About Us

Climate Protection

During fall 2005, the teacher of the AP Statistics class at Analy High School in Sebastopol CA wanted to do a math inquiry project. All of the examples in the textbook used golf. He wanted something relevant and engaging. He and his students decided to look at travel to and from school. How far did students travel to school? What different modes of transportation did they use? What was the impact of those choices?

Students were shocked by the results. Results showed that on an average 870 cars arrive at Analy High School every day. A school of about 1400 students commutes over 42,000 miles every week, consuming about 2100 gallons of gas and producing over 40,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions every week! To offset the impact of their emissions on the planet, they found out they would have to plant and preserve about 13 acres of trees annually! How could an action that individually seems so small and innocuous have such a huge impact? They were inspired to act. With support from the Climate Protection Campaign, they set out to reduce their commute emissions!

The inspiration for this project was GOFAST - Gunn Organization for Alternative, Safe Transportation at Gunn High School in Palo Alto. GOFAST succeeded in increasing bus service and carpool drop-off to school. It also achieved an 85% increase in bike riding to campus and an increase in carpooling by three times, over a period of two to four years. This motivated the Analy High School community to evaluate and implement solutions to reduce emissions from student commute that would also improve air quality, traffic congestion and parking around the school, student health as well as safety.

The students organized a three-week walk and bike campaign in May 2006, offering incentives, provided by local businesses, for students to walk, bike, carpool and bus to school! Their target was set to reduce single passenger commutes or solo car trips to school by 20%. Every student would need to walk or bike to school or carpool twice a week. Students at Analy were able to not only meet this target but exceeded it to achieve a 21% reduction in single passenger commutes.

In fall 2006 the Student Commute Project expanded to Windsor High School. The Environmental Studies Core adopted the project and enthusiastically named the project eCO2mmute. They set a goal to meet and match Analy’s original pursuit – a bold 25% GHG reduction target set the bar. Though they couldn’t achieve their aggressive target, the results of the final survey showed that they reduced their emissions by about 7%.

Windsor’s experience helped the leaders at Cool Schools program understand the need to design a manual or toolkit that would guide students with a step-by-step process. Student interns – one from Analy and the other from Windsor - created the eCO2school manual in the hopes turning a spark of inspiration into a reproducible program.


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