April 20, 2010

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AAA Watch

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Washington Watch

TravelCool Website of the Month
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AAA Watch
The Faster the Better?

Service Calls, Yes; Neighborhood Safety, Not So Much

AAA Spokesperson Calls Speed Bumps "Raised Potholes"

Speaking as cyclists and parents (and not trying to sound like the old codger down your block who screams at your kids to slow down on their training wheels), we think that it's not a bad idea for motorists to drop their speeds when, say, children or bikes are around.

In our last AAA Watch we reported on the California State Automobile Association's campaign against 25 mph speed limits. Well, it seems that in the meantime AAA had also taken aim at another speed control measure: the speed bump.

Complete Story
In The News
Bike Service is Making Breakdowns Much Easier

by Sam McManis, The Modesto Bee

The Better World Club, which brands itself as an environmentally friendly alternative to AAA, offers its service to cyclists. Complete Story
Member Specials
Sovereign Earth Stainless Steel Water Bottles

Sovereign Earth creates, promotes, and uses its products based on the fundamentals of "reduce, reuse, and recycle."

BWC members can take advantage of a 25% discount on Sovereign Earth products by logging in to the member section of our website and clicking the "Member Discounts" tab at the left.

(Keep your eye out for a special giveaway from Sovereign Earth in our next Kicking Asphalt: Member Payola Edition.) Complete Story

- Most Recent Kicking Asphalt: Member Payola Edition
- Various Member Discounts
- Hotel and Car Rental Discounts
Member Alert
Where Did I Leave That Card?

Don't Worry! You Don't Need One to Get Service

Earth Day celebrates its 40th Anniversary on April 22, a good reminder of why BWC does nearly all of its fulfillment online. Can't find a recent card? Well, that's likely because we, um, didn't send you one. Complete Story
Top Story
You Like Us. . .You Really Like Us!

BWC Surpasses AAA in Twitter Followers

Here's YOUR Chance to Win...an iPad!

Just as actress Sally Field couldn't help herself from brimming with pride when she won her 1984 Oscar, Better World Club can't help but brim with pride now that we have over 6,000 followers on Twitter (we're not quite Ashton Kutcher...yet). But that's more than all of the different AAA regions combined. We've wanted more than anything to have your respect. And now we really feel it. We can't deny the fact that you like us, right now. . .you really like us!

And now the part you're really reading for: Given the outpouring of support we've received from all of you, we want to give you all a chance to feel just as validated. So. Anyone who re-tweets a BWC tweet between now and June 16th, 2010 will be entered in a June 19th drawing to win an Apple iPad. We figured we should give away something at least as cool as Better World. (What can you really do with a gold statue anyway?)

Just retweet "#EARTHDAY @ 40! RT this entire @betterworldclub tweet 2 your followers & you're entered 2 win#Apple #iPad. See BWC Twitter page 4 details" and you'll be entered to win.

The iPad features arsenic free and BFR free display glass, a mercury free and PVC free display, and a recyclable aluminum and glass enclosure. So it's a fitting prize to give away in celebration of Earth Day's 40th birthday.

What's Twitter?

Got it? Sign up. Then visit Better World Club and retweet.

Easy, right? So is following us on Facebook.

Complete Story

BWC Members Without our Insurance Can Be "Cool" And Offset Their Own Emissions...

Better World Club makes it easy to offset your greenhouse gas emissions from flying or driving for the year (for auto insurance customers, the remainder of your auto emissions). Just follow the simple instructions below:

1.) Precisely determine the carbon footprint of your air travel.
2.) Easily and precisely offset the greenhouse gas emissions of your automobile (or to offset the emissions beyond the first 2,000 miles of driving if you are a Better World Club insurance client).

Read Last Issue's Top Story:

- The Dodge Ram Goes Green...er...That is, Green-er

Need To Get Out Of Town In A Hurry?

Try Our Spiffy Multi-Purpose Booking Engine


Seven Planet Eco-Friendly Store

Seven Planet Eco-Friendly Store promotes mindful commerce as a way of thinking and consuming, and as a resurgence of an older movement that necessitated the general stores of the early 20th century. The store's founders espouse the belief that people should only consume when they are in need of something and should always work to purchase the most mindful product available.

Seven Planet promotes, markets, and sells products from the best early stage green and sustainable companies (mindful suppliers) within each of seven industry silos -- apparel, energy, food, health, household, shelter, and travel. To qualify as a mindful supplier, a company must initially meet at least four of seven criteria ( listed here).

Consumers can mindfully address their shopping needs at Seven Planet's online store or at either of two physical stores in Portland, OR or Priest River, Idaho. Locate a store here. Better World Club members can take advantage of a 5% discount at both physical locations by showing their membership cards.
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Washington Watch
Hey, If You're Going to Use That Drill, How About Some Novocaine?
Or Is Obama's Policy One That An Environmentalist Can Love?

OK, Love May Be Too Strong a Word. Accept? Tolerate for a Transitional Period Until Improvements Are Realized?

After All, That's How You Deal With Your Kids, Isn't It?

by Michael Shultz, former Greenpeace City Coordinator for Portland and BWC Employee (statements do not represent the positions of Greenepace)

President Obama's recent announcement on opening up huge areas of America's coastal oceans to drilling predictably drew the ire of both environmentalists and the "Drill baby, drill!" crowd. But given Obama's stated motivation for his decision, no one should be surprised that even the educated and informed disagree on the issue.

So, on what points can rational people on either side of the argument agree?

In the President's words, "the only way this transition will succeed is if it strengthens our economy in the short term and long term."

New drilling should be considered a concession to the reality that transformation doesn't happen overnight, and is also a bridge to a future in which new oil drilling is unnecessary. Obama's announcement certainly has this wide and balanced position in mind.
Complete Story
TravelCool Website of the Month

Eat Out With Conscience
(You'll Feel Better About That Fridge Full of Unused Food From the Co-op)

"You don't pay more to dine green, but the planet pays less when you do." The Green Restaurant Association, a national nonprofit, was founded in 1990 to provide convenient and cost-effective ways for all restaurants to become more environmentally responsible.

The GRA also makes it easy for diners to choose green options for eating out. A tool at the GRA website lets users search among thousands of certified green restaurants.

Start greening your restaurant experience now!

Complete Story

If You Liked That...

Be sure to take a peek at our 'Bodacious Page of Travel Links and Resources'. Our travel links page sports a crazy HUGE number of links, so if you're planning some travel this is a great resource.

Do You Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is?
Statement from U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Toyota's Agreement to Pay Maximum Civil Penalty

National Highway Transportation Safety Administration News Release

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today made the following statement after Toyota Motor Corporation agreed to pay a $16.375 million fine - the largest fine permitted by law - for failing to notify the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of a dangerous pedal defect for almost four months:

"By failing to report known safety problems as it is required to do under the law, Toyota put consumers at risk," said Secretary LaHood. "I am pleased that Toyota has accepted responsibility for violating its legal obligations to report any defects promptly. We are continuing to investigate whether the company has lived up to all its disclosure obligations." Complete Story

Report: Biodiesel tax credit bill expected on Obama's desk by end of May

by Sebastian Blanco, AutoBlogGreen

Things look good for biodiesel in the U.S. Last month, we learned that both the U.S. House and Senate had passed an extension of the $1-per-gallon biodiesel tax credit that lapsed at the end of 2009. Now, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Sander Levin (D-MI), is saying that his goal is to have a bill reinstating that credit on President Obama's desk by the end of May. Complete Story

Understanding the Allure of ‘Drill Baby Drill'

Jonathan Hiskes, Grist.org

President Obama's decision to expand offshore drilling leases seems to affirm the power that the "drill baby drill" battle cry holds in the American energy conversation. Turns out a short, simple, much-repeated slogan holds more currency than detailed policy arguments from clean-energy advocates.

Sean Casten is fond of a Soviet bread-line metaphor: Hungry Bolsheviks standing in line for bread can probably imagine more of the same stale, dry white bread. When they demand more, they'll probably call for more of the same stuff. Because when stale bread is all you've ever known, it's nigh impossible to envision a boulangerie with pastries, bagels, sourdough rolls, all sorts of different and better baked goods. It's a matter of imagination. Complete Story


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