From helping the planet to bettering your body and giving your wallet a break, the question then becomes (we hope) "what can I do?" The easy answer is to drive a little less and walk a little more. Show people that you’re committed to helping the environment and shaking up your regular routine.
If you're trying to drive less but need a little help, we're here for you. Check out the toolkits below for resources on how to make the switch, and to rally people around you to join in.
Much like a real bus, a walking school bus travels at set times, along designated routes where children can "hop on or off" and should have one adult "driver". Parents wait with their kids to drop them off in the morning, and meet them at one of these stops in the afternoon.
Ask a neighborhood bike shop to volunteer to come to your school and host a clinic on how to repair simple bicycle malfunctions. Teach how to change a spare tire, put on a chain, adjust brakes, etc. so that students can get more excited about biking to school each day.
Search out a neighborhood cycling association to come to your school and teach students on the rules of the road, and how to bicycle safely.
Help your school host a bike rally. Organize stations for checking that bikes are in good operating condition and helmets fit correctly. Also organize stations that go over riding in a straight line, stopping and starting, turning, proper crosswalk behavior.
Pit your class against the rest of the school to find out which class can log the most miles biking, walking, running or skating. Ask local businesses to donate a prize that can be given to students in the winning class.
Try to map out all of the routes to school so that people can make informed decisions about their travel routes. Highlight bike or walking paths, sidewalks, crosswalks, adult crossing guard locations, school safety zones and appropriate drop-off areas. You should also note central drop-off areas for parents who must drive their children at least part of the way to school.
Invite everyone who used their legs to get to school to a pep rally. Organize games and activities, and donated prizing for students who chose to get to school without a ride!
Find another school in your district that would be interested in participating in a competition to see who's students can log the most miles biking, walking, running or skating to school.
Congratulations on taking the first step in giving your car a break from the road. Thanks to our friends at ParticipACTION, here are a few tips to help get you "people powered".