March 2006

Member Alert

AAA Watch

Top Story


Washington Watch

In The News

Member Alert
Gas Rebates Only Available for the Period When You Are a Member

Receipts Before or After Your Membership Will Not Be Honored

Have you sent in one or more gas rebate coupons and received no response? Would you be impressed if we said that shows you how discreet we can be?

Probably not. Better World contracts with a vendor to manage this service. Unfortunately, the vendor doesn't seem to think that denial letters are part of its management responsibility. Complete Story
AAA Watch
Pennsylvania Clean Air Council Makes Monkeys Out of AAA

Flash Animation Scores AAA for Opposition to Improving Penn's Auto Emissions Standards

While Effective, the Animation is Unfair.

After All, Monkeys Are Intelligent Animals

(Oh, It's Only a Joke!)

A new Flash movie called "The AAA Monkeys" that rips into the popular automobile club AAA for its opposition to the Pennsylvania Clean Vehicles Program has been going around the Internet and can be found at The film's distributor, Pennsylvania's Clean Air Council describes it this way: The humourous web animation portrays AAA as a group of mischievous monkeys who "See No Evil" when their antics burden people with high gasoline costs, limited consumer choice and dirty air." Complete Story

Clean Air Council's website encourages people to contact AAA asking them to drop their opposition to the Clean Vehicles Program. It also contains facts correcting the misinformation that AAA has spread about the policy. For more information, visit: Watch the Video
Member Specials
Thinkhost: "Sustainable" Web Hosting Discount

Does "sustainable" mean it doesn't crash all the time?

ThinkHost, a socially responsible web host powered by 100% renewable energy, is offering all Better World Club members 6 months hosting on any plan absolutely free! To take advantage of this member discount (worth up to $240), log in to Better World Club's Members Only site.

Better World Club will be more than happy to take full credit when you launch the next Yahoo or eBay with this month's member special, but we do reserve the right to plead ignorance if you launch the next
Top Story
Better World Club Initiates New Service:

You Already Know the Price of Gas--Just Drive to the Corner

Do You Know the Price of Alternative Fuels?

Well, You've Come to the Right Place

There are a number of sources for weekly gas prices. Our good friends at AAA announce the trends in gas prices each week. Then there are your eyes.

All well and good. But focusing on gasoline only gives you part of the story. The fact is that there are a number of more attractive fuel options out there and Better World Club wants to become your price source for these fuels. So whether you're interested in Ethanol, Bio-Diesel, Compressed Natural Gas or, yes, diesel and petroleum, look for our updates, starting with the next edition of Driving Change. The chart below reflects a summary and we soon have more detailed regional information available. This information will then become available at our website

All feedback is welcome.

Fuel Type Western
BioDiesel 2.75 2.59 3.22 2.70
Ethanol 85 2.25 2.30 2.62 2.21
LPG 2.03 2.40 2.26 2.70
Gasoline 2.45 2.41 2.41 2.48
Diesel 2.57 2.64 2.65 2.59


Challenge Day Partners With Better World Club

Better World is proud that our Fleet Program enables us to serve some of the nation's greatest non-profit organizations, such as Challenge Day.

Since 1987, Challenge Day has provided youth and their communities with experiential workshops and programs that demonstrate the possibility of love and connection through the celebration of diversity, truth and full expression. They have programs in 39 states, 4 Provinces of Canada and in a few select international school systems.

This nationally recognized, award-winning day-long program has proven benefits of reduced teen drug, alcohol and tobacco use, reduced student absenteeism, and reduced teasing and violence in middle schools and high schools. (Gee, these students will never want to work at Better World Club.)

Challenge Day's vision is that every child lives in a world where they feel safe, loved and celebrated, to be the driving force in creating the school of their dreams, and to inspire people to be the change they wish to see in the world for the benefit of the planet and its people.

Washington Watch
Kicking Asphalt Update:

New Fuel Economy Standards Extended to SUVs, But Trucks Still Exempted

In August, Kicking Asphalt compared the Bush Administration's exempting SUVs and Trucks from its higher Fuel Economy Standards to raising adolescent physical fitness standards but exempting the fattest kids.

Well, Chubby, you're going to be doing some push-ups. But Michael Moore, have another sundae.

The Bush Administration has decided to raise the fuel economy standards for SUVs, but still wants to wants to exempt trucks. "Credit" is being given to President Bush's declaration in January that the United States is "addicted to oil" and his call for a 75 percent reduction in imports of Middle East oil by 2025.

The addition of the SUVs, covering 2008 through 2011, would save 10.7 billion gallons of fuel over the lifetime of the vehicles sold during that period, officials said. Complete Story

Watch this space for an announcement of Better World's campaign to make consumers aware of just what's needed to get America off of imported oil.

More Washington Watch in 'Driving Change'

US President Agrees With BWC President: America Is Addicted To Oil! Read More

Interior Approves Expanded Drilling in Alaskan Reserve Read More
In The News

Simple Ways We Can All Be Champions of the Earth

By Lisa Goodman

Travel Light--Imagine if you could undo the environmental damage you cause each time you travel (think of all the pollution spewed out by your plane or car). Where most people would see nothing but disaster, Mitch Rofsky of Portland, Oregon, saw an opportunity. In 2002, he and partner Todd Silberman founded the Better World Club, the nation's only eco-friendly travelers' club. "We like to think of ourselves as a 21st Century auto club," says Rofsky."We balance people's transportation needs with their concerns for the environment." Besides the usual roadside assistance provided by other programs, Better World offers a range of services for environmentally conscious travelers. Since carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming is a chief by-product of transportation, Better World has a "carbon-offset" program that lets you fight global warming while you fly or drive. Complete Story

Do You Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is?
"Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is" can now be found at Driving Change, Better World Club's monthly Action Alert. But, by popular demand, it now returns to Kicking Asphalt as well. You should find these important bits of consumer information in both publications.

Portland Band Refuses to Promote Hummers

Better World Club would like to believe it's because of the vibe we're putting out. (Vibe--that's hip music lingo.) OK, maybe not. Still, Portland's own rock band The Thermals turned down $50,000 from General Motors for the right to use their song "It's Trivia" in a Hummer commercial.

"I thought about it for about 15 seconds, maybe," lead singer Hutch Harris told the Associated Press.

Maybe The Thermals knew that Washington D.C.'s Trans Am were offered $180,000 by Hummer for the song "Total Information Awareness:--and turned it down.

"We figured it was almost like giving music to the Army, or Exxon," Trans Am guitarist Philip Manley said.

The post-punk band LiLiPUT, who broke up more than 20 years ago, could have pocketed $50,000 for "Heidi's Head" after making close to nothing during their five-year existence. But they, too, said no.

"At least I can sleep without nightmares," Marlene Marder reasoned. Read the Entire Article

Better World Club Has Challenged Business/Consumers to Put Their Money Where Their Values Are.

Looks Like...Wal-Mart...Was Listening

Wal-Mart Challenges Progressive Shoppers with New Organic Strategy. At The Least, Reflects a Trend in the Right Direction

Wal-Mart Stores has taken its hits from many shoppers and commentators concerned about its labor practices, its contributions to sprawl, and its impact on local economies (see prior editions of Kicking Asphalt).

Now the world's largest retailer says that it wants to promote organic products. Could this have the same effect on environmental practices that Wal-Mart has had on prices?

Organic products are one lure for the more affluent shoppers Wal-Mart is trying to woo away from rivals like Target Corp., Alice Peterson, president of Chicago-based consultancy Syrus Global told the Associated Press. In addition, promoting organic baby garments and environmentally sensitive ocean fish meets consumer demand, cuts energy and packaging costs, and just might give Wal-Mart's reputation a boost. "Like many big companies, they have figured out it is just good marketing and good reputation building to be in favor of things that Americans are increasingly interested in," Peterson said.

The first test site: A new Supercenter that opened this week in the Dallas suburb of Plano where over 400 organic foods are part of an experiment to see what kinds of products and interior decor can grab the interest of upscale shoppers. Complete Story

EPA Won't Increase Fuel Economy Standards on Trucks--But Plans Tougher Smog Rules for Lawnmowers

Not That This Is a Bad Thing

Fifty two million lawn mowers will come under Environmental Protection Agency regulation this fall if the agency follows through on its plans to regulate their emissions. The new standards are likely to be similar to rules in California which are expected to go into effect next January. The CA rules ban tanks and hoses made of gas permeating materials like plastic, which can allow fumes to evaporate, and set strict limits for hydrocarbon emissions which are the basis of smog. Some mowers may be fitted with catalytic converters, although some manufacturers argue that they could start fires.

Briggs & Stratton, the nation's largest maker of motors for outdoor equipment, told the Wall Street Journal that consumers should expect prices to go up by more than 30%. Certain large, riding mowers already cost over $10,000.

John Deere is given credit by the WSJ for making more environmentally friendly motors, while other makers are promoting electric mowers to deal with the problem. Meanwhile, 18,000 people were injured in mower accidents (75% from riding mowers). Do State Alcohol authorities need to look into the mowers once the EPA is finished with its work?

OK, In case you missed it. Here's: 'Do You Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is?' from 'Driving Change'

Residents of Pioneer Valley, MA, Fight An Invasion By Wal-Mart Read More
Men Face Hard Decision When Choosing Bicycle Seats Read More
New Jersey Requires Health Coverage for Female Contraceptives Read More
Every Company Now Holds Car Renters Responsible for Damage from Natural Causes Read More

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