Cocoa 4 Carpools – Treats for Sustainable Transit

Did you ever want to get rewarded for doing the right thing? This February students across Sonoma County delivered an important message to their peers, encouraging them to walk, bike, bus, or carpool to school. As a reward, the eco-club greeted students with either a delicious cookie or a cup of piping hot cocoa. What a treat!

Students not only delivered sweet treats but shared information, that transportation in Sonoma County accounts for more than half of our total carbon emissions.1 One person walking or biking to school one day a week can cut down on emissions by 100 pounds in a school year. This may not seem like a lot, but when everybody does it, the many small actions add up and have a bigger and more significant impact.

Students from Roseland University Prep, Sonoma Valley, Santa Rosa, Montgomery, Analy, and El Molino high schools proved just that. Their combined effort to reduce the number of vehicles on the road and lower greenhouse gas emissions resulted in students traveling 8,725 fewer miles and saving three and a half tons of emissions. In addition to reducing our carbon footprint, avoiding car travel cuts down on road maintenance costs, traffic violations and collisions, and improves air quality. All of this happened because students changed their behavior for just one day.

Student leadership is at the heart of these events. Some students handle public speaking while others work on behind-the-scenes organizing. ECO2school works with students to advance their leadership no matter what their interest.

Kalani, a student from Roseland University Prep, says, “I didn’t know we could make something like Cocoa 4 Carpools happen. I didn’t understand the magnitude of our abilities. By pushing outside our comfort zones a little bit, big change can happen.”

With such positive feedback, students are taking on another big project – the ECO2school Challenge! Stay tuned for updates on April’s ECO2school Challenge, and check out photos from our March events on our Facebook page!

  1. http://scta.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Draft-CTP-7-1-16_web.pdf

 

 

Alina Huff

ECO2school Program Coordinator
Alina Huff has been actively involved in Sonoma County youth and environmental programs for the past nine years, including jobs with Landpaths, Coastwalk California, and Westminster Woods. She also has experience in international education, having worked in South Africa and Scotland. Alina endeavors to foster a closer connection to the earth and share that passion for community, nature, and education with others. She received her B.A. from Sonoma State University in Environmental Education, and has also studied organic farming and ethnobotany.
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