By Karina Kinik
Looking for an easy way to get your kids active while reducing pollution? Encourage them to bike or walk to school (assuming they have access to safe routes.) If you’re nervous about letting them go it alone, get other families involved by organizing regular walk- or bike-to-school days.
If public transit or busing isn’t an option and you need to drive your kids to school, turn off your engine during extended drop-offs and pickups. Vehicle exhaust from idling engines not only releases carbon dioxide into the air but also pollutants that can trigger asthma attacks in children — one of the leading causes of school absenteeism — and contribute to chronic bronchitis and other diseases. (Scary stat: University of Cincinnati researchers found that more than 30% of U.S. public schools are in "air-pollution danger zones" because of their proximity to major highways.) Talk to other parents about the dangers of greenhouse-gas emissions and launch a school-wide no-idling campaign.
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