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The B2 (Breathe Better) program is an anti-idling/clean air campaign. The goal of B2 is to help protect the health and safety of children by reducing harmful vehicle emissions around school campuses. Solutions involve the efforts of students, faculty, administration, staff, local government and community partners working together.

Why is vehicle idling a problem?

Mobile sources such as personal vehicles, school buses and delivery trucks are major contributors to air pollution in South Carolina. "Idling" means that a vehicle's engine is turned on but the vehicle is not in motion.

Idling wastes about 1/2 mile worth of fuel every minute and releases many harmful pollutants.

Why focus on school campuses?

Large numbers of vehicles idle on school campuses during daily arrival and dismissal. Students, parents, faculty, and bus drivers are exposed to higher levels of vehicle exhaust at these times. Exhaust may also be drawn into the air vents and accumulate inside the school building.

Children are more sensitive to air pollution than adults because they breathe more (relative to body size) and their lungs are still developing. Pollution from vehicle exhaust has been linked to asthma and other respiratory diseases, and increased risk of long-term health effects. Asthma in particular is a common chronic illness in children and a significant cause of school absences.

Recognition and Funding Opportunities


Air Quality Grants Program

Through a grant received from the Hollingsworth Fund, the Upstate Air Quality Advisory Committee is offering non-restricted grants to up to 25 public and private schools in Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg, and Union Counties that start or continue participation in the Breathe Better Clean Air Initiative. Grants will be available until funding is depleted.

Contact Kirbie Crowe at (864) 283-2313 or kcrowe@tenatthetop.org for additional information.

Air Quality Grants Program Winners:

Please use the links below to learn more about the anti-idling efforts of these B2 schools!


The Spare the Air Awards is an annual program sponsored by the Bureau of Air Quality to recognize innovative programs, projects, and individuals behind the scenes who continually go above and beyond the call of duty in protecting the environment. These environmental leaders represent workplaces, communities, schools, local governments and individuals who demonstrate their commitment to improve air quality. Contact us for more information on the Spare the Air Awards.
Champions of the Environment wants South Carolina's young people to learn about and protect the natural world. Each year, this program awards more than $10,000 to K-12 students and teachers for environmental action and awareness projects. Maybe you will be the next Champion of the Environment.

Teachers who are seeking funding for a project should apply for a Champions of the Environment grant.

For more information on B2, please contact Debra Briggs-Monroe or by phone at (803) 898-3752.