Collectively, America's 230 million drivers have a great impact on the planet and themselves: The amount of CO2 emitted by vehicles into the atmosphere that impacts our climate. How much fossil fuel energy is consumed, from extraction to emissions. The air quality and health impact of tailpipe toxins. How much money we spend in fuel use and maintenance. And how safe we are as drivers.
THE PROBLEM: Most of us are not aware of it, but here's a few inefficient, highly impactful driving scenarios played out millions of times daily!:
• continuing to accelerate after a traffic light ahead turns red, ending in a hard stop, hoping to be the first in line, only to have a car the next lane over gently coasting to a stop but not stopping because the light has turned green
• sitting in a mall parking lot, idling continuously with the engine on, browsing on a smartphone
• speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic
• driving a gas guzzling, polluting vehicle
HOW A DIFFERENCE CAN BE MADE: With our Green Driving from the Start© project presentations, student drivers and new drivers are shown the benefits of how they drive (green driving practices) and what they drive (promotion of low- to zero-emission vehicles), plus touching on alternatives to driving.
• reducing CO2 emissions
• reducing fossil fuel energy consumption
• improving air quality
• saving money in fuel use and maintenance costs
• how driving a cleaner vehicle will extend these benefits
• how being a green driver equates to being a safer driver
• the lowering of stress
We briefly interrupt this project to announce a new presentation option:
THE CLEAN TRANSPORTATION PATH
• For many states in America, the highest percentage of GHG emissions comes from transportation
• Therefore, some of these states have set very robust EV registration goals by 2030
To make EVs a viable form of personal transportation now and in the near future, we must show the new and future drivers of America the overwhelming benefits of these vehicles. That is why, starting in fall 2022, Green Driving America will be working with educators—driver educators, as well as high school science, math, and STEM educators—to present THE CLEAN TRANSPORTATION PATH in the classroom.
Visit The Clean Transportation Path webpage.
OUR EXPERIENCE IN THE SCHOOL COMMUNITY: Green Driving America Inc. evolved from an organization that specialized in conducting educational projects in the school community. Most of this work was in Vermont. The organization, then called Idle-Free VT, was awarded grants to implement these projects starting in 2013. They were split into two efforts:
1. measured idle-free schools campaigns at 14 schools (12 in Vermont; two in California)
2. the work we are continuing to go forward with: green driving guest-lecturing presentations in more than 120 Vermont drivers education and science/math educator classes from 2013-2016.
GREEN DRIVING FROM THE START© PRESENTATION DETAILS
We offer no-cost, guest-speaking presentations in driver education1 classes having a required set number of hours of live classroom instruction2, along with some high school environmental education classes. Presentations are currently being offered in the New England states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont, and the State of Oregon. Note that according to the ADTSEA, guest speaking for traffic safety education in the classroom is allowed in the aforementioned states.
This is a funded project with a goal of presentations being at no cost to participating schools/educators.
These presentations, valued at $150 each, are funded by foundation grants and other sources.
Presentations are 45-50 minutes, including a PowerPoint with four videos (see below). Q & A can fill any remaining time. They are conducted virtually3 (such as with Zoom) or in-person by one of our trained college level interns4; these interns are volunteers but are provided a stipend. Optionally, educators can utilize students from their host school, who would be comfortable in public speaking, to give presentations. They would be trained by the educator and/or virtually by the Green Driving America executive director.
A two-page PDF handout supplementing presentation content is included: customized for each state; Vermont shown.
Optional: students are given an on-the-spot Quick Quiz if an extra five minutes is available. The quiz has nine, mostly multiple choice questions to help reinforce what they were shown. Answers are revealed in a PowerPoint slide.
The PowerPoint is customized for each state, for example showing a state's particular anti-idling laws, EV charging station locations, and available EV incentives/rebates/credits. It will also vary slightly for drivers education classes vs environmental education classes, for instance, placing more emphasis on alternatives to driving for the latter.
Educators having a possible interest in incorporating our classroom sessions into their curricula,
please contact Wayne Michaud by email: email@example.com or by phone/text:
Oregon: 916-209-0224; New England: 802-267-4442.
Presentation PowerPoint, Videos, Student Handout
FOR INTERESTED EDUCATORS: Below are video images (advancing in 12 seconds each) from the full, animated Green Driving from the Start PowerPoint slide presentation for driver education classes (in its current developed form) that will be given, along with four videos. NOTE: most slides will include notes that the presenter will use to elaborate upon.
NOTE: The Green Driving from the Start© presentation is copyrighted and the property of Green Driving America Inc. It may not be used or recorded without permission. The other videos below are open source and may be freely used.
Another video will be offered mostly for high school environmental education presentations: Gasoline, Gasoline, the World's Aflame.
(customized for each state; Vermont shown)
FUEL REDUCTION & MONEY SAVINGS FIGURES: The Driving More Efficiently page of fueleconomy.gov, the official U.S. source for fuel economy information, shows the average fuel reduction percentages and amounts of money saved by practicing green driving with gasoline vehicles (does not include EV benefits). Driving sensibly and observing speed limits clearly yield the biggest results.
WHAT WILL THE DIFFERENCE BE?: Our educational sessions will make a difference as a percentage of students will grasp and apply the compelling information shown. They (and by extension, some of the adults around them) will learn to be more efficient and environmentally responsible drivers as well as being shown the path to EVs. As the existing fleet of internal combustion engine vehicles continue to predominate for the next 15-20 years, the Driving More Efficiently figures at fueleconomy.gov show that each of these green drivers will avoid the consumption of many hundreds to thousands of gallons of fuel, resulting in reductions of many thousands of pounds to conceivably many tons of CO2 emissions.
HOW GREEN DRIVERS ARE SAFER DRIVERS: In the practice of smooth acceleration and braking, green drivers avoid jackrabbit starts and tailgating. And this helps them to be more mindful of the flow of traffic around and ahead of them. This is the art of defensive driving: anticipating hazards to allow for more reaction time to perform evasive maneuvers. And of course it is also safer to comply with speed limits.
1Wayne Michaud is a member of the ADTSEA (American Driver & Traffic Safety Education Association)
2Why not California? Many states currently require this type of driver education instruction. However in some states, including California, the classroom driver education instruction portion is mostly limited to a student self-taught online training program; this is currently not conducive to our presentations
3Some states may limit guest-speaking in the classroom to be in-person only
4Educators are made aware in advance of our intern giving a presentation with provision of the intern's resume and contact information