Driving for Green: Alternative Fuels and Greater Efficiency Have Fleet-Management Practices on the Road to Increased Sustainability

By Getz, Dale; Lonn, Dana R. et al. | Parks & Recreation, April 2008 | Go to article overview

Driving for Green: Alternative Fuels and Greater Efficiency Have Fleet-Management Practices on the Road to Increased Sustainability


Getz, Dale, Lonn, Dana R., Nuthals, Katy, Parks & Recreation


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

With its reputation as a leader in eco-consciousness, it's no surprise that Seattle was one of the first American cities to turn to biodiesel to power its fleet of municipal vehicles. In fact, when the city adopted its official Environmental Management Plan nearly 10 years ago, one of its foundational commitments was to "achieve an overall reduction in air emissions produced by city vehicles and to reduce the amount of fossil fuels purchased and used for vehicles."

Since that time, says Jamie Kaiser, the city's acting fuel manager, Seattle has made good progress toward its goal of "greening" its fleet, including moving to cleaner fuels, introducing more efficient vehicles into the existing fleet, and retrofitting those trucks responsible for the greatest pollution with devices that control their emissions.

Today, all of the city's diesel-operated tanks are converted to a minimum of B20, which means the fuel is 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum-based diesel fuel. Some have gone to B40, a higher concentration of biodiesel, and Kaiser says eventually all of the tanks and fuel facilities will be converted to B40.

"We started converting to B20 years ago," says Kaiser, "but we lost a lot of money in waste. The product wasn't what it is today. We'll go from tank to tank until we've converted all the diesel machinery to B40."

Managing and maintaining a fleet of more than 3,000 vehicles, Kaiser and her colleagues lead a number of green initiatives, including the conversion and purchase of a number of CNG, or compressed natural gas, vehicles, and a fleet "right-sizing" program that targets reducing the number of vehicles used by the city.

"Most of our new smaller vehicles [use] alternative fuels," says Kaiser. "And we have cut down the use of larger vehicles when not absolutely necessary. We even have Segway [scooters] for some of our uses."

In the early going, Kaiser says she experienced a bit of resistance to the change from some "die-hard employees," but that "little by little, we have won over most of them."

Overall, it's the right thing to do for the environment, says Kaiser. Plus, she adds, it makes sense in terms of fuel efficiency and helps to continue advancing the city's well-deserved image as a leader in sustainable practices.

Fueling the Green Doctrine

The next several years will be interesting ones for public park and recreation maintenance operations across the United States, as concerns surrounding the environment and global warming continue to grow.

As stewards of the natural environment, park and recreation professionals are committed to providing programs to better society. Just as new equipment and strategies are helping to streamline operations, newer technologies are being studied and looked at to help lessen our impact on the environment.

Today, petroleum-based gasoline and diesel fuels are the most prevalent energy sources used to power equipment and fleets of vehicles. However, when an emphasis is placed on reducing emissions and increasing fuel capacity, there are several other options available to consider.

It's important to note that while many of the following technologies will assist agencies in becoming more sustainable, they will also increase operating budgets. In addition, the logistics of a supply source for alternative fuels can be a limiting factor.

While many states are in the process of adopting or considering legislation to advance green initiatives, many still face issues when it comes to making sources more readily available for the general public.

LP/CNG

Liquid propane and compressed natural gas are viable alternatives for gas-powered vehicles. It is relatively easy to convert gas engines to operate on LP or CNG, and many manufacturers are building equipment that is LP/CNG-ready--everything from mowing equipment to trucks and tractors. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Driving for Green: Alternative Fuels and Greater Efficiency Have Fleet-Management Practices on the Road to Increased Sustainability
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.