October 21, 2010
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Events/Washington Watch

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AAA Watch
AAA Mid-Atlantic Continues its "War" for Motorists

Rails-to-Trails Mounts a Defense...(OK, It's a Petition Drive. But It's Action!)

Meanwhile, AAA National has yet to Respond on Issue of Reappropriating Highway Transportation Fund Dollars


In an editorial printed in the July/August issue of AAA World, AAA Mid-Atlantic President and CEO Don Gagnon argued that money from the Highway Transportation Fund (HTF) be restricted to highway spending.

His argument doesn't seem so unreasonable given that the HTF is so named, except that, since 1991, Congress has been flexible in its spending from the fund in order to support the development of a multi-modal transportation infrastructure.

As a result of Gagnon's editorial, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a DC non-profit working to create and connect a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines, started a petition campaign to convince AAA National President Robert Darbelnet to disavow Gagnon's stance.

Like Better World Club, Rails-to-Trails supports a diverse transportation investment that encourages and provides for mass transit and active transportation like walking and bicycling. Complete Story
In The News
AAA more cycle-friendly, except where money is concerned

by David Alpert, Greater Greater Washington

"Rails-to-Trails can only ask its members nationwide to push national AAA on this issue. But we live in the AAA Mid-Atlantic region. If you're still a AAA member, switch to the Better World Club."

Complete Story
Member Alert
Couldn't Get Help on the Turnpike? Or so You Claim...

Sometimes it's the Police or an Exclusive Contractor Making the Call

Requests for Reimbursement Must be Submitted within 30 Days of Service


Better World Club members rely on us for peace of mind. There are, however, certain situations -- breakdowns on contract roads, accidents, or when you're obstructing traffic -- in which the police or service providers with exclusive contracts for certain roads are the ones dispatching service to your vehicle. (Don't worry, it builds character. Trust us.)

We'll still be there for you, and we'll reimburse you for any eligible out of pocket expenses. Just remember: claims need to be submitted within 30 days of the date on which you received service. Claim forms are available at the member section of our website. Complete Story
Top Story
Better World Club Fights Global Warming...er...Weirding

A Look at Some of our Recent Carbon Offset Donations


Whether you believe in global warming or not, you have to admit: if the weather isn't getting warmer, it's sure getting weirder. From record highs in Los Angeles to snow in Dallas last winter, all of us need to be paying attention -- and doing what we can.

Better World Club is trying to do our part. We donate 1% of revenue to environmental cleanup and advocacy. Better World Club was the first travel company to offer carbon offsets -- and provides free carbon offsets to our auto insurance clients for their first 2,000 miles of driving. Better World Club also offsets it's own greenhouse gas emissions.

This year, BWC is buying 2,000 tons of greenhouse gas reduction for the Sexton Energy Des Plaines Landfill Methane Recovery and Destruction Project. Methane destruction at farms and landfills is a classic and effective carbon offset project.

The Sexton Energy Des Plaines Landfill Methane Recovery and Destruction Project captures and destroys fugitive methane and other greenhouse gases from a closed former waste handling and disposal (solid waste management) site. Located in northern Illinois near the city of Des Plaines, the Project includes gas collection and power generation systems built by the project proponent, Sexton Energy, LLC, to recover and burn the former waste disposal site's landfill gases, which otherwise would be emitted into the atmosphere and contribute to global warming.

The Project's emission reduction goals are to decrease greenhouse gases resulting from:

1) The capture of the landfill gas from the former waste handling and disposal site, which otherwise would be released into the atmosphere; and,
2) The destruction of the recovered landfill methane in two generators that produce in total about 2,500 kW of electricity per year, which is sold to the local utility, Commonwealth Edison (Com Ed).

Better World Club has also purchased another 750 tons of greenhouse gas offsets from Climate Clean, a carbon offset provider in Portland, Oregon.

Better World Club's purchase of 5.5 million pounds of offsets make it one of the larger US buyers. Thanks for helping us do more to do our part.

Complete Story



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Partners

Green America: Economic Action for a Just Planet

Green America is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1982 that went by the name Co-op America until January 1, 2009. Its mission is to harness economic power -- the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace -- to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.

Their programs empower people to make changes in their personal lives and to join together with others in economic action for a better world based on four powerful strategies:

- Empowering individuals to make purchasing and investing choices that promote social justice and environmental sustainability;
- Demanding an end to corporate irresponsibility through collective economic action;
- Promoting green and fair trade business principles while building the market for businesses adhering to these principles;
- Building sustainable communities in the US and abroad.

Whether pioneering Clean Energy Bonds or organizing the popular Green Festivals in a variety of U.S. cities, Green America is special. Better World Club is proud to share Green America's goal of facilitating a marketplace where more consumers put their money where their values are.

Find out more about Green America's work. Or get involved by joining as a member.



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Events
Come.
Play.
Live.

Come See us at The Ki in San Francisco!


Better World Club is a sponsor of THE KI (key) an innovative, smart-living experiential lifestyle event on Oct. 22-24, 2010 on San Francisco's Treasure Island.

THE KI will join some of the world's most innovative brands (Innovative? Oh, go on. You're embarrassing us...but we'll take it), designers, thinkers, leaders and influencers to share the future of better living.

And, through Better World Club, you can get 50% off the price of regular admission. Just enter "vip" (lower case) as the discount code when you purchase your tickets online. Check out this flyer for details.

Complete Story

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.
Washington Watch
Keep the Supreme Court Out of Politics!

I think that was supposed to be, "Keep Business Out of Politics!"

Same Difference...


In last year's State of the Union, President Barack Obama foresaw the danger of the Supreme Court's Citizen's United case, which opened the floodgates of corporate political spending. When Justice Samuel Alito mouthed that the President didn't know what he was talking about, it caused quite a stir.

Well...this fall's Congressional campaign won't do much to burnish the Court's image as a body of intellectuals.

Spending is out of control. This Supreme Court decision is just going to make it harder for America to get what it needs from responsible businesses.

That's because the money flooding the political system does not represent the views of companies in New Voice of Business or the American Sustainable Business Council, two business groups at which Better World Club President Mitch Rofsky sits on the Board of Directors.

Instead, the money that floods the system will come from organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which alone will spend more than $200M this year. This group and other organizations like it represent companies that don't value what we value.

- They are more likely to defend the industries of the past than the ones that are inventing the future.
- They are committed to environmentally disastrous old energy sources rather than to making America a leader in clean, renewable energy.
- They are multinational giants rather than Main Street businesses that respond to local communities...

Is that the kind of business thinking that we want to dominate our political discourse?

Complete Story

For more on campaign finance, see BWC President Mitch Rofsky's "Quid Pro What? The Supreme Court Has to Recognize Bribery Before It Can Stop It."

Do You Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is?
It's a Start

"NASCAR confirms move to E15 ethanol"


by Dan Piller, DesMoinesRegister.com

NASCAR confirmed earlier reports that it will begin using E15 ethanol provided by Sunoco in its three national series Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Trucks.

NASCAR chairman Brian France was quoted as saying "while fueling the same close, door-to-door racing that thrills our fans, American ethanol creates jobs in the United States, helps foster energy independence and continues the greening of our sport."

Complete Story

Umm, We Could Have Told you That:

"New Study Says Young People Want Apartments, Not Houses; iPhones, Not Cars"


by Lloyd Alter, TreeHugger

It is a theme on TreeHugger that living in walkable communities and dense cities use less energy per capita, and that the auto-centric suburb is perhaps the worst of all planning models if we want to reduce our energy and particularly our oil consumption. But do people really want to live in high density apartments if they have the choice? A new Canadian study indicates that for a number of reasons, more and more people do.

Complete Story

Poll: Two-thirds of Americans unwilling to pay premium for electric vehicles

by Eric Loveday, AutoblogGreen

The vast majority of Americans want to save money on fuel and are more than eager to do their part to help out the environment, but a recent Nielsen poll shows that most are unwilling to pay even a slight premium for a vehicle that promises to eliminate fuel use and motor down the road emissions free.

Complete Story

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