Help your child save a gallon

By February 24, 2011

By Christal Waters

Special to The Enterprise

Do you remember “Saveagallon”? Does your child log miles on the Davis schools contest on the Saveagallon website?

Last fall we reported on the contest open to all Davis Joint Unified School District students to “save a gallon” and earn prizes by logging their alternative transportation miles to school and elsewhere in the city on the website http://www.saveagallon.org. Though the contest has loyal followers, we’d like to see more participation, as our numbers are lower than last year’s. It’s not too late for students to enter the contest and be eligible for monthly prizes, ranging from ski and snowboard rentals to bike computers, bike glow lights and comic book collections.

And there are the big end-of-year prizes, including an iPod Touch, a $200 gift certificate to a Davis bike shop of the winner’s choice and a $50 Game Stop gift certificate. Saveagallon gurus Tim Starback and Phil Cox even make it easier for you to catch up with the loyal followers by awarding karma points for daily logging. Some members earned extra karma points by submitting bicycle videos in January. View the videos of these talented producers of public service announcements at http://www.saveagallon.org/VideoContest2011.

Back to the contest: Last January, the contestants saved 404 gallons of gas and 4 tons of CO2. This year’s numbers are 227 gallons and 2 tons, down more than 40 percent. What gives, Davis students? Don’t you want to do something about global warming? Don’t you care about polar bears? What about those fabulous prizes?

We heard there are kids who don’t have time or forget to log their miles every day. We are testing a solution at Birch Lane Elementary School. Tim has developed a system for logging Saveagallon miles and assuring parents that their student is at school. Saveagallon students at Birch Lane will be given a wrist bracelet with a bar code. When the bar code is scanned, the student’s mileage to school is logged on Saveagallon and the parent is notified by e-mail, text or phone message that the student has arrived on campus.

No more remembering to log miles, and parental worry if their student arrived safely is substantially reduced. Davis Bicycles! is purchasing a scanner and wants to introduce it at other schools if there is interest. Let us know! In the meantime, if you or your student attend any other school, log on to saveagallon.org to participate.

Spring Bike Loopalooza: Save May 22 for the second annual Bike Loopalooza. This family-oriented bike ride showcases the Davis Bike Loop’s proximity to schools. This year’s event will feature 11 stations on the bike loop between 0.5  and 1.75 miles apart. Families can check in at any of the stations to obtain a passport. We ask for a small donation to defray the costs of the insurance and printing.

With passport in hand, families can stop at the stations, get the passport stamped and participate in fun activities at each station. Prizes will be given for kids who have at least three passport stamps, and the highly valued certificate of completion will be given to each child who completes the full 12-mile circle. Last year, we issued 61 certificates to children ranging from 6 years to junior high school age.

Mark the date on your calendar. More specifics will be provided closer to the date.

— Christal Waters is a Davis resident who is active on the Davis Bicycles! School Committee. Reach her at [email protected] To offer a Davis Bicycles! column, write to Matt Biers-Ariel or Mont Hubbard at [email protected] or log on to http://www.bikedavis.info to see instructions for authors.

Special to The Enterprise

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