FOR VERMONT HIGH SCHOOL ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATORS:

 

How is green driving as a component connected with environmental education?

 

NAAEE's mission: "To use the power of education to advance environmental literacy and civic engagement to create a more equitable and sustainable future. We work with educators, policymakers, and partners throughout the world."

 

For most high school students, including those that care about the environment and sustainability, driving is and will be a part of their lives. So what can we do to minimize this impact?

 

Green Driving America’s mission is to show these students:

• how they drive: employing green driving methods

• what they drive: promotion of low- to zero-emissions vehicles

• alternatives to driving

 

The benefits to themselves and the planet include:

• reductions in money spent for fuel and maintenance

• reductions in CO2 emitted that impacts our climate

• reductions in fossil fuel energy consumption

• improvements in air quality and health

• plus: green driving is safer driving

 

Green Driving America Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit organization based in Sacramento County, California. Wayne Michaud is executive director of the organization and is proud to have been honored with two Air Quality Champion awards: from the American Lung Association in Vermont in 2009 and from East Bay Clean Cities (Bay Area) in 2019.

 

We are in the process of assessing interest of New England region high school environmental educators and driver educators—including Vermont—in participation of a 2021-22 school year project that will feature green driving awareness presentations, to be funded by grantmakers.

 

Our 45-minute, guest-lecturing Green Driving from the Start classroom presentations will include an animated PowerPoint featuring green driving tips, information on alternative fuel vehicles, and alternatives to driving. There will also be three videos including a truncated version of the dance video, Gasoline, Gasoline. And a two-page green driving pdf will be provided. The presentations will be conducted by trained college level interns, exclusively by video conferencing, such as with Zoom. For further details, please visit the Green Driving America website Education page.

 

In my mind, I will always consider myself a Vermonter. During 18 years as a resident of Bristol, I founded Idle-Free VT to raise awareness of unnecessary vehicle idling. We partnered with others in enactment of the state’s school bus idling rule in 2008 and of the prohibited idling of [all] motor vehicles law in 2014. From 2013-16 the organization was awarded several grants to share information about the idling issue with business and municipal fleets, and in the school community: 12 idle-free schools campaigns and more than 120 green driving presentations mostly in driver education classes, with a growing number in mathematics and science classes. Upon relocation to California in 2016, our idle reduction advocacy continued.

 

For environmental educators who would have possible interest in incorporating our classroom sessions into their curricula, please contact Wayne Michaud at info@greendrivingamerica.org or 916-209-0224.

 

Following the process of achieving funding, we look forward to implementing this project in the 2021-22 school year. Note that prescreening of presentations to all interested educators will take place well before committing to classroom presentations.