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Idling. That thing that cars do when the engine is on but the car isn’t going anywhere. One car idling in your school’s drop-off and pick-up zone spews three pounds of pollution into the air, per month. Not to mention that an idling car gets a whopping zero miles per gallon. You can put an end to that by partnering with CoolMom to make your school an Idle-Free Elementary. Save money on gas! Reduce student sick days! Improve air quality! Affect climate change! You can do this and more with our easy-to-use toolkit.

No-Idle students gathering data.Volunteering
School Application and Invite Letter
School and Parent Resources
K-5 Curriculum
FAQ about No-Idle Signs

Tips From Schools

Greenwood Elementary No-Idle Success

What is the CoolMom No-Idle Campaign?

CoolMom launched the No-Idle campaign targeting elementary schools in the Seattle area in April 2011.

The primary goal was to convince 65% of the car idling parents and caregivers who transport children to school to stop idling their cars, which would be a savings of approximately 9200 pounds of carbon total for all three schools. The behavior we wanted them to change was to turn off their car at pick up and drop off to prevent idling in school zones. To achieve this goal, CoolMom provided educational materials, opportunities to participate in educating others, and incentives for parents/caregivers and their children. In order to change idling behavior, we educated parents and children on the effects of car idling, including: air quality (especially as it impacts children’s health), energy conservation, and the money-saving benefits of gas conservation.

CoolMom’s secondary goal included changing the idling habits of parents and caregivers so they began to idle less in other places, such as, waiting at draw bridges, ferry lines, banks, drive-through espresso stands, and other locations that involve a stop and wait opportunity.

The results of our first school No-Idle campaign can be found here.

To get your school involved contact Kimberly at and pass on this invite letterand application. There is no financial commitment required of the school and minimal teacher hours.

There are many ways you can help out with the No-Idle campaign. Here is a complete list of volunteer opportunities. Please contact CoolMom at for more information and to sign up as a volunteer.

List of school and parent resources to incorporate the no-idle campaign into your school can be found here.

School Curricula for No-Idle can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where will we obtain the signs?

The signs can be obtained free-of-charge from the Puget Sound Clean Air agency. Your CoolMom liaison will arrange this on your behalf.

  • How much will it cost to install no-idling signs?

If you participate in the CoolMom No-Idle campaign, any signs on city property will be installed by WA DOT with no charge to your school. The installation costs will be paid through a grant from the City of Seattle. If you would like signs placed on school property, your custodian can install them or the City can install them for a fee with written permission from the school’s principal.

  • Where will they be placed?

Your school’s No Idle Captain and CoolMom liaison will analyze school grounds for the best places to place the signs, and to determine how many signs your school will need. We hope to use existing sign posts and fences, and to place signs in bus zones, parent pick up and drop off zones, and delivery zones.

  • Who is responsible for their maintenance?

If the signs are on city property (i.e. on sign posts on the sidewalk), they will be maintained by the City.

To request maintenance, contact Chris Eaves at SDOT Traffic Operations, 206-684-4524. If your sign needs replacing you can order a new one from Amy Warren at PS Clean Air Agency, (206) 689-4092.

If the signs are on school property the school’s maintenance crew or other appropriate person is responsible for maintenance.

Follow up to date information on our No-Idle Blog here

Great video on idling myths: