grades of Green advisor. We’re social — ​you can now tag us on social media! Follow us ​on:

Facebook –

Twitter –

Instagram –

Pinterest –

YouTube –

– We’re taking on the No Idle Zone activity! How do we get a badge for it on our school’s profile page?
Earn your badge for the No Idle Zone activity by clicking on the green “Taking On This Activity?” button at the upper righthand side of this page.​

– What happens when my school takes on 5+ activities?
Check out some of our Grades of Green Certified schools​.

– Any inspirational stories about implementing the No Idle Zone activity?
Here’s our blog post about Antonio & ACR 160.

– What other activities can I take on?
Check out the rest of our 40+ activities.

– I’m not a part of a school. How can I be involved?
Find your local GOG school here and let us know when you send us a email. We’ll introduce you to the Grades of Green representative(s) at that school. Be sure to let them know how you can help out (or ask what they need help with) and when you’re available to pitch in.

– What pollutants can we measure & how?
There are a variety of air quality monitors that measure specific pollutants. This is air quality monitor was recently recommended to us by the folks at Coalition for Clean Air: They tell us that these devices are pretty reliable and are tested as very accurate by AQMD. They retail for $180 though schools might be able to ask for a discount.

– How can we keep students safe?
If students are involved, have a sign-up sheet to keep track of how many students will be helping out. Go over protocols such as what you’ll be doing and provide safety tips. One helpful tip is designating a space for everyone holding signs to stand in that’s slightly further away from the drop-off/pick-up zone. You can make this space by using safety cones or draw out the area in chalk.

– Need further clarification or have additional questions?
Feel free to send an email to or email your school’s personal Grades of Green advisor.

Grades of Green is excited to host its first ever webinar on Facebook Live about improving air quality through establishing a No Idle Zone! Schools across the country are invited to join us on February 22nd as we explain the dangers of toxic car emissions and how students, parents, teachers and volunteers can take action to spread awareness about air pollution and improve their school environment. The Webinar is a great way to help schools implement Grades of Green’s No Idle Zone Activity, with step-by-step instructions to encourage drivers to turn off car engines as they wait at school drop-off and pick-up areas. According to Hamilton County Environmental Services and Air Watch Northwest, 3 pounds of pollution per month is put into the air for just one vehicle drop-off and pick-up at a school. Reducing idling on school campuses greatly reduces emissions, which also shrinks the school’s carbon footprint and helps clear the air our children breathe. Through the interactive webinar, participants will be able to post comments in real time on Facebook and ask Grades of Green experts questions as we go, creating a dialogue that will give everyone the tools that they need to jumpstart the Activity. We are excited to offer the first 20 schools that join the webinar and take on the No Idle Zone Activity a FREE banner that students can display in front of their schools to remind drivers to turn off their engines