NETWORK UPDATE - October 2020

 

CONTACT: Wayne Michaud, executive director of Sacramento County-based Green Driving America

info@greendrivingamerica.org  •  916-209-0224

 

THE "PLAYERS" IN CALIFORNIA HAVE HAD LITTLE INTEREST IN IDLE REDUCTION

 

Unlike for the organization's previous ten years in Vermont, our idle reduction advocacy since 2016 in California was not embraced by most health and environmental organizations, regional and state agencies and the legislature. Efforts in consideration of expanding California's idling regulation beyond heavy-duty diesels failed to gain traction despite an all-vehicle idling regulation in seven other U.S. states, plus D.C.

 

Likewise, the push for a prime mover in California to just educate Californians about the impact of idling when parked—a largely unnecessary practice—received little enthusiasm.

 

I totally get the imperative of the state's push in leading the nation towards zero-emission vehicles, and that idling when parked is only about two percent of all transportation GHG emissions. But I thought the low-hanging fruit opportunity around idling, along with parked idling in the state consuming 300 million gallons of fuel/emitting three million tons of COannually, mattered.

 

IF YOU CAN'T BEAT 'EM, JOIN 'EM (SORT OF)

 

Out of the ashes comes a much broader clean transportation effort, both in its advocacy and geographically: Green Driving America. The new greendrivingamerica.org website tells the story.

 

As we're aware, green driving, which has also been known as eco driving and smart driving, is traditionally recognized as a series of efficient driving practices: how we drive. But Green Driving America (GDA) is placing equal emphasis on what we drive. True green driving is the advent of vehicles ranging from low emissions, such as plug in hybrids to zero-emissions: primarily battery electric vehicles.

 

GDA will also advocate for alternatives to owning a motor vehicle.

 

We will show the significant benefits that green driving offers for drivers personally, for others, and for the planet:

1. improving driving behavior

2. making the choice to drive a vehicle that consumes less fuel or no fuel at all

The results of acting on one or both of these will be:

• reductions in money spent for fuel and maintenance

• reductions in CO2 emitted into the atmosphere that impacts our climate

• reductions in fossil fuel energy consumption

• improvements in air quality and health

• to become safer drivers

 

HOW DOES THE ORGANIZATION ACHIEVE ITS MISSION?

 

While GDA strives to make drivers of all ages aware of the benefits at hand to make a difference, it will specialize in and seek funding for projects in the school community. The target is high schoolers: drivers-to-be and new drivers. This audience has yet to acquire deep seated driving habits and is therefore more open and receptive to learning. GDA will work with high school teachers in mathematics, science, environmental science, technology, and driver educators in a number of states* to reach this audience with a funded green driving supplement to the educators' classroom instruction/curriculum. We are driven (no pun intended!) to reach young drivers who are the future motorists of our nation, to make a difference!!

 

NOTE: no matter the status of in-person schooling or distance learning (due to Covid-19), GDA education will be conducted exclusively by video conferencing.

 

*Our anti-idling work in Vermont led to building relationships mostly with driver educators, resulting in funded projects that included more than 120 eco driving presentations given in the classroom from 2013-16

 

ORGANIZATION LEGAL CHANGES

 

The California Secretary of State has approved organization name change and purpose change. All six Idle-Free California Inc. board of directors members approved of these changes; five of six are continuing to serve on the GDA Inc. board.

 

GREEN DRIVING AMERICA AND CALIFORNIA

 

GDA will now have a national focus. We will work with the high school educators* mentioned above in California and other states.

 

Also, GDA is not ruling out the possibility of implementing idle-free schools campaigns in California as Idle-Free California has done; these campaigns would be contingent upon full in-person schooling.

 

*Driver education: many states currently require 30+/- hours of live classroom instruction; however in some states, including California, the classroom instruction portion of driver education is mostly limited to preprogrammed Internet training sessions, not live instruction; this is not conducive to our program.

 

IDLE-FREE CALIFORNIA WEBSITE

 

The Idle-Free California website will remain for at least the time being as an information resource for Californians. It will no longer have any references pertaining to being an organization. A prominent referral directs visitors to the GDA website.

 

Thank you for your interest and I have valued the California anti-idling advocates I have networked with that are really passionate about the issue and have helped to make a difference!

 

Wayne Michaud, executive director, Green Driving America Inc.

 

Copyright © 2020 Green Driving America Inc.