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Girl Scouts promote reduced idling at Granby Elementary

Cars line up to drop off students on a cold morning at Granby Elementary School as seen in this photo from January 2013.

Cars line up to drop off students on a cold morning at Granby Elementary School as seen in this photo from January 2013.

Girl Scout Troop 1665 of 4th and 5th graders is campaigning to create a “no idle” policy at Granby Elementary School.

The troop is distributing a letter to the community notifying parents of the dangers of tailpipe emissions.

“We love our children, and idling is bad for their lungs,” the letter states. It is common practice for parents to leave cars idling while waiting for students at the time they are picking them up from the elementary school. “If it’s above 21 degrees outside and you’re sitting still for more than one minute, please turn your car’s engine off,” troop members ask of parents.

The troop — Maddi Ruttengberg, Amanda Freeman, Cate Kauber, Emily Lantermans, Krista Conrad, Doma Reventait, Abby Kuhn, Mia Stuart, Serena Stuart, and Nichole Harms — outlined reasons, such as the amount of gasoline wasted while idling and the amount of pollution produced. “Children breathe 50 percent more air per pound than adults,” the Scouts say, and “a single vehicle dropping off and picking up kids at one school puts 3 pounds of pollution into the air per month.”

The No-Idle Zone campaign members featured a skit at Granby Elementary on Wednesday, April 9. The troop will also be distributing flyers to parents. Girl scouts also plan to spend time speaking to idling drivers, and eventually display sign outside the school reminding people they are in a “no-idle zone.” Principal Jane Harmon of the Granby Elementary School said the school supports the campaign and will be working with the troop leaders.

The campaign is part of the troop’s “Get Moving Journey Badge” as part of Girl Scouts. “There were several suggestions for a project, such as a bike-to-work or bike-to-school program,” said one Troop 1665 Leader Brenda Freeman, adding that the no-idle zone project was the one suggestion that fit the area.

To earn the badge, Girl Scouts need to “take action and to follow through for the community.”

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