Tuesday, March 23, 2010

exhausted no more

For years Enviro Girl has suffered going to get her kids from Happyland Elementary. In their mostly rural district, twenty buses line up in two rows across the length of the building belching out diesel exhaust Monday-Friday. The buses park about 4 feet apart from each other, so there is no way to get to the building without passing through a cloud of noxious gas. Most buses arrive 10-15 minutes before school lets out for the day, and the children are not released until all the buses arrive. That means some days the buses spew exhaust for up to a half hour. The smelly exhaust clings to clothes and hair. It fills the lobby. And because of the angle of the school building, the school actually blocks the west wind that might carry those fumes across the field to Chez Enviro Girl. So the cloud of toxic air settles there, immovable as a person's stance on abortion. And? Twenty rumbling diesel engines are LOUD. Really, really noisy.

Last week Enviro Girl had a laundry list of issues to take up with Happyland Elementary's principal and the buses were one of them. "Might they turn off their engines when they arrive? I understand that on the coldest days they may have to keep running, but in general can they shut them off in the interest of reducing air and noise pollution? In the interest of our children's health?"

The principal kindly agreed to bring her concerns to the top brass and her wish has been granted! She's only peeved that she didn't bring this up six years ago! But now it's fresh air and the sweet sounds of children released from school--yelling and cheering--when Enviro Girl approaches the school at 2:50 every day. So. Nice.

This just goes to show that sometimes an environmental issue can be resolved merely by politely bringing it to somebody's attention.

Finally, don't forget to leave a comment to enter to win Saucy's Grand Gesture necklace!

And the sweet ipod earrings she's adding to my gift!

Spill it, reader. What've you asked for and received?


  1. I was able to get my district to pay for some technology classes for me to take..Never hurts to ask

  2. Those earrings are TOO cute! like you

  3. Good job! Think of how much $$$ they will save from not idoling there for 30 min! All schools should pick up this practice! Our district is pretty anti-change, but since we homeschool now...whatever I say goes ;)

  4. What an outstanding idea! I'm going to mention the same thing to our principal.

  5. what a hassle! dealing with all that when it comes to education....

    your comment today totally cracked me up - thanks! because now I know I won't starve when toothless :)

  6. Well done! Right now I'd like to ask for a worthy 4th grade teacher for my child, but even if I did, I don't think I'd get it.

  7. Right on!! Enviro Girl, you're my heroine!

    "...immovable as a person's stance on abortion." Hahahahaha!! Yep, that's immovable, all right.

    Me? About a year ago, I asked for a private office when my promotion was put on indefinite (don't) hold (your breath) because of looming budget issues. I was granted the office and moved in last July. In October, I had to move back to the main, not-at-all-private, office after a retiree was not replaced because of budget issues. TPTB giveth and TPTB taketh away. *sigh*

  8. That is so great. Way to go! I hate the smell of those bus fumes.

    Carolyn from DeanandCaden :-)

  9. You are awesome!! Congratulations! I went to a course on this very issue last summer and they said that in general, women do not ask for their fair share, but men have no qualms. It's in our DNA, we give, give, give, put up with, etc but don't ask for much in return. The point of this class was to incourage women to ask for that promotion, to ask for a raise, because those that don't ask for anything usually don't get, and if you don't get what you asked for, oh well, at least you tried. You usually haven't lost anything.

  10. On Sunday,I just exchanged my son's shoes that fell apart AGAIN after only 2 months.

  11. What a satsifying resolution.

    I get so frustrated when I see people idling--this happens a lot at our grocery store where someone parks in handicapped, leaves the handicapped person in the car and the car running when they go in.

    I don't know if I'm going to get it, but I have been straight up in asking for a job from the school where I'm subbing. No beating around the bush for me.

  12. Wow, that's fantastic! Good for you for speaking up!
    Last year our elementary school set the same rule for the carpool line. The buses pull up in the back. I wonder if they follow the rule. Now you've inspired me to find out about that!

  13. Ask and you shall receive, baby...isn't that how it goes?

    It is an unfortunate turn that making a need or want known is intimidating somehow. So rarely are we the only ones who need or want - the exact same thing!

    Thanks for reminding me of that.
    And for sparing your little part of the universe those bus fumes - aren't they eyelash curling?

  14. That's awesome! You would think they wouldn't allow the idling for that long from an economic standpoint even if they had no issue with the environmental and heath impact.


Spill it, reader.