by Amy Jolly, The Climate Center | Nov. 5, 2015
On October 7, students across
Sonoma County left their cars in the driveway and took to the streets using
active or alternative transportation for International Walk and Roll to School
Day. In Sonoma County, more than 10,000 students participated, of which 1,445 were high school students who walked or rolled to school. Another
2,263 chose low-carbon alternatives like carpooling or taking the bus. Overall,
the high school students were able to prevent 3.5 tons of CO2 from
The Center for
Climate Protection’s ECO2school program coordinates the Walk and
Roll Day and other Safe Routes to School programs in high schools. ECO2school
engages youth leaders on campuses across Sonoma County to help them influence
their peers to make active and low-carbon transportation choices that reduce
their carbon footprint.
“A lot of people think that it is harder to bike, walk, or even carpool rather than driving or getting a ride. But the amount of effort that it takes to use active forms of transportation is often exaggerated,” said Izzi Rader, a senior at Windsor High School. “It is a very simple action with quite an amazing impact. International Walk and Roll to School Day is successful in the sense that it allows for students to recognize the ease of being eco-friendly, and they react well,” she continued.
Transportation currently makes up about 65% of Sonoma
County’s carbon footprint. If Sonoma County is going to meet its CO2
emission reduction goals, we need to dramatically alter our transportation
patterns. International Walk and Roll to School Day is just one of many actions
that student leaders plan throughout the year to show their peers that walking
and cycling is a fun and safe lifestyle choice.
Amy Jolly is the Youth Leadership Implementation Manager at the
The Climate Center. She runs the ECO2school program and
the Youth Advisory Board.