Features is a loose compilation of other idle-free efforts -

local, state and beyond, or other idle-free happenings of interest.

Verdant Vigilante: one man's no-idling campaign in NYC leads to award-winning film & book


George Pakenham is a Wall Street banker and is also an environmental activist focused on vehicle idling in New York City. Typically, as he walks NYC streets to and from work, he will talk with drivers that are idling while parked to educate about the negative impacts of idling and inform them of New York City's idling restriction law (seldom enforced). He has had over 3,000 encounters so far.


The "Verdant Vigilante", as Mr. Pakenham has come to be known, has received huge media attention in recent years, being featured in The New Yorker magazine, interviewed on National Public Radio and in Financial Times magazine of London: ‘I’m an engine-idler vigilante’, and featured in The Independent of London: George Pakenham: Man on emissions.


And now Mr. Pakenham has skyrocketed in exposure of the idling issue. He has directed the movie, Idle Threat, which was a selection at the prestigious Woodstock Film Festival on October 2012, and in March 2013 at the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's capital! Idle Threat is a documentary film about one man's resilient struggle with the NYPD to enforce an engine no idling law enacted in the early 1970's in order  to reduce air pollution and reduce carbon emissions.  Against all odds, he succeeds and in the process, gets world wide recognition and improves the quality of life in New York. And not only a movie, but Mr. Pakenham has co-written a children's book about air quality and idling, Big Nose, Big City. The Idle Threat DVD and the book can be ordered here.

As Canada's leading Idle-Free campaign,

IDLE-FREE Guy is ‘hockey dad’ Ron Zima,

with GoGreen Communications

Canada's leading idle-free campaign, 'Idle-Free for our kids', based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is directed by Ron Zima, the IDLE-FREE Guy and head of GoGreen Communications. IDLE-FREE Guy is dedicated to reducing excess vehicle emissions across North America, with an emphasis on idling reduction. Its sustainability strategy is transforming the Nova Scotian, Canadian (and beyond) school environment and business community — including fleets, bus companies and, amazingly, even stock car racers and car dealerships — to get on board with the 'Idle-Free for our kids' message! Ron is currently developing the IDLE-FREE Guy Tool Box, a multimedia blog geared to help drive green strategies. A former cross-Canada radio / TV host, he is interviewing a wide range of guests — kids, business and community leaders — on going green. Admiring the Idle-Free VT campaign from afar, Ron reached out to Idle-Free VT director Wayne Michaud in November 2013 and interviewed him for the Tool Box. Have a listen!


Have an inspiring, compelling idle-free / green transportation story to tell? Ron is seeking to add to the Tool Box collection, so, Get IDLE-FREE Guy. And, check out Ron's Go Green, go 'Idle-Free for our kids' Facebook page.

Nadine Barnicle, Principal of CanterBarnicleCommunications - Weybridge, VT


CanterBarnicleCommunications is an environmental communications consulting firm whose mission is to cultivate sustainable local communities by providing strategies and tools for effective collaboration, outreach and engagement. One of their areas of focus within transportation demand management is working with Addison County energy committees to address mobile source energy issues (including vehicle idling) to mitigate global climate change. Nadine Barnicle resume.


Nadine Barnicle leads no-idling policy effort at Weybridge Elementary School: From 2004-07, Nadine Barnicle was an adjunct faculty member of Middlebury College. One of the courses she taught was an environmental marketing class, utilizing a community-based social marketing approach. Her students chose no-idling as their topic for a service learning project in 2005 and she connected them to Weybridge Elementary School where her children attended. The college students sent surveys home to families and engaged the older elementary students in helping form and shape the no-idling message. They made brochures, buttons and other outreach material based on community feedback. Nadine and school principal Christina Johnston obtained and posted three no idling signs.


While the college students were the stakeholders in the project, the elementary kids really got engaged when they realized they could influence their parents. The policy was not formed by the school board, but there is a directive in the school handbook, and staff are known to ask idling drivers not to idle.

Eric Williams of Hyde Park, VT


Eric Williams is a former champion race car driver. Among his successes are winning the 11th Annual Merchants Bank 150 in 2009, being "King of the Road" at the NAPA/Make-A-Wish feature in 2008, and winning the Vermont Governor's Cup in 2006 and 2007, all at Thunder Road, Barre, VT.


Eric is also owner of Eric's Auto Repair in Hyde Park. He is very knowledgeable about the mechanics of cars, especially engines.


When it comes to engine idling, Eric is very aware about avoiding excessive idling when parked. He's fully understands that idling is wasteful and harmful: It's wasteful because idling gets you zero MPG. It's harmful because excessive idling can actually damage your engine components over time.




Be smart like Eric Williams and avoid unnecessary idling.

SERG - Upper Valley Vermont


SERG (Sustainable Energy Resource Group) is directed by Bob Walker and located in Thetford, VT. SERG promotes energy conservation, efficiency and renewables in the Upper Valley towns of Vermont and New Hampshire through the formation of town energy committees to help residents, businesses and the municipalities reduce energy consumption, save money, increase the sustainable use of renewables, strengthen the local economy and improve the environment. Among SERG initiatives is idling reduction education.


Sustainable Rutland


Sustainable Rutland is committed to promoting environmental, cultural, and economic sustainability throughout the Rutland region. Among Sustainable Rutland's initiatives is Idle Free Rutland: Educational campaign to encourage citizens to reduce idling of their vehicles. Also, working with municipal department heads, local schools, and health institutions to create idle-free zones. Ultimately, working toward a citywide no-idling ordinance. Sustainable Rutland idling awareness videos: Idle-Free PSA #1. Idle-Free PSA #2.


Partners: Rutland Regional Medical Center, Rutland Public Schools, City of Rutland


Virginia "Ginny" Elliott: Northeast Kingdom


One person's efforts can make a difference. Ginny Elliott from East Burke in Caledonia County has long been a strong advocate of the Idle Free VT campaign, politely handing out information cards when she encounters idling motorists. She has retired after many years of working with the Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP), giving presentations on energy and energy conservation in schools throughout the Northeast Kingdom, as well as setting up demonstrations at energy fairs around the state. Her presentations always included mention of the vehicle idling issue and Idle-Free Vermont.