February 2007

In This Issue
Member Alert

AAA Watch

Top Story

Partners

Washington Watch

In The News

Member Specials
Member Alert
Don't Panic If You Receive A Renewal Letter In The Mail After Renewing Online

 

It's Not A Clever Scheme To Get You To Renew Twice...Unless, Of Course, You Want To Renew Twice

 

In an effort to save paper, Better World Club first sends expiring members renewal emails that include a link to the member login page, where members can renew themselves online.  

 

Members who don't renew right away online receive paper renewal letters in the mail.   Occasionally, a member will renew online but then receive a renewal letter in the mail shortly afterwards.   This does not mean that the member is not renewed.   In most cases, a renewal letter was printed right before the member renewed online.   If this is the case, feel free to ignore the letter and recycle it.

If you receive a renewal letter in the mail after you've renewed online,you can check to make sure that your membership has been renewed by logging on the BWC member login page. Also, members who renew online receive a confirmation email, noting the expiration date for your new policy.   Your membership has definitely been renewed if you received this email.

AAA Watch

AAA:  Florida Cities Can't Ban Cell Use In Cars

Is Texting OK While Driving?

How About Watching TV?


Sometime in the distant past, say 1990, no one really thought about which electronic gadgets to use while driving.  The radio, maybe a cigarette lighter, were just about it.

The past always appears simpler.  Today, state legislatures are confronting just what rules are reasonable to keep multi-tasking drivers from killing each other.

Patricia Brown was sitting at a red light on Apopka-Vineland Rd. when a speeding pick-up truck slammed into her Honda, killing her instantly.

Her daughter, Jeanne Hyler, asks,  "How am I supposed to move forward? I'm searching every day for the answer to that."
 
Troopers say the 16-year-old driver admitted he'd been reaching for a cell phone when he lost control. 
 
"I'm actually appalled that the state of Florida is so behind the times," says Hyler. Complete Story
Top Story

Massachusetts Renews Better World Insurance 8% Discount

One of the Highest Discounts in State for Auto Insurance

But You Wouldn't Buy From Us Just to Save Money Would You?

We're Sure the Carbon Offsets Mean More to You than Money

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts renewed Better World Club's 8% discount on auto insurance this month.  While this might not ordinarily be our lead story, the discount comes at a time when other group discounts are decreasing--by as much as 20%.  As a result, we thought our Massachusetts members would appreciate the news.

BWC's discount is maintained for a simple reason:  the quality of the driving of our members.  Discounts are largely based on the claims record of a group.  Better World Club's members are conscientious drivers who merit a discount.  (Except for you, Tom Vandelay of Amherst, MA: Red means stop, not "floor it".)

Better World also provides excellent premiums in 19 states beyond Massachusetts, as well as offsetting the greenhouse gas emissions on the first 2,000 miles of our auto insurance clients, free of charge.  With our recently announced partnership with Drive Neutral, there will soon be a carbon calculator on BWC's website that will enable you to offset the remainder of your year's driving emissions.

Hey, a quote is free. If you would like us to price auto insurance for you, click here.

 

Partners

Hitch A Ride With Ridester, No Thumb Required

You Do Need Pants, However, Or The Driver Won't Let You In The Car

BetterWorld Club is proud to announce its partnership with Ridester, one of the fastest-growing ride-sharing sites on the Internet ( www.ridester.com).   Ridester's mission is to provide the most affordable and effective intercity travel option in America by leveraging the power of community.

Passengers looking for a ride can search through a list of drivers offering rides.   Each driver's entry notes the price of the ride (to help cover gas) and a list of criteria describing the driver: gender, age, smoking preference, whether or not they're OK with pets, music preference,vehicle cleanliness, and vehicle type.   Potential passengers can then find just the right driver (perhaps their soulmate?) for that 21-hour drive from Tulsa to Jersey City.    

 

With safety in mind, Ridester requires users to register and has instituted a feedback system in which passengers can rate the quality of their driver. Ridester also offers an escrow account that holds a passenger's carpooling fee until the transaction is completed.

 

For more information check out Ridester's website: www.ridester.com.

 

 

Gas Saving Tips

Tired Of Poor Gas Mileage?

Take Care Of Your Tires.   After All, They'd Do The Same For You If They Were Sentient And Had Opposable Thumbs

-Driving around this great land of ours, many things can get stuck in the treads of your tires: Rocks, gaudily oversized diamond pinkie rings(if you're driving through a New Jersey bog), and bits of possum carcass, to name just a few.   Resist the urge to collect debris in your treads.   Removing these objects will decrease your rolling resistance and increase your MPG.

-Wildly fluctuating temperatures from one day to the next may be the harbinger of the coming apocalypse, or maybe the weather's fine and your outdoor thermometer is broken.   We just don't know.   However, we do know that it's a good idea to check the pressure in your tires after a sudden change in temperature.   Improperly inflated tires can decrease your car's fuel efficiency and lower the life expectancy of your tires.  

 

- Contrary to popular belief, Mongol warriors in the 13th century did not drive around in cars, pillaging and looting.   In fact, they rode horses.   However,if they did drive cars, you can be certain that they would regularly check for uneven wear patterns and flat spots on their tires.   You should too.   Mongol warriors also wreaked terror and the mass extermination of anyone opposing them.   You should not do this, however.

Washington Watch
Cheney Gets With the Program:  Global Warming Does Exist

Just Doesn't Believe Remedying It Is Economical

News to the VP:  Environmentalism Creates Jobs

Otherwise BWC Employees Are Very Expensive Volunteers

Sydney, Australia, Feb. 23, 2007 - In an exclusive interview today, ABC's Jonathan Karl asked Vice President Dick Cheney about the topic of global warming, a subject Mr.Cheney has rarely addressed in the past. The vice president agreed that the earth is warming but, like President Bush, maintained there is debate over whether humans or natural cycles are the cause, a position that puts the administration at odds with the vast majority of climate scientists.  Complete Story 


More Washington Watch in Driving Change:
Justice Official Bought Vacation Home With Oil Lobbyist
In The News

Consumer Watch: Roadside Assistance Know How For Travelers

If you have ever broken down on the road, you know the benefit of roadside assistance. AAA is probably the first service that comes to mind. But more and more companies want to help you get out of a jam. In this Consumer Watch Report, travel experts size up your options.  Complete Story
Member Specials

Healthy Highways: The Traveler's Guide to Healthy
Eating

BWC Members Receive a 10% Discount

Healthy Highways, from noted food writers Nikki & David Goldbeck, contains listings for 1,900 healthy eateries and natural food stores in the US.

State maps and directions guide you to each one and save gas. Eating low on the food chain is good for you and helps reduce global warming.(More about this on their website.)

Healthy Highways belongs in every glove compartment, suitcase and backpack!

As seen in the New York Times, USA Today, Prevention, Organic Style,Frommer's Budget Traveler and, E magazine.

Go to the
Healthy Highways website and take advantage of your 10% BWC Member discount! Coupon Code: 'BWC'.

Related Links

The Healthy Highways discount was first featured in the  February edition of TravelCool, BWC's monthly travel enewsletter, which you can sign up for now.


Do You Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is?


Fuel
Type

West
Coast

Rocky
Mtn.

Mid
West

Gulf
Coast

New
England

Mid
Atlantic

South

U.S.


Gasoline

2.66

2.25

2.37

2.23

2.36

2.36

2.31

2.36

Diesel

2.79

2.57

2.52

2.50

2.65

2.60

2.48

2.59


BWC Alternative Fuel Report:

Fuel Prices Pull Themselves Up By Their Bootstraps And Continue To Climb

Your Grandfather and Horatio Alger Approve of Fuels' "Scrappy, Never-Say-Die Gumption"

E85 Ethanol Bucks the Upward Trend, Drawing Comments from Old-Timers Everywhere, Noting with Satisfaction that They "Always Knew E85 Couldn't Cut the Mustard"


Fuel
Type

West
Coast

West

Mid
West

North
East

South

U.S.


BioDiesel
B20

2.86

2.64

2.80

2.82

2.50

2.72

BioDiesel
B99

3.22

3.52

N/A

N/A

2.85

3.20

Ethanol
85

2.89

2.22

1.89

3.01

2.25

2.45



National fuel price averages rose over the last two weeks, continuing a month-long trend.  The diesels only rose slightly: B99 Biodiesel, B20 Biodiesel, and Petroleum-Based Diesel inched up $0.01, $0.05, and $0.06, respectively.  Gasoline prices jumped $0.13, while E85 Ethanol, the lone dissenter, dropped $0.11.

Regionally, the large shifts in prices were limited to the West Coast and the Midwest.  West Coast E85 users were treated to a large drop in price, while Midwestern B20 consumers saw their per-gallon rate rise from $2.68 two weeks ago to $2.80 today.

Do you have an unnatural interest in fuel prices? Are you a fanoftables filled with important-looking numbers? If so, we recommend finding a healthier hobby(
getting a group of your friends together and using your breakdancing skills to save your local recreation center, scrapbooking, etc.). Or, you can feed your fetish by checking out BWC's previous Alternative Fuel Report, " Yet Another Reason To Hate Cold Weather: Winter Storms Halt Fuel Price Slide.  However, They Can't Halt The Electric Slide" as published in the February issue of Driving Change .

TRX:  Yes or No:  A Public Utility Gets Bought Out with Environmental Input and Roles Are Reversed

The Environmental Group CERES says "Yes":

This week's announcement that two private equity groups are buying TXU and scaling back its plans to build 11 new coal-fired power plants is a remarkable breakthrough in managing the risks associated with climate change. It's an unprecedented demonstration that the financial world is recognizing the risks involved with the proliferation of new coal-fired power plants in the US and a validation of Ceres long-held position that all investors and companies should be evaluating and mitigating the financial risks from climate change .

As part of the proposed $45 billion buy-out, the equity firms agreed to build only three of the 11 coal-fired power plants that TXU planned for Texas. They also agreed to boost the company's investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy and to support mandatory federal climate change regulations.  Complete Story.

But the Wall Street Journal's Homan Jenkins Says "No"...or at least "Whoa".

You had to be there to know why the TXU deal seems like being there all over again. It was just a decade ago that the tobacco industry and its enemies rolled up to Congress in a smoke-filled limo and dropped off a $368 billion settlement of all outstanding legal and political issues, including federal regulation of tobacco.

Peace was at hand. The cigarette wars were over. The industry had surrendered. On the side of the states and their private trial lawyers was Dickie Scruggs, brother-in-law of Trent Lott, and Hugh Rodham, brother of First Lady Hillary Clinton. Matthew Myers of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids helped negotiate the deal. The American Cancer Society lent its imprimatur. Every lobbyist and law firm in Washington had been retained to sell the package to legislators. Message to Congress: Here is our new tobacco policy. Enact it into law.  Complete Story

More "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is" in Driving Change:

GreenerCars.com Anoints a Pantheon of Good and a Pantheon of Evil: The 12 Greenest Cars and the 12 Least Green Cars of 2007


Brown Goes Green: UPS Drivers Avoid Left-Hand Turns To Increase Fuel Economy



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2007 Better World Club