Anti-idling campaign

Anti-idling campaign

About this activity

Suitable for primary and secondary pupils. Supports the Geography National Curriculum.

When a car engine is left running for over a minute after stopping or parking this is known as idling. Idling is common when parents/carers are picking up and dropping off their children and it can increase air pollution around the school gate.

Run an anti-idling campaign to help improve air quality around your school. Encourage parents/carers who drive to turn off their engines when they are waiting to drop off or collect their children. You can use posters, banners, a letter home, or an article in your school’s newsletter or on the website to spread the word. Ask pupils to give their parents/carers a sticker to display in their car as a pledge to turn off their engines.

You could also use the GLA Cleaner Air 4 Schools toolkit to explore the topic in more detail. The toolkit contains lesson plans and campaign ideas to use with your pupils.


Activity steps

Know your numbers
With your JTA or YTA count the number of cars idling outside your school at the start and end of the day (see Resources for guidance). Share the findings with your borough officer and discuss a campaign to reduce idling numbers
Develop your plan
With your JTA or YTA decide how you will run your anti-idling campaign. Think how you could use assemblies, newsletters, posters or stickers and banners to spread the word
The big launch
Share the message in an assembly, display posters and banners and get pupils and parents thinking about cleaner air
Parent power
Ask parents/carers and delivery companies to pledge their support for the campaign by signing an anti-idling pledge or displaying a sticker in their vehicle's window
Check for success
Count the number of cars idling outside the school gate again – has there been an improvement?
Tell your story
Sign in to STARS to add your story and include pupils’ feedback. Explain the activity and add photos and any posters or promotional materials. Feedback to your borough officer


  • Smarter driving

This activity counts towards:

  • Travel activity

How it helps

  • Supports the Geography National Curriculum
  • Reduces the impact on your local environment
  • Encourages parental participation


Useful links, templates and case studies to support this activity