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.

What’s greener than no idle zones in schools? No idle zones in car dealerships! In celebration of Earth Month, LAcarGUY is setting a new auto industry standard by introducing the very first No Idle Service Center in all 11 of their South Bay dealerships. As one of Grades of Green’s longtime supporters, LAcarGUY has helped dozens of schools take on the No Idle Zone activity to educate parents and students on why it’s important to reduce carbon emissions and unnecessary idling. As green leaders of the auto industry, LAcarGUY is showing just why they are on the forefront of environmental sustainability. Way to go LAcarGUY! Interested in implementing a no idle zone in your school? Check out Grades of Green’s No Idle Zone Activity for a step-by-step guide on how to roll out a successful program and don’t forget to watch our recent webinar to learn how one small and simple change can make a positive impact on the environment.

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 Youth Corps students are spreading the word about ACR 160, and were able to give a presentation at the 2016 Green California Schools Summit to inspire others to join the movement!  ACR 160 is a statewide resolution in California encouraging No Idle Zones at all school campuses. Pioneered by Grades of Green student Antonio, No Idle Zones has become a sweeping movement across California schools. On November 2nd, Youth Corps student leaders Maxine and Elise joined Grades of Green in hosting a presentation about the meaning of ACR 160, and how schools and educators can utilize Grades of Green’s No Idle Zone Activity to get the program up and running at their school.  The session included best practices from Grades of Green schools who have implemented No Idle Zones, information on the history of ACR 160, and student made videos to show how fun and easy it is to create better air quality.  Are you interested in promoting No Idle Zones at your school? Check out our No Idle Zones Activity for all of the resources you need, including flyers, artwork, and more! Grades of Green also has a No Idle Zones Communications Tool Kit to make the Activity super simple. Check it out here!