Back to School
You can help get cleaner, safer school buses for our children.
1. Get informed
If you want to find out about the status of your school district’s buses, start with your local school board. You want to know: the age of the buses: 1988-1990 models emit up to 60 times more diesel pollution as newer buses. You want to push for a retrofit of old models, or, better yet, the purchase of new buses. Even states that have voluntary programs in place haven’t necessarily raised the funds to control emissions. Your concern matters; most school boards are elected.
2. The power of the PTA
Parent-Teacher Associations have a lot of clout in most districts; ask your PTA leadership to get informed and get active.
3. No Idling
Most buses are kept running while drivers wait for students. Institute a NO IDLING policy at your local schools–and insist that it be enforced by school authorities. Fleet managers want their bus contracts renewed; they will be responsive to parental pressure. Check out EDF’s work to stop idling and the excellent information on the EPA’s National Idle-Reduction Campaign. If New York City can go idle-free so can our school buses!
4. Student leadership
Diesel pollution at school is a great issue for junior and high school student government to tackle. It provides a great platform for learning, involvement, and getting results.
5. Get more informed
Get the science behind school bus pollution and see just how much children’s exposure increases during their daily ride to school. For extra credit check out the American Lung Association’s website on the effects of fine particulate pollution on your child’s lungs. A sobering read. And pass the word along.
6. And don’t give up the fight on global warming.
Get Involved! Cleaner buses are just one change of many we can make.
Join a powerful new I am Not a Guinea Pig campaign to strengthen toxic chemical standards.