Second annual anti-idling awareness campaign successful

The first week of April was anti-idling week at Lauralton, the second annual awareness-raising event run by the Environmental Club. Last year Madeline Rudden, 12 was able to acquire three anti-idling signs from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection for the campus. The signs remind drivers that it is against state law to idle for more than three minutes. One sign is located in the front circle near where the buses wait for students, one is opposite the athletic center, and the third sign is in the back parking lot where parents pick up their daughters. To raise awareness about the signs and the state law, the club started anti-idling week last year.

This year the Environmental Club made daily announcements throughout the week, encouraging student drivers and parents to avoid idling anywhere on campus, and particularly in the pick-up line behind the carousel. The club also shared motivating statistics by including them in daily announcements. Examples include these facts: “Idling for 12 minutes every day consumes 27 gallons of gas in one year,” and “idling your vehicle for ten seconds wastes more fuel than restarting your engine.” These quick but meaningful announcements were aimed to help the Lauralton community be more environmentally friendly, especially concerning unnecessary idling.

Students of all ages and faculty got on board with anti-idling week. It’s clear that people really care about the environment and become excited when they see an opportunity to help. A long- time friend of the environment, English teacher Catherine Gallagher said, “Turning off your car is an unbelievably simple way to save the environment, and I am happy to do it." Students, as well, care about the cause. Maggie Salandra, ’15 believes, “Spreading awareness of anti-idling is really important because it saves not only gas, but the environment.” Alice Horne, ’13 looks at anti-idling as “a small step towards a cleaner environment.”

Though anti-idling week is over at Lauralton Hall, the efforts of the Environmental Club will be successful only if the school community continues to say no to idling in the parking lot, or wherever they may be. Environmental Club vice president Liza Leonard, ’13 feels, “If we continue to make the effort and remember to turn off the engines, we can take strides towards a better world.” In the words of Environmental Club member Emma McCarthy ’14, “Saving the environment is saving the future.” Anti-idling is one way we can do that.



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