Idle-Free California is formerly a 501c3 nonprofit organization that, in 2020, had a legal name and purpose change to become Green Driving America Inc. The former organization's founder and executive director is Wayne Michaud, based in Sacramento County.
This website will remain for an undetermined time as an information resource1 for Californians to show the impact of vehicle idling in California, particularly idling when parked - a harmful, wasteful and largely unnecessary practice. Idling reduction is a low-hanging fruit opportunity to improve air quality and health, reduce carbon emissions, conserve energy, and save money.
WHY IDLE-FREE CALIFORNIA CHANGED THE ORGANIZATION NAME AND PURPOSE
Unlike for the organization's previous ten years in Vermont, our idle reduction advocacy since 2016 in California was not embraced by the "big players" including the Air Resources Board, air districts, state legislature, and most health and environmental organizations (notably, California's counterparts to Vermont organizations that were enthusiastic and active supporters of idle reduction: American Lung Association of California and Sierra Club California). Efforts in consideration of expanding California's idling regulation beyond heavy-duty diesels failed to gain traction despite all-vehicle idling regulations in seven other U.S. states, plus D.C.
Likewise, the push for a prime mover in California to just educate Californians about the impact of idling when parked—a largely unnecessary practice—received little enthusiasm.
We clearly understood the imperative of the state's push in leading the nation towards zero-emission vehicles, and that idling when parked is only about two percent of all transportation GHG emissions. But we thought the low-hanging fruit opportunity around idling, along with parked idling in the state consuming 300 million gallons of fuel/emitting three million tons of CO2 annually, mattered.
So it became time to broaden the organization's mission, to take efficient transportation advocacy beyond idle reduction alone and to also expand geographically. Green Driving America will show drivers the benefits of green driving: how we drive (green driving methods, just one of which is idle reduction) and what we drive (promotion of low- and zero-emission vehicles).
IDLE-FREE CALIFORNIA'S FORMER MISSION AND HISTORY
Idle-Free California raised awareness of the vehicle idling issue with the organization's website, in print and social media, establishing partnerships with supporting environmental and health organizations in the state, conferring with state government agencies, pushing for expansion of California's heavy-duty only idling regulation, and seeking to implement idle-reduction education projects before business and municipal fleets, and in the school community.
Idle-Free California also strongly advocated for green/eco-driving practices; this aspect of the mission is being carried on by Green Driving America.
Prior to Wayne's relocation to California from Vermont in 2016, Idle-Free California began as Idle-Free VT in 2006. Wayne partnered with others in the legislative enactment of a Vermont school bus idling rule in 2008 and then an all motor vehicle idling restriction law in 2013. From 2010-2012 he coordinated American Lung Association in Vermont programs that educated about fleet idling before business and municipal fleet managers and drivers. Idle-Free VT Inc. became a 501c3 organization in 2013 and was awarded grants to implement idle-free and eco-driving educational projects for Vermont businesses, municipalities, and schools. Along the way, Wayne was presented with the American Lung Association in Vermont's Air Quality Champion award in 2009, was one of five Sustainable America "Anti-Idling Heroes" in 2013, and received an accolade from the Vermont Dept. of Environmental Conservation2.
In October 2019, at the NorCal Clean Fleet Technology Expo in Sacramento, Richard Battersby, East Bay Clean Cities coordinator, presented to Wayne the East Bay Clean Cities Clean Air Champion award.
1As of October 2022, links on this website have been updated
2"In all my years at DEC, I'm hard-pressed to think of any Vermont citizen who has done more to help address an important environmental and public health issue like this one. Unnecessary vehicle idling is one of those problems that simply cannot be solved by Government alone. Citizen action and involvement are absolutely critical, and no one provides a better example of that than you."
Tom Moye, (ret.) Mobile Sources Section Chief
Air Quality and Climate Division, Vermont DEC
Wayne Michaud, Executive Director
Green Driving America Inc.
Sacramento County, CA