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Lower Transportation Footprint Choices

Cars, trucks and buses that transport goods and people are the largest source of global warming pollution in California, accounting for approximately 38% of total climate change emissions. In addition, children who ride in diesel school buses are exposed to more harmful air pollutants than they would be in alternative fuel buses. Driving green saves money, protects students’ health, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

District Officials

School Administrators can use green transportation and set an example for teachers and students. Administrators can also make green transportation decisions that save money, reduce global warming pollution, and protect the health of students and teachers.

No-Cost Steps to Drive Less & Drive Clean

  • Drive Less

    • Lead by example and take public transit, carpool, ride your bike or walk to school. Encourage students and other staff to do the same.
    • Consider providing incentives to promote less driving!
    • Work with local government and community leaders to create more pedestrian- and bike-friendly routes to your school.
  • Optimize Vehicle Use

    • Schedule employee errands and other travel so that multiple tasks can be accomplished with one trip.
    • Use available software to optimize fleet vehicle route to achieve reductions in fuel use and emissions.
    • Eliminate excess vehicles to save money on operational costs, open up parking spaces, and generate money through vehicle sales.

Simple, Low-Cost Investments to Drive Less & Drive Clean

  • Maximize Efficiency

    • Establish a policy against idling vehicles.
    • Use cruise control on long trips and overdrive gears (if available).
    • Remove excess weight from your trunk, and if you have a removable roof rack and aren't using it, take it off.
    • Replace your air filter regularly. A clogged air filter can significantly reduce fuel economy.
    • Provide employee drivers with driver training and incentives for driving efficiently. Providing training in "eco-driving" behavior may result in average fuel savings of 5-10%.
    • Perform regular maintenance on all vehicles, including changing the oil according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
    • Check tire pressure regularly to ensure tires are properly inflated. This can improve fuel economy and save costs to refuel fleet vehicles.

Longer Term Investments to Drive Less & Drive Clean

  • Consider Using Alternative Fuel Vehicles

    Upgrade your school fleet – especially buses – to cleaner alternative fuels. In the process, you’ll help reduce air pollution, decrease respiratory illness and protect the climate. Alternative fuels include compressed natural gas, ethanol, liquid natural gas, and propane. These fuels do not offer the same level of greenhouse gas benefits as electric-drive technologies (see below), but they can provide a wide range of air quality benefits. Visit the Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center to find an alternative fueling station near you.

  • Use Smaller, More Efficient Vehicles

    • Downsize by matching duty requirements of staff to the smallest possible vehicle for the task. Smaller vehicles should be substituted for larger vehicle; phase in more fuel efficient vehicles as older vehicles are retired. Do not use 4-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicles unless absolutely necessary.
    • Include fuel efficiency standards in bid specifications to ensure the most efficient vehicles are purchased. Bid specifications can be written based on minimum engine power to ensure only the smallest, most efficient vehicles necessary are purchased.
    • If lifecycle costing is used when purchasing vehicles, include the cost of fuel in the calculations.
      *School districts can use California’s Drive Clean or EPA’s Green Vehicle guideto select clean, fuel efficient vehicle(s).
  • Consider Purchasing Electric Drive Vehicles

    Electric vehicles powered by batteries and gasoline-powered generators (hybrids) save fuel costs and greatly reduce vehicle emissions (including local smog). They are appropriate for many tasks and, especially in the case of battery-powered electric vehicles, have much lower greenhouse gas emissions than standard internal combustion engine vehicles. Fuel-cell vehicles powered by hydrogen are even better and are increasingly becoming available.

Teachers

Teachers set an example for their students and other teachers when they use green transportation. Teachers can also make their school a cleaner, greener, healthier learning environment by encouraging greener transportation options and practices!

Drive Less & Drive Clean

  • Drive Less

    • Lead by example and take public transit, carpool, ride your bike or walk to school. Encourage students and other staff to do the same.
    • Consider setting up a competition in your classroom to see how much your students can reduce their driving!
    • Encourage your school and local government and community leaders to create more pedestrian- and bike-friendly routes to your school.
    • Schedule errands and other travel so that multiple tasks can be accomplished with one trip.
  • Maximize Efficiency On School Trips

    There are many simple driving behaviors (for school trips and any other driving you do!) that save money on fuel and reduce global warming pollution!

    • Don’t let your vehicle idle
    • Use cruise control on long trips and overdrive gears (if available).
    • Remove excess weight from the trunk, and if the vehicle has a removable roof rack that’s not being used, take it off.
    • Replace the air filter regularly. A clogged air filter can significantly reduce fuel economy.
    • Take driver training and learn how you can practice "eco-driving" behavior for an average fuel savings of 5-10%.
    • Perform regular maintenance on all vehicles, including changing the oil according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Use Smaller, More Efficient, Alternative Fuel or Electric Vehicles at School

    Encourage your school to participate in the following:

    • Upgrade its fleet – especially buses – to cleaner alternative fuels. Learn more in the District Officials Section.
    • Use smaller, more efficient vehicles. Learn more in the District Officials Section.
    • Consider purchasing electric drive vehicles. Learn more in the District Officials Section.

Students

You have the power to reduce global warming pollution and protect the planet! Drive less, drive clean, and motivate everyone at your school to do the same.

Drive Less & Drive Clean

  • Drive Less

    • Use buses, public transit, bicycles, and walk to school.
    • Consider setting up a competition in your classroom to see how much you, your fellow students and your families can reduce driving to school!
    • Encourage your school and community leaders to create more pedestrian- and bike-friendly routes to your school.
    • Work with your school to set up a carpool program.
    • Start a Walk to School Program - see the examples on SafeRoutes website, a national program to empower and educate parents, teachers, and more on how to improve the health and well-being of children by enabling and encouraging them to walk and bicycle to school.
    • Start a community effort to make streets safer for biking and walking to school. Watch the video below to see what Sacramento's McClatchy High is doing.

  • Maximize Efficiency On School Trips

    There are many simple driving behaviors that you and your parents can adopt that save money on fuel and reduce global warming pollution!

    • Schedule errands and other travel so that multiple tasks can be accomplished with one trip.
    • Don’t let your vehicle idle
    • Use cruise control on long trips and overdrive gears (if available).
    • Remove excess weight from the trunk, and if the vehicle has a removable roof rack that’s not being used, take it off.
    • Replace the air filter regularly. A clogged air filter can significantly reduce fuel economy.
    • Take driver training and learn how you can practice "eco-driving" behavior for an average fuel savings of 5-10%.
    • Perform regular maintenance on all vehicles, including changing the oil according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Use Smaller, More Efficient, Alternative Fuel or Electric Vehicles at School

    Encourage your school to participate in the following:

    • Upgrade its fleet – especially buses – to cleaner alternative fuels. Learn more in the District Officials Section.
    • Use smaller, more efficient vehicles. Learn more in the District Officials Section.
    • Consider purchasing electric drive vehicles. Learn more in the District Officials Section.

 

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