Utah Clean Cities (UCC) launched the very first Idle Free campaign in 2006, with the help of a Department of Energy (DOE) Educational Grant, and in association with The National Energy Foundation (NEF), the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), and with support from the National School Board Association (NSBA).
The Idle Free message was so well-received, that by 2008, it was incorporated into the Bus Driver Training Curriculum across the state. In 2009, Idle Free expanded further when UCC led kick-off campaigns for 65 schools in Salt Lake City and Salt Lake. By 2010, the campaign blossomed into a statewide focus when Governor Gary R. Herbert declared the month of September as “Idle Free Awareness Month.”
Since 2010, over 71 mayors and 400 schools throughout Utah have joined the Idle Free effort. Overwhelming support from students, teachers, principals, school bus drivers, private businesses, local chambers of commerce, cities and the State of Utah have made the campaign an overwhelming success!
Idle Free Now
Utah Clean Cities and its stakeholders have distributed over 20,000 Idle Free decals and more than 300 permanent outdoor Idle Free signs. UCC continues working with communities to encourage drivers to turn off their vehicles when idling for more than 10 seconds. In recent years, the Idle Free campaign has been incorporated and adapted by other organizations—including cities, schools, businesses and air quality organizations. UCC has also enjoyed working with groups outside the state, including other coalitions, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Argonne National Laboratory.
September 2017 Governor Herbert signed the 10th Annual Anniversary Idle Free Declaration to recognize and establish the importance of being Idle Free in Utah.
Then this September, 2018, Governor Herbert signed the 11th Annual Anniversary Idle Free Declaration with 71 City Mayors signing, all recognizing and establishiong the importance of Idle Free practices.
Click here for general information on the idle-free ordinance. The ordinance prohibits idling for more than two minutes on public streets or in private spaces that are open to the public (like parking lots). Here are details about the ordinance, including exemptions.
The Utah Department of Health created the Utah Asthma program to provide resources on topics such as recess guidance for teachers. The Guidance takes into account students with respiratory symptoms or pre-existing respiratory conditions who may be more sensitive to poor air quality than their peers.
Breathe Utah has experience and expertise in scientific, medical, legal, and communications aspects of air quality in Utah. They seek real and practical solutions to Utah’s air quality problem. To accomplish this they increase awareness and engagement among youth and adults, implement projects to directly improve air quality, and promote sound policies.
The Utah Society for Environmental Education (USEE), has been a statewide leader in promoting high quality environmental education in Utah since 1981. USEE encourages environmental literacy by teaching Utahans how to think, not what to think, about the environment. They have started the CASK- Clean Air School Kit with all the essentials to get a new Idle Free school up and running . . . Idle Free for Blue Sky!
Recently the Utah Department of Environmental Quality released a Air Quality App, reviewing Utah air daily. Download the app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store- the Application is called UtahAir