The Youngreen group, from German School Corcovado, has been doing environmental projects in the city of Rio de Janeiro since 2012. This year we were glad to participate in the Renault initiative and created the "Green Ride" carpooling system.
Considering the CO2 emissions in the atmosphere, violence in the streets and the heavy traffic in the school neighborhood, we discussed ways of decreasing the amount of cars on their way to school while securing a safe ride or walk for the students. The present system involves an underground garage where the parents drop off and pick up their children. The problem with this is that they have to wait in line on the street. Every day parents get stressed while taking their children to school because of the heavy congestion. Staying in line also subjects them to traffic penalties, since it blocks the flow of movement in the preferential bus lane where the garage's entrance is located.
For our project we created a “Green Ride” carpooling system, based on an already existing principle in Germany, where cars with spare seats offer the vacant place to someone going in the same direction.
In order to gather information, we did research and conducted surveys in the classes. We found out that the majority of the students go to school by car and most of them would gladly give a ride to classmates. Buses are not the preferred transport option because of the lack of safety in our city. Therefore, we decided to promote a carpooling system for our school, where students arriving from the same neighborhoods could agree upon a common route, which would make the traffic near the school more effective and safe.
Our project’s target audience would be the 7th to 12th grade students of our school. We have been sending emails to the pupils’ parents to inform them of our project and ask for their permission and contribution. Telephone numbers will be exchanged among those who live nearby and have a positive response to our initiative. The Youngreen group will be responsible for the matches between the applicants. In order to have a more efficient system, we developed forms for the parents to fill out with their contact information.
We hung posters around the school to make students aware of the “Green Ride” project and talked about it in class. The school community supports our idea and the student council gave us very positive feedback.