Parents asked to switch off engines outside school!

Clean Air Week initiative launch

As part of Green-Schools Clean Air Week 2022, which runs from 21st-25th of November, Roscommon County Council and An Taisce’s Green-Schools Travel Programme are promoting a campaign in schools to raise awareness of the harmful effects that CO2 emissions has on our children’s health by asking parents and bus drivers to switch off their engines outside schools.

The transport sector represents about 18% of Ireland’s carbon emissions nationally through the burning of fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel. It is our obligation to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels not just for the environment but also for the good of our health.

During morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times there can be a large volume of traffic congregating outside schools. As parents wait in their cars, they may decide to leave the engine running, particularly for heat during the colder winter months. However, this engine idling isn’t environmentally friendly as the car continues to emit harmful CO2 gases which contributes to poor air quality. Neither is it efficient, as engine idling continues to burn fuel, plus turning off engines for short periods of time has no impact on engine health.

Young people are at a greater risk of health impacts of air pollution because their lungs are still developing and are prone to developing respiratory ailments due to poor air quality.

For a cleaner air environment outside schools, Roscommon County Council in partnership with An Taisce’s Green-Schools are encouraging parents and bus drivers outside schools to switch off their engines for Clean Air Week and to continue to do so thereafter. Additionally, an information pack will be sent to schools to inform and raise awareness of the harmful effects CO2 emissions have on the environment and our health. Furthermore, a helpful and informative Green Schools No Idling toolkit for Clean Air Week is available online to schools and community groups at www.greenschoolsireland.org