Green Driving from the Start© is an optional presentation within The Clean Transportation Path© project.
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© presentations, student drivers and new drivers are shown the benefits of how they drive (smart 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
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 13 schools (11 in Vermont; two in California) from 2014-2016
2. the work we are continuing to go forward with: an updated version of green driving guest-lecturing presentations that were given in more than 120 Vermont drivers education and science/math educator classes from 2013-2016.
GREEN DRIVING FROM THE START© PRESENTATION DETAILS
For the 2022-23 school year, Green Driving America (GDA) is offering Green Driving from the Start (GDFTS) as an optional presentation within The Clean Transportation Path project. GDFTS offers guest-speaking presentations in driver education classes having a required set number of hours of live classroom instruction.1 These presentations are at no cost in funded areas including all of Vermont and the Upper Valley of New Hampshire, thanks to GDA grant awards from the Vermont Council on Rural Development's Climate Catalyst Innovations Grant Program, the Vermont Community Foundation's Green Mountain Fund, and an anonymous foundation in the Upper Valley of VT and NH. GDA will pursue funding to offer these presentations in other parts of NH, as well as for other New England states, New York, and Oregon.
GDFTS presentations are conducted virtually2 (such as with Zoom) by one of our trained college level interns3; these interns are volunteers but are paid a stipend. Optionally, educators can utilize students from their host school, who would be comfortable in public speaking, to give in-person presentations. They would be trained by the educator and/or virtually by the GDA executive director (educators may attend such a session). Host school student presenters would be in a voluntary, unpaid role.
A two-page PDF handout supplementing presentation content is included: customized for each state; Vermont shown.
An optional, on-the-spot Quick Quiz is given to students 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.
NOTE: Wayne Michaud is an ADTSEA Professional Individual Member
1Why 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
2Some states may limit guest-speaking in driver education classrooms to be in-person only
3Intern information provided to educators upon arranging for presentations
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 is a YouTube video of images (advancing in 12 seconds each), not narrated, from the full animated Green Driving from the Start PowerPoint slide presentation shown in the classroom; the presenter provides elaboration on the slides. NOTE: this is the PowerPoint for Vermont; it is customized for each state.
Also shown are YouTube videos of the four videos included in the presentation.
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.
(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.
The Green Driving from the Start logo, title, and presentation are copyright © 2023 by Green Driving America.