Green Driving from the Start

Green Driving from the Start

From Wayne Michaud

I am requesting funding for our 2021-22 school year project showing 2,000+ student drivers in driver education classes how green driving practices and electric vehicles will benefit the planet and themselves!

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Recent Updates

Update #6

8 days ago

Green Driving America's Green Driving from the Start project presentations roll out for 2021-22 began today with a Zoom presentation at Windsor High School, Windsor, VT, where 12 students in Anthony Steven's driver education class were shown green driving practices and the path to low- to zero emission vehicles!

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About the Green Driving from the Start project

I am Wayne Michaud, executive director of Green Driving America Inc. I want to tell you my story about my passion for transportation efficiency education, how Green Driving America came to be, and its mission. 

But first, an overview of our Green Driving from the Start© project: why it matters, the difference it can make, and what your funds will be used for.

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:

• 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

THE PROJECT GOAL: Our Green Driving from the Start project goal is to give up to 100 guest-lecturing presentations in driver education classes, along with some high school environmental education classes, in New England states (Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont) and Oregon for the 2021-22 school years to Nov. 2022 (exceptions can be made to show presentations in other states). These presentations will be conducted mostly via video conferencing (virtually) given by trained college level interns (paid). They will be 45 minutes and include a PowerPoint and three to four videos. They will include pdf handouts.

These presentations will be shown to up to 2,000 or more student drivers and new drivers! They will learn the benefits in how they drive (green driving practices) and what they drive (low- to zero-emission vehicles), plus touching on alternatives to driving. The benefits:

• 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

For more Green Driving from the Start presentation details, please visit the Green Driving America Green Driving from the Start webpage.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES: Our educational sessions, while not measurable in a strict sense, will make a difference. Reasonably, 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 nation's existing fleet of internal combustion engine vehicles continues to predominate for the next 15-20 years, the improved fuel economy figures linked to above 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.

Our experience giving these presentations: When the organization was previously based in Vermont, more than 120 funded green driving guest-lecturing presentations were given in driver education and science/math education classes.

WHAT YOUR FUNDS WILL BE USED FOR

Your donations are funding a project with a goal of up to 100 presentations to up to 2,000 or more students in the 2021-22 school year. Your donations will enable participating schools/educators to offer the presentations in their classes at no cost to them. For the level of giving 100 presentations, $17,000 is requested. That is $170 per presentation.

While this project is an absolute labor of love, it is time intensive with more than 600 hours associated with development and implementation time. Therefore, much of the funding requested will be for personnel compensation. Expenses incurred are also part of this request.

Specifics of what funds will be used for:

• $35 per presentation paid to trained college level interns

Educator recruitment: build Education and Project webpages, plus subpages, on the Green Driving America website to provide information for potentially interested educators; search listings of hundreds of educators in more than seven states to compile spreadsheets; send hundreds of individual emails to educators and respond to those interested; garner interest in the project by engaging driver education and environmental education associations through their websites and social media pages, and state departments of education; become an individual member of several driver education associations; work with the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles to make a rule change that allows for guest speakers in driver education classroom instruction; be invited to present (via Zoom) an overview of the project at the Vermont Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association's spring conference on May 20th which will reach driver educators around the country.

• Creating presentation: build an animated PowerPoint slide presentation; search for videos most effectively demonstrating green driving practices, promoting electric vehicles, and about alternatives to driving; create handouts showing green driving tips and their fuel economy improvements, the best green driving apps, and an overview of EVs, customized for each state project operates in.

Funding solicitations: get project word out in various forms to many hundreds of individuals, via email and social media, along with reaching out to organizations. 

Recruiting and training college level interns: recruit from among college level intern sophomores to seniors with majors in environmental science/studies and/or communications from colleges in New England and Oregon to hire and train approximately five project presenters.

Implementing the project: build a project webpage, work with several dozen or more educators to arrange and coordinate presentations in their classes throughout the 2021-22 school year; also work with five or more college level interns in this process; keep a running list of presentations on the organization website and in a spreadsheet.

Miscellaneous project costs: CPA services, software subscriptions, crowdfunding fees, printing of donation perk window clings, home office and associated utility costs.    

WHAT IF THE FUNDING GOAL OF $17,000 IS NOT REACHED?

Giving 100 or more presentations will maximize the project impact and the difference made. But our ability to implement it is not an "all or nothing" stipulation! We have the flexibility to give the number of presentations that the funding of the project allows, whether that would be 20, 50, 75, 100, or more.

Green Driving America executive director Wayne Michaud tells his story

When I was a young driver back in Pennsylvania in the early ‘70s, I was a muscle car aficionado. I drove a fast car and raced it on the strip…and the street. Although climate change was not a known issue then, and pollution from vehicle exhaust was only beginning to be recognized, this was no doubt irresponsible and dangerous behavior.

Soon the oil crisis of those days hit and my attitude changed, suddenly becoming more conscious of conserving fuel. I was downright proud when practicing what is now known as green driving methods, like going at or slightly under the speed limit and shifting gears at lower RPMs. This resulted in squeezing 24 MPG out of a dyno-tuned 400 cubic inch motor!

Fast-forward to the early 2000s, now living in Vermont. Climate change was becoming a mainstream issue. And my zest for fast cars had been supplanted with a passion for efficient, cleaner ones. I was so excited when I bought a brand new 2005 Toyota Prius - the green car of its day. What enthralled me is that it didn’t idle at traffic lights and when parked. This helped motivate me a year later to start an idle-free campaign in Vermont. Soon it was embraced by the state’s health and environmental organizations like the American Lung Association and the Sierra Club. We worked together in enactment of Vermont’s school bus idling rule and a few years later, an all motor vehicle idling restriction law. 

By this time the campaign had turned into a non-profit organization and was awarded grants over four years to educate on the benefits of reducing idling: saving money in reduced fuel use and maintenance costs, CO2 emissions reductions, keeping some oil in the ground, and improving air quality. Our funded projects led to Vermont business and municipal fleets adopting idle reduction policies, and schools to participate in idle-free campaigns (that reduced idling on school grounds by 40% overall) along with driver educators inviting us to supplement their instruction by giving guest-lecturing green driving presentations in their classes - more than 120 of them between 2014 and 2016, reaching about 2,000 student drivers.

With the success of having worked with driver educators to present green driving practices, combined with the recent rise of low- to zero-emission vehicles, the organization—now located in California—broadened its transportation efficiency advocacy beyond idle reduction alone, and Green Driving America Inc. was born.

ABOUT GREEN DRIVING AMERICA

Green Driving America Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization* based in Sacramento County, California. Wayne Michaud is the founder and Executive Director of the organization. Green Driving America is served by six Board of Directors members.

*IRS determination letter; California Secretary of State certificate of amendment to articles of incorporation: name change to Green Driving America

Green Driving America is committed to helping drivers make transportation choices in their lives that will benefit the planet and themselves. To achieve this goal, we place emphasis on practicing green driving methods to improve driving behavior, making the choice to drive a vehicle that consumes less fuel or no fuel at all, and for consideration of choosing alternatives to driving.

Please visit the Green Driving America website ABOUT page for more details on the organization's mission, background, and listing of board of directors.

My passion for being a transportation efficiency advocate and educator has led to being presented with two clean air champion awards: from the American Lung Association of Vermont in 2009 and from the East Bay Clean Cities Coalition in California in 2019 (pictured). 

Thank you for your interest!

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Help Wayne raise $10,609 by making a donation.

Wayne Michaud posted a new update:
8 days ago

Update #6

Green Driving America's Green Driving from the Start project presentations roll out for 2021-22 began today with a Zoom presentation at Windsor High School, Windsor, VT, where 12 students in Anthony Steven's driver education class were shown green driving practices and the path to low- to zero emission vehicles!

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Wayne Michaud posted a new update:
16 days ago

Update #5

As we near bringing our guest-lecturing Green Driving from the Start project presentations to driver education classes, we are excited to have interviewed, trained, and retained a Dartmouth College sophomore to give presentations, mainly in the Upper Valley area of Vermont and New Hampshire!

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Wayne Michaud posted a new update:
2 months ago

Update #4

I am excited and at the same time humbled to have been awarded a $5,000 grant for the Green Driving from the Start project from a foundation (which wishes to remain anonymous) located in the Upper Valley that straddles Vermont and New Hampshire! This, combined with a Vermont Community Foundation mini-grant, and individual donations including those from Fundly, have reduced the current project funding goal from $17,000 down to $10,609!

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Wayne Michaud posted a new update:
2 months ago

Update #3

In addition to the funds raised here, plus two additional individual donations, the Vermont Community Foundation has awarded the project a $900 mini-grant, bringing the total raised to $1,391!

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Wayne Michaud posted a new update:
2 months ago

Update #2

In addition to the funds raised here, two individuals have donated a total of $200 to the project, bringing the total raised to $491!

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Wayne Michaud posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #1

We are excited to have as many as 74 presentation commitments from driver educators and high school environmental educators, so far!
• Vermont: 40-42
• New Hampshire: 10
• Oregon: 10-15
• Massachusetts: 7
Please support these presentations showing student drivers the benefits in how they drive (green driving practices) and what they drive (promotion of low- to zero-emission vehicles), plus alternatives to driving.

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