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Being Idle Free Is Easy,
Just Turn The Key

History of Idle Free in Utah

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 support from the National School Board Association (NSBA).

The Idle Free message was so well-received, that by 2008, it was incorporated into Bus Driver Training Curriculum across the state. In 2009, Idle Free expanded further when UCC led  campaigns for 65 schools in Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County. In 2010, the campaign blossomed into a statewide initiative when Governor Gary R. Herbert declared the month of September as “Idle Free Awareness Month.”

Since 2010, over 76 mayors and 450 schools throughout Utah have joined the Idle Free effort. 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!

The Idle Free program is funded entirely by clean air advocates and our members to provide education, materials, signs, and window clings to Utah’s schools – for free! Join us in choosing blue skies and give the gift of clean air with a donation.

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Idle Free decals Distributed
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Outdoor Idle Free Signs
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Idle Free Partners

Idle Free Ordinances & Air Quality Partners

See What Our Cities Are Doing

Intermountain Healthcare 
joined with Utah Clean Cities in 2021 to create new Idle Free signage for their campuses to remind patients and visitors  to Turn the Key, Be Idle Free in Idle Free Zones at drop-off and pick-up areas on Intermountain Healthcare campuses.  The new signs hold an image of the most important citizen in Utah - a child.
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.
Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) 
has been a long-standing leader for Utah clean air advocacy and a strong partner with Utah Clean Cities in our work with clean transportation solutions and strategies.  UCAIR funded many of the first signs and window clings in the early years of Idle Free and continues to support Idle Free in their winter campaigns.
Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment
with Torrey house Press created a beautiful soft-bound chapbook called Breathing Stories: Utah Voices for Clean Air.
Utah Department of Environmental Quality 
the Utah Department of Environmental Quality released UtahAir, a Air Quality App, putting real time air quality status in the hands of its users. Download the app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
Tammie Bostick, Executive Director of Utah Clean Cities; Bryce Bird, Director of Utah Division of Air Quality; Mallory DiazVela, Program & Grants Manager at Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR); Senator Lincoln Fillmore, Chief sponsor of S.C.R. 2 Concurrent Resolution Regarding the Environmental Impact of Vehicle Idling; and Jeff Silvestrini, Mayor of Millcreek, an Idle Free City.

September is Idle Free Awareness Month

On September 1, 2023, Governor Cox signed the 16th Annual Anniversary Idle Free Declaration with the support of Utah Mayors, representing more than 75% of the state’s population, marking a significant step towards cleaner air and reduced emissions. 

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 Clean Cities Network coalitions, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Argonne National Laboratory.

Have a Question?

Reach Out >

The Utah Clean Cities Board of Directors and staff welcomes inquiries from interested community members, businesses and organizations. You’ll find our team helpful and inclusive. We look forward to helping you get started with a Utah Clean Cities membership, and involved in one (or more) of our many programs or grants today!