U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Clean Cities

Green Rides Toolkit Helps National Parks Drive Sustainably (Text Version)

This is a text version of the Green Rides Toolkit Helps National Parks Drive Sustainably video.

CHELSEA HERNANDEZ: Now you just have to carpool.

JIM CHEATHAM: I think that's one of our roles is to really demonstrate environmental leadership and that commitment for the public to consider and to better protect the park as well.

CHELSEA HERNANDEZ: We really need to be the leaders. We can spread that message. w RUDY MARQUEZ: It's a thing we should do just to make sure we're doing the best we can for our environment up here at Rocky.

VIC KNOX: Climate change is already having many impacts on parks across this country. Those impacts include increasing severity of storms, sea level rise, increasing severity of wildfire, impacts on the ecosystems that we're here to preserve, and impacts on cultural resources.

JIM CHEATHAM: We partnered with the Department of Energy and Clean Cities to try to chip away at the impacts and emissions from our own transportation.

CHELSEA HERNANDEZ: The Green Rides Toolkit is a tool for us employees to figure out how to reduce our fuel emissions. So it gives you quick, easy tips about maintenancing your vehicle or not using excess weight in your vehicle when you're driving around.

RUDY MARQUEZ: Increase our fuel economy, go further. A lot of our emissions is due to idling.

JIM CHEATHAM: What that boils down to is advice for driving sensibly and maintaining your vehicle and carpooling.

VIC KNOX: The National Park Service Green Rides Toolkit is on the InsideNPS website. It has ideas for employees, letters that leaders can send out to encourage reducing transportation impacts, success stories from across the country.

DENNIS SMITH: It takes so much effort to keep our national monuments and memorials well groomed and presentable for the public. So it just makes sense for us to do that in a green way and a way that's not dependent on oil and petroleum resources, so that we can show the public how meaningful that is to preserve the national treasures.

JIM CHEATHAM: We're using the Green Rides Toolkit to outreach to both the staff and the public to lower the carbon footprint and emissions from transportation. That's both from our fleet and from the three million visitors that we get into the park.

VIC KNOX: We can make a real difference if we educate our visitors about how they can also reduce the impacts of transportation.

CHELSEA HERNANDEZ: National Park Service employees are definitely one of the credible sources to bring out climate change messages. People are willing to listen to a ranger speak about climate change and maybe even get some tips from that ranger on how to really go back and use these things in their hometowns.

RUDY MARQUEZ: If you don't have to drive, don't drive. If you can walk there, walk. If you can ride your bike, ride your bike, but if you do have to go, take your time. It's not a rush. The slower takeoffs increases your mile per gallon. Easy stops increase your mile per gallon, and you're not really polluting the air as much.

JIM CHEATHAM: We hope that these are examples for the public to adopt as well.

CHELSEA HERNANDEZ: Awesome.

RUDY MARQUEZ: By tomorrow morning or later on, I have about 35 miles to drive fully on electric. That's a great little vehicle.

DENNIS SMITH: If we can get the millions of park visitors to understand they can go home and do the same thing, then it's really a homerun.

VIC KNOX: The choices that you make in your daily lives, big and small, do make a difference. So keep thinking about how we can green our rides and live on this planet more sustainably.

JIM CHEATHAM: My suggestion to other Park Service employees, in light of climate change and decreasing budgets even, is to use their own park operations as an example of environmental leadership to promote sustainability not only at their park but outreaching to the public. It ultimately better protects the park's resources.

CHELSEA HERNANDEZ: They're willing to listen. They come to these natural places. They love the park, and they're going to want to protect it.