Monday, November 12, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

IDLE-FREE September-blitz begins in Halifax with first of five schools

Parents, staff & students join Ron Zima (CCAN) and Fusion Print’s Colin Anderson, declaring Sir Charles Tupper School IDLE-FREE

The Children’s Clean Air Network is expanding its matchmaking between business and schools across Halifax. Five schools have pledged to go “idle-free” this month with local businesses sponsoring and investing in signs and various promotional items.

Sir Charles Tupper School was the first school to launch this week, thanks to the generous support of Fusion Print & Imaging.

“I used to have acute asthma when I was a kid. Back then, maybe one or two kids in a class had asthma. Now, kids everywhere have it. Getting the word out on cutting out needless vehicle exhaust is important to us,” says Colin Anderson, of Fusion Print & Imaging.

The entire school was on-hand at an assembly to give us a rousing kick-off to the campaign. Business sponsors invest in IDLE-FREE traffic signs, bumper stickers, a large banner, IDLE-FREE buck hand-outs and incentives for students to create artwork used for future IDLE-FREE bucks.

For your own supply of IDLE-FREE bucks (to give to other motorists) or your own non-permanent stick IDLE-FREE bumper sticker, send your request and contact information to:

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Halifax school buses gearing for 100K savings and cleaner air for kids

Stock Transportation, the company that transports students across the Halifax Regional School Board system, is stepping up its partnership with The Children’s Clean Air Network to cut idle-time across its fleet of 263 buses.

Double-click on the image below to hear General Manager Brian Hackett's assessment of the progress so far.

The company figures it will easily save $100,000 dollars to its bottom line and eliminate several hundred tons of CO2 and other pollutants.

“$100,000 dollars is pretty conservative. We think we’ll be able to save even more by coaching our drivers with the help of The Children’s Clean Air Network,” says Brian Hackett, General Manager of Stock Transportation.

“We’re using a soft-sell approach to reach our drivers on the importance of clean air to kids. For example, we’re putting ‘cut idle time’ decals next to each ignition switch and reminders with pay stubs. The Children’s Clean Air Network also helped us with key messages from teachers and students. Our drivers are responding very positively. We’re delighted,” Hackett said.

“We’re helping kids sell grown-ups on treating our air as if it were another landfill to avoid ,” says Ron Zima of The Children’s Clean Air Network. “The kids have the most to lose from poor air and the threat from climate change. When we position kids in front of adults on this, the adults respond.” Zima said.

Carmelita Rowe is the principal of Kingswood Elementary School and an advisor to The Children’s Clean Air Network. She says, “Our school bus drivers are considered close members of the school family. Drivers personally consider our students’ health and safety a priority. When they’re reminded of the impact that diesel exhaust has on students, we’re confident they’ll shut the buses off whenever possible.”

Ron Zima, The Children's Clean Air Network, Stock Transportation driver Wendy MacKay, General Manager Brian Hackett.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Family Expo IDLE-FREE success

The Children’s Clean Air Network was out in force at the “We Love Our Children” Family Expo this past weekend, the first IDLE-FREE event in Atlantic Canada. Conserve Nova Scotia was our main sponsor, and we greatly appreciated their support.

Teacher/ student volunteers had a great time handing out thousands of IDLE-FREE bucks and speaking with passersby. Our message was very well received by the crowd.

To experience our presence at the Expo, double-click on the first image above to view the short video featuring the kids talking about driving habits and the big picture regarding clean air and climate change. Most of what they say was from previous knowledge and what’s being discussed in school.

Double click the second image below to take a tour via the The Children’s Clean Air Network expo photo album.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Atlantic Canada's first IDLE-FREE event

The Children's Clean Air Network is delighted to be sponsored by Conserve Nova Scotia to make this years' "We love our children Family Expo" Atlantic Canada's first IDLE-FREE event!

What better place to educate and practice the habit of cutting out needless vehicle exhaust than at an event that celebrates the health and well-being of our most precious resource? For more information on the Expo, click on the image below.

Come visit us in booth #218 and watch for Children's Clean Air Network volunteers in their IDLE-FREE t-shirts handing out IDLE-FREE bucks. Hope to see you there!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Media coverage of The Children's Clean Air Network

Global News covers The Children's Clean Air Network launching another elementary school in Halifax to go IDLE-FREE.

Double-click on the image below to play the newscast report.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Media coverage of The Children's Clean Air Network

CTV News covers The Children's Clean Air Network launching another elementary school in Halifax to go IDLE-FREE.

Double-click on the image below to play the newscast report.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Kids inspire Halifax car dealer to go IDLE-FREE

“It’s hard not to act when you see kids asking you to think about your actions, especially when you have kids of your own,” Mike Velemirovich says, referring to a video presented by The Children’s Clean Air Network. The video features kids from an elementary school in Hammonds Plains explaining the myths and facts about idling cars and the impact on their future.

Velemirovich is the owner of Hillcrest Volkswagen in Halifax. “We used to warm up and idle 50 to 60 cars on the lot every cold day. We’ve cut out that practice with no difference to our business except that we’ll save $3,000 every year. And we expect we’ll cut nine tonnes of greenhouse gas annually. I’m thrilled,” Velemirovich says.

“At my kids’ school, I continually see 20 to 30 parents idling. It’s such a waste. I’ve noticed that a lot of my kids’ friends have asthma, they’re coughing. So I’m pleased to partner with The Children’s Clean Air Network and adopt schools to go ‘idle free’. At Westmount School near our dealership in Halifax, we’ll be paying for signs and helping educate parents on idling. I see my car-dealer friends doing the same,” Velemirovich says.

Velemirovich is the incoming president of The Nova Scotia Automobile Dealer's Association. His example should have an important ripple-effect within the business community and the car-dealer industry.

See and hear Mike’s reasons for going IDLE-FREE in this brief video:

See and hear one of Mike’s service technicians debunking the three myths about idling in this brief video:

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The importance of Kentville

“It’s not for me and you…but for our children…and our children’s children…if they’re going to have a world they can live in” says Mayor David Corkum of the Town of Kentville, launching the town’s anti-idling campaign on January 31st.

The Children’s Clean Air Network applauds the move and was instrumental in its launch this past week.

The mayor’s words are vital for children for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, it shows the town is prepared to “walk the talk” to address the huge flow of toxins and greenhouse gas pouring into our air from needless idling. This will make the town’s vehicles and managers accountable to the public, while demonstrating leadership on the issue. No other mayor in Nova Scotia has taken this crucial step.

This gives the town credibility to pursue and promote its public education campaign. It’ll also build public support for an eventual bylaw—which wouldn’t be possible otherwise. How can the town ask its citizens to stop idling while its own fleet wastes fuel and pollutes the air?

Kentville's lead also creates peer pressure among other communities in Nova Scotia to follow their example.

Another reason the mayor’s words are vital is because it gives children a voice in an area that threatens their health and their future.

The message children want adults to get is that idling your vehicle needlessly around them is no longer acceptable behaviour. Just like second-hand cigarette smoke. The news and science regarding greenhouse gas and air pollution (like cigarette smoke) grows grimmer each day while nearly one in five kids in Nova Scotia now has asthma (Lung Association of Nova Scotia).

The town is focusing part of its awareness campaign in locations where kids are most vulnerable and where their parents needlessly idle the most; schools and sports facilities. No-idling signs are being posted at the towns rink and indoor soccer stadium.

Is idling simply a “smoke screen” issue to divert attention from other areas where emissions may be greater? Not at all. In fact, The Children’s Clean Air Network would argue that a public commitment on idling is one of the most important that government can make at this time. It has the power to set off a chain-reaction of public support.

Cleaner air and cutting emissions is the number-one issue for Canadians. They’re asking to be educated and led on actions they can take, right now. Turning off a car or truck is the easiest thing to do that can have an enormous collective impact. There’s no need for a hybrid car, a retrofit, or an incentive program. Just turn your key off whenever you can.

And, an important thing happens once someone embraces the relatively easy habit of turning off their vehicle. They’re captivated by the fact that they’re part of a collective solution instead of a collective problem. “Hey, this wasn’t hard to do. Where else can I make small changes that will have a big impact?”

They feel they’ve taken ownership and action and want to do more. They begin to demand that their government and businesses do more.

It’s why idling is considered the “lost leader” of environmental action. It draws you into action and buy-in to do much more, providing a means of action and positive reinforcement right away.

Lastly, the mayor’s words are valuable for simply focusing on children as a reason for taking action. This goes right to the heart of the success that The Children’s Clean Air Network has achieved so far. Adults will buy-in much quicker when children are the message and the messengers.

That’s why this video was created to launch The Children’s Clean Air Network this past September. Please forward it on to as many adults as you can.