Green Driving America Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization1,2 that advocates for and educates on clean transportation and transportation efficiency. The organization is based in Sacramento County, California, with a branch location in Lamoille County, Vermont. Wayne Michaud is the founder and Executive Director of the organization. Green Driving America is served by six Board of Directors members (listed below).
2California Secretary of State certificate of amendment to articles of incorporation: name change to Green Driving America
Green Driving America Inc.
Wayne Michaud, Executive Director
Main location: California
6900 Navarro Ct., Citrus Heights, CA 95621 • 916-209-0224
Branch location: Vermont
PO Box 130, Hyde Park, VT 05655 • 802-267-4442
Green Driving America is committed to helping drivers—from student drivers in the school community to experienced adult drivers—make transportation choices in their lives that will benefit themselves and the planet. We set out to accomplish these goals as follows:
1. Emphasis is placed on advocating for and educating on clean transportation in the school community: presentations that feature all-electric vehicles (EVs).
2. Encouraging the behavioral aspects of green driving in the school community: classroom presentations on smart driving practices in gas-powered vehicles. And, in both presentations, to consider alternatives to driving.
3. Behavioral green driving education in the school community also includes idle-free schools campaigns with the goal of reducing prolonged idling (largely unnecessary) that often occurs during the school dismissal period.
4. The rolling out of clean transportation presentations that are given before townsfolk—by working with entities, including city sustainability departments and town energy committees—in workshops and events.
The resulting technological and behavioral benefits will be:
• reductions in CO2 emitted into the atmosphere that impacts our climate
• reductions in fossil fuel energy consumption
• improvements in air quality and health
• reductions in money spent for fuel and maintenance
• to become safer drivers
HOW THE ORGANIZATION ACHIEVES ITS MISSION
While Green Driving America strives to make all drivers aware of these significant benefits, its main focus has been seeking funding for projects in the school community.
The organization specializes in two areas of clean and efficient transportation education:
• The Clean Transportation Path project: working with driver educators and with high school environmental science, science, math, and STEM educators to offer a funded1 supplement to their classroom instruction/curriculum showing student drivers and new drivers the benefits in what we drive (promotion of low- to zero-emission vehicles) and, optionally, how we drive (smart driving practices), as well as alternatives to driving
• Schools Are Not Drive-Thrus project: implementation of funded2 idle-free schools campaigns that address the issue of prolonged, largely unnecessary vehicle idling often occurring during the school dismissal period. Engage middle, and high school staff and students to participate in eight to 10 week campaigns. For 2023, these campaigns have operated at two schools in Northern California. Campaigns at three Upper Valley schools in Vermont and New Hampshire are planned for the Fall
• Green Driving America is also gearing up in the latter part of 2023 and into 2024 to spread its advocacy and education on clean transportation to the adult community by working with city sustainability
departments and town energy committees to present Considering Electric Vehicles (VT version) - showing townsfolk the many benefits of switching from gas-powered vehicles to electric vehicles
1 Vermont Council on Rural Development's Climate Catalysts Innovation Fund, and an anonymous Upper Valley (VT & NH) foundation
2 Northern California: Individual donations
Upper Valley: anonymous Upper Valley (VT & NH) foundation
THE EVOLUTION OF GREEN DRIVING AMERICA
Green Driving America Inc. was originally known as Idle-Free VT Inc., founded in 2006 and incorporated in the State of Vermont in 2009. Wayne had significant success with achieving idle reduction in Vermont. He partnered with others in the legislative enactment of a Vermont school bus idling rule and then an all motor vehicle idling restriction law. As an individual, Wayne was presented with the American Lung Association in Vermont’s Air Quality Champion award and then coordinated ALA’s programs that educated about fleet idling before business and municipal fleet managers and drivers. Idle-Free VT achieved 501c3 nonprofit status in 2013 and was awarded grants to implement idle-free and green driving educational projects for Vermont businesses, municipalities, and schools. In the school community, he built relationships with Vermont driver educators, along with some STEM educators, to implement these projects. This led to giving more than 120 green driving guest-speaking presentations and implementing 11 idle-free schools campaigns, from 2013-16. And Wayne's work resulted in an accolade from the Vermont Dept. of Environmental Conservation*
The organization was renamed Idle-Free California Inc. when relocating to California in 2016. More idle-free schools campaigns were implemented and Wayne was recognized with the prestigious East Bay Clean Cities Clean Air Champion award in 2019. However, Idle-Free California did not achieve the level of success that Idle-Free VT did. Overall, California health and environmental organizations, regional and state agencies and the state legislature took little interest in unnecessary idling despite the low-hanging fruit opportunity to reduce its impact in the state: estimated to be 300 million gallons of fuel consumed resulting in three million tons of CO2 emitted annually by vehicles idling just when parked.
As California was and is focused exclusively on the imperative of zero-emissions transportation (while largely overlooking behavioral solutions), Wayne decided to broaden the organization’s transportation efficiency advocacy to include clean transportation and in 2020, Green Driving America was born.
*2016: "In all my years at DEC, I'm hard-pressed to think of any Vermont citizen who has done more to help address an important environmental and public health issue like this one. Unnecessary vehicle idling is one of those problems that simply cannot be solved by Government alone. Citizen action and involvement are absolutely critical, and no one provides a better example of that than you."
Tom Moye, (ret.) Mobile Sources Section Chief
Air Quality and Climate Division, Vermont DEC
ANTI-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT ADOPTED BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS, AUGUST 27, 2021
Green Driving America Inc. does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, the appointment of and dismissal of its Board of Directors, hiring and dismissing of staff, and selection of volunteers.
Green Driving America is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate in employment, recruitment, Board membership, notices seeking employment, dismissals, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the basis set forth in the first paragraph, or for any other discriminatory reason.
GREEN DRIVING AMERICA INC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Wayne Michaud, Executive Director/President/Treasurer, Green Driving America Inc.
Wayne is founder of Idle-Free VT in 2006 which became Idle-Free California in 2017 and then Green Driving America in 2020. Wayne has also been a contributing writer for the Green Energy Times with articles on Transportation Solutions, ranging from vehicle idling to electrification.
David Polow, Director/Vice President
David is an attorney at Polow Polow, PLLC with nearly four decades in personal injury law and handling auto accident claims. The firm represents clients who are injured in car, motorcycle, truck, bike, and pedestrian accidents. He is a long-time transportation efficiency advocate, not only for green driving, but alternatives to driving, period. David resides in Morrisville, VT.
Ellen Michaud, Director/Secretary
Ellen is an award-winning author and editor who creates original content for magazines, books, and digital media. She is a former editor-at-large for Prevention magazine and Live Happy magazine. As Wayne's wife, she has been a long-time supporter of idle reduction and green driving advocacy and loves driving the family Chevy Bolt EV.
Richard Battersby, Director
Richard is an Assistant Director of Public Works for the City of Oakland, California and has been the Executive Director of the East Bay Clean Cities Coalition since 2003. He has over 25 years in the fleet industry implementing sustainable fleet practices while managing private sector, federal, state, county, and city fleets. Most recently Richard has been inducted into the Department of Energy Clean Cities and Government Fleet Manager Halls of Fame and has been designated as a World Class Technician while holding over 40 ASE certifications. Richard has a BS degree from the California State University, Sacramento, currently sits on the Boards of the NAFA Fleet Management Association, Transportation Energy Partners, the Electric Vehicle Coordinating Council, and Green Driving America. He is the chairman of NAFA’s California Air Resources Board Advisory Council and makes his home in Fairfield, CA.
Susan Schneider, Director
Susan holds degrees in environmental and mechanical engineering, and a PhD in psychology. She co-founded the San Joaquin County Climate Action Coalition and helped bring the Idle-Free California program to Venture Academy in Stockton. While working for Root Solutions, a sustainability nonprofit, she coauthored two chapters in its new book, Making Shift Happen: Designing for Successful Environmental Behavior Change. She also has other publications on climate change, and has given numerous climate change talks and workshops. Author of the award-winning book, The Science of Consequences, Susan relocated to Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2021 and is an adjunct faculty member with the Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University.
Richard Kearney, Director
Rich is the owner of Upper Valley Driving Academy, teaching driver education to Vermont and New Hampshire students. He is a past president of the VDTSEA (Vermont Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association), which represents approximately one hundred driver educators. Rich is an ADTSEA (American Driver Training Safety Education Assoc.) / NRSF (National Road Safety Foundation) Teacher of Excellence. He is an ADTSEA member and a frequent presenter at driver education conferences. He is environmentally-minded, instructing his students on the benefits of practicing efficient transportation measures. Rich resides in Newbury, VT.
Jerusalem Trail above Starksboro, VT Photography: Wayne Michaud
ABOUT WAYNE MICHAUD
A big reason why I chose to be an environmental advocate is, I care about our Earth and human health. Now, as a young man in Pennsylvania, this caring was not yet on my mind. In fact, I was a muscle car aficionado. So I get why some motorists today like speed and aggressiveness. But the world is a much different place now. In the 1970s I began taking an interest in recycling and litter pick-ups. And following the oil crises of that decade, I would also turn off and restart the car engine in drive-thrus.
Not too long after our family moved to Vermont in 1998, climate change became a mainstream issue. I would repeatedly observe parked vehicles idling - a mostly unnecessary practice. So I chose anti-idling as an emissions reduction advocacy. I take pride that leading this effort made a difference in the State of Vermont. But after a decade, it was time to hand our work over to others, and to tackle a much bigger anti-idling challenge in the Golden State (along with the desire to be nearer to our son, who was already in California).
With the organization name change to Green Driving America in 2020, our focus has been on a broader clean transportation effort, in California, Vermont, the rest of New England, New York, and beyond. Until clean and autonomous vehicle technologies in America take hold in the middle of this century, it is imperative that we get the message to drivers about the technological solutions of low- to zero-emission vehicles, as well as continuation of the time honored, behavioral solutions of smart driving practices and idle reduction in gas-powered vehicles. Green Driving America is driven (no pun intended!) to reach these drivers—especially young drivers who are the future motorists of our nation—to make a difference!!