Take a 40 Mile Pledge this 40th Earth Day

It’s almost April 22 and to mark 40 years since the first Earth Day, the EcoCAR teams are looking under the hood for inspiration. Many of the EcoCAR vehicles can travel roughly 40 miles on electric power. Conveniently, 70-80% of the population travels less than 40 miles a day. But when it’s time for a weekend getaway, it’s easy to rack up the miles. This Earth Day, we challenge you to take a 40 Mile Pledge! For the rest of 2010, every time you hit the road for a day trip, keep it under 40.

Need inspiration? The EcoCAR teams shared a few of their favorite under-40-mile day trips: 

• From Elizabeth Butler on the Mississippi State team: “With the spring weather having arrived, I grabbed two of my best friends and headed off to the Noxubee Wildlife Refuge in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi. The 14 mile drive to get to this refuge is scenic and beautiful, with cows and fields and an occasional gravel road. Once at the refuge, you can fish, go on nature walks through the woods, or visit the Goose Overlook – our favorite spot. This refreshing escape is well worth the 28 mile trip.”  

Goose Overlook at Noxubee Wildlife Refuge, 14 miles from Mississippi State's campus

 The Georgia Tech EcoCAR team can zip up to Lake Lanier in under 40 miles to go camping, hiking, fishing or out on a boat ride.

• Some of the Penn State team’s favorite under-40 trips include Mount Nittany, which is considered a mandatory hike for any graduate and is only a 15 mile ride on the local CATA bus, which runs on natural gas to boot! Fisherman’s Paradise is another favorite spot, which boasts some of the best fly fishing in the country and is 20 miles from campus. Del Grosso’s Amusement Park, Penns Cave and Tussey Mountain are other local favorites. 

Battery leader Shawn Getty from the Penn State team at Fisherman's Paradise

• Meramec Caverns and Meramec springs – which produces 96,000,000 gallons of water per day! – are a couple of Missouri S&T team’s favorite under-40 daytrips.

• The engineers from Ohio State’s team go to the nearcy Mohican State Park for hiking, canoeing, camping and other outdoor activities. There also have a few in-town “getaways” like the Easton Towne Center for shopping and dining, the Columbus Zoo and the vibrant neighborhoods of Columbus like the Short North, German Village and Arena districts.

• For a short getaway, the University of Victoria team heads out to Butchart Gardens – 55 acres of historic gardens – Sombrio Beach for surfing or to Sooke Potholes Regional Park for a swim in natural pools carved into the bedrock. Just a short sail (zero gas!) from campus is Salt Spring Island, where the team hears live music and checks out the work of local artists.

Natural pools at Sooke Potholes Regional Park near the UVic campus

Want to take the Challenge? Try an online map radius tool, like this one, to show you what’s within 40 miles of your city. 

Happy Earth Day!