Reduce the Juice has partnered up with the Geography Dept. at Waterloo Collegiate Institute to deliver an anti-idling campaign targeted at students, parents and staff. After the high school students complete their campaign, they will go to 3 local elementary schools and help the younger students launch their own campaigns. Go student power!

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When RTJ approached WCI about doing an anti-idling campaign, the teachers and staff jumped at the chance. I mean, improving air quality, fighting climate change AND student leadership – what more could a school want? The keen teachers in the geography department immediately took up the offer and suggested working with the students in a newly developed Sustainable Living class as the motivators and deliverers of the project. The student-led campaign is scheduled to take place the week of October 20th, with lots of hype before and results after. But it doesn’t stop there! Those students will be going to three elementary schools – Keatsway PS, Centennial PS, and Laurelwood PS – to mentor the younger students on issues of anti-idling, air quality and climate change. They’ll help them develop materials and offer them best practices from what they learned in the fall. The elementary schools are scheduled to conduct their campaigns in early 2009.

RTJ is also partnered with Waterloo Region Public Health on the project, as they have a strong interest in improving the air quality in the Waterloo Region, and especially around school zones. To help their students in their quest for clean air, Public Health is offering presentations to the students to teach them about the air quality issues in their community and how it affects them. Just to “drive home” the importance of reducing idling, check out the graph below of school zone idling effects on air quality. The research was conducted in Hamilton ON, in 2008 and shows the concentrations of NO in relation to student drop-off and pick-up times.