On October 5, students across Sonoma County left their cars in the driveway and took to the streets. By making a choice to use alternative transportation, walking or biking they started their day with a breath of fresh air. In Sonoma County, more than 10,000 students participated in International Walk and Roll to School Day. 1,183 of the participants were high school students. Overall, the high school students were able to prevent 2 tons of CO2 from being emitted.
“So many students at RUP walk,” said Miguel Pineda, a student at Roseland University Prep. “It is a very simple action with a big impact but not everyone know what that impact is or why it’s important,” he continued. ” That is why events like International Walk and Roll to School Day are so important.”
The high school Safe Routes to School Program called ECO2school works with youth leaders on campuses across Sonoma County. Student leaders educate and engage their peers to make active and low-carbon transportation choices that reduce their carbon footprint.
Transportation currently makes up over 50% 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 Climate Center. She runs the ECO2school program and the Youth Advisory Board.