From September 2008 to March 2011, Green Communities Canada’s EcoDriver program operated in twelve Ontario communities promoting fuel-saving behaviors in three core areas: fuel efficient driving, purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles, and driving less. Relying heavily on peer-to-peer communications, this program targeted suburban families through outreach activities like workshops and presentations where participants could learn about fuel-efficient driving habits, tire pressure blitzes, and staffed displays at local events, community centers, and car dealerships. Workshop participants were asked to complete exit surveys and make commitments to the fuel-saving behaviors they would adopt and were offered buttons and bumper stickers that served both as prompts reminding participants of their commitments, and as tools promoting a new social norm. Partnerships with local organizations and media events helped to further expand the reach of program messaging while hands-on learning opportunities strengthened individuals’ sense of self-efficacy as it related to the desired behaviors. Eighty-six percent of program survey respondents reported reduced idling, 69% reported reduced highway speeds, 60% reported reduced hard starts and stops, 52% reported more frequent checking of tire pressure, and 28% reported walking or riding a bike more frequently, corresponding with savings of 265,000 litres of fuel and 635 metric tonnes (635,000 kg) of CO2.
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