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Welcome to the Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Don't Be Idle

Lesson Description:
Twenty-five million students in the United States ride to and from school each day on a fleet of 600,000 diesel buses. Although school buses are among the safest forms of transportation, diesel exhaust emitted by the buses contains harmful gases and particles. In this lesson, students will learn about the health and environmental problems associated with bus idling and how they can work to change their school’s idling policy.

After completing this lesson, students will be able to:
· Learn the health and environmental impacts caused by diesel exhaust and engine idling.
· Conduct an audit of the school’s current idling practices.
· Write a policy proposal for improving the school’s idling practices.
· Practice environmental stewardship by launching a No Idling Campaign for the school and community.
Lesson Type:
  • Discussion
  • Lecture
  • Other

Sustainability Topic:
  • Climate Change
  • Other

GEF Program Category:
  • I Ride Green

Time Needed:
1-3 classes depending on length of projects
Standards Addressed:
Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

· Content Standard: NL-ENG.K-12.7 EVALUATING DATA
Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.

· Content Standard: NPH-H.9-12.7 HEALTH ADVOCACY
Students will demonstrate the ability to advocate for personal, family, and community health-
Evaluate the effectiveness of communication methods for accurately expressing health information and ideas.
Express information and opinions about health issues.
Utilize strategies to overcome barriers when communicating information, ideas, feelings, and opinions about health issues.
Demonstrate the ability to influence and support others in making positive health choices.
Demonstrate the ability to work cooperatively when advocating for healthy communities.
Demonstrate the ability to adapt health messages and communication techniques to the characteristics of a particular audience.

· Content Standard: NS.9-12.1 SCIENCE AS INQUIRY
As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop
Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
Understandings about scientific inquiry

As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of
Personal and community health
Population growth
Natural resources
Environmental quality
Natural and human-induced hazards
Science and technology in local, national, and global challenges
School or Group:
Earthday Network
Contact Email:
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf Dont be Idle.pdf

The Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse is brought to you in partnership with

Center for Green Schools