Dear Editor, Bainbridge Island Community, and Washington State Ferries:
Our Island School community took on the task of performing a survey about car idling. Members of our class stood outside while cars picked kids up and timed how long they idled while in the loop. The results of the survey were that 20 out of 53 cars idled for a total of 15 minutes and 21 seconds. We figured out that over the course of the year we would burn 31.5 gallons of gasoline and spend $126 to pay for that gasoline. Six hundred and ninety-three pounds of CO2 would be emitted, an amount that 54 trees would need to be planted to offset. All that gas burned, all that CO2 emitted, all that money spent just to sit in the car.
With this information we told kids in school about the effects of idling and sent home pamphlets to educate parents. We really wanted them to know that it was important to pay attention to the consequences of idling, something that they probably did without really thinking about it.
After we educated the community, we did another survey, and the results were that 15 cars idled out of 53, for a total of 11 minutes and 36 seconds. Over the course of the year, that would mean we would burn 24.36 gallons, spend $97.44, and emit 535.92 lbs of CO2. We would have to plant 41 trees. This is a big difference that was achieved by simply sharing some pamphlets and talking to the kids at school.
There are many things we could still do and many ways to effect change on Bainbridge. Just think if this kind of change could happen at the ferry and how the ferry environment could change. We would like for people to form the habit of turning off the car if they are not moving.
—From the Fifth Graders at The Island School
The Island School serves children in kindergarten through fifth grade and is one of five schools in the state to have earned Level 3 Certification with Washington Green Schools.
Disclosure statement: Inside Bainbridge Publishers Sarah Lane and Julie Hall are founding members of The Island School’s Green Team.
Photo by Peter Blanchard.