Welcome to the new Green Tortoise 'Crawler Chronicle,' our monthly newsletter! Sammy
Tortoise Wing Green Tortoise Crawler Chronicle Tortoise Wing April 2007   
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In this Issue ...
Click on a headline to jump to the story.
Welcome Message: Happy Earth Day
The Tortoise Gets Greener: Two New Eco Initiatives
Sammy's Choice: Green Tortoises and Green Apples
Make Every Day Earth Day!
Friends of the Tortoise: Crooked Trails
Green Tortoise Adventure Travel
Canyons of the West
April 20 - April 29

"I liked the fact that we could see the places everybody knows (Grand Canyon, Bryce) but also more confidential ones that only the drivers seem to know. "

Mylene Maida, France

"I really appreciated that you guys catered to people with healthy food preferences and even vegetarians."

Kristofer Logan, USA

Southern Dream
Cross Country
May 12 - May 25

"Very well planned out! We always arrived in places in perfect timing thanks to two wonderful bus drivers!"

Cora Hennessey, Ireland

Green Tortoise Adventure Travel
  494 Broadway
  San Francisco, CA 94133 USA
U.S. and Canada:
   1.800.TORTOISE
(1.800.867.8647)
San Francisco and Worldwide:
  001.415.956.7500
e-mail:
tortoise[at]greentortoise.com
Website:
www.greentortoise.com
Co-op America
Copyright 2007 Green Tortoise Adventure Travel

Welcome Message: Happy Earth Day

The official flag of Earth Day

Spring is in the air, and here at the Adventure Travel Office that means we're diligently gearing up for another busy, safe, and fun summer travel season! This summer we're offering a greatly expanded catalog of trips, so whether you're looking for the perfect weekend getaway or an affordable way to spend a month exploring the best of the U.S.A., including the unspoiled wilderness of Alaska, be sure to visit us online at www.greentortoise.com before you make your summer travel plans. And as this issue of the Crawler Chronicle highlights, the Green Tortoise isn't simply the most fun and affordable choice in adventure travel, but we're also striving to be the most eco-friendly.

- Join us on our journey to Alaska this summer! The maximum number of passengers on this expedition is now set at 28.
- Our recently revised Western Trail now includes Zion!
- Can you get to Cancun by this Sunday? Half off on our Pyramids and Playas trip!
- Rather stay in the states? Join us on our Canyons of the West trip on April 20th for $75 off! You must book by April 11th.

As many of you know, on April 22nd the world celebrates Earth Day, a holiday intended to inspire awareness of and appreciation for the Earth's environment. More than 500 million people observe Earth Day in 175 countries each year.[1] In keeping with the spirit of Earth Day, this summer we'll be running our fleet partially on biodiesel fuel, which is derived from biological sources such as vegetable oils. In addition, we're partnering with Carbonfund.org, a "carbon offset" program that helps mitigate the climate impact of our trips. We're also forging new alliances with eco-friendly travel organizations -- be sure to check out this month's "Friend of the Tortoise," Crooked Trails, a non-profit organization that seeks to improve cultural, ecological, and economic conditions around the world by changing the way people travel.

Finally, thank you to everyone who submitted ideas for our Name the Bus contest! The response has been overwhelming, and we've thoroughly enjoyed the creative and inspired ideas you've come up with; in fact, we're still mulling over the choices. Stay tuned ...

1. "Earth Day" Wikipedia. URL accessed March 31, 2007.

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The Tortoise Gets Greener: Two New Eco Initiatives

Biodiesel Quick Facts:
- German engineer Rudolph Diesel invented the first diesel engine in 1893 and built it to run on peanut oil.
- Biodiesel is non-toxic, renewable, biodegradable in water, produces fewer emissions and has a more pleasant odor than petroleum diesel.
- Biodiesel produces fewer airborne particulates and lower carbon emissions than petroleum diesel.
- The biodiesel we use is made from virgin soybean oil; the soybeans are grown in the Midwestern U.S.A.

The Green Tortoise has always been one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly ways to take a summer road trip -- a Green Tortoise sleeper coach gets over 200 passenger miles per gallon for most trips, and once our new coaches hit the road this summer, our fuel economy will be even better. But we're taking things a couple steps further. This summer we're adopting two new green business practices: we'll be running our buses on a biodiesel blend fuel, and offsetting the carbon dioxide emissions from the trips we run.

This week our first biodiesel bulk delivery arrives from Golden Gate Petroleum, which distributes biodiesel manufactured by AGP (a farmer-owned cooperative) and Bay Biodiesel. The blend we'll use is called "B20," an abbreviation for a mixture of 20% biodiesel and 80% petrodiesel. We will blend the fuel at our Oakland bus facility, and refuel with B20 as much as possible along the way.

Carbonfund.org Logo - Green Tortoise

With inspiration and a lot of number-crunching provided by our driver Matty West, this summer we're also going to partner with Carbonfund.org, an organization dedicated to reducing the threat of climate change by supporting climate-friendly, "carbon offset" projects. Offsetting carbon is the practice of reducing and/or sequestering carbon dioxide emissions generated by one's home, office, commute, travel, and other emissions-causing activities. By supporting a variety of projects such as renewable energy, reforestation, and energy efficiency we hope to make our trips completely carbon neutral!

Here's how it works: for every 1,000 miles traveled, the per-passenger cost to make the trip carbon-neutral with Caronfund.org works out to be $1.00. Plus, the Green Tortoise will match your voluntary contribution to this cause. So, for example, a Southern Dream Cross-Country U.S.A. trip, which covers roughly 5,000 miles, costs $5.00 per passenger to be carbon neutral. With our matching program, this works out to be a $2.50 voluntary passenger contribution. Passengers can also choose to offset the entire amount themselves; we'll match that amount as well, for an even greater contribution to the carbon offset fund!

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Sammy's Choice: Green Tortoises and Green Apples
The Green Tortoise at the Green Apple Music and Arts Festival

Green Apple Music and Arts Festival

The Green Apple Music & Arts Festival is "the nation's largest celebration of Earth Day." The purpose of the festival is to promote environmental awareness with live music, educational outreach and cultural events. This year's event will take place April 20 – 22, in the beautiful cities of New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. On Earth Day itself (April 22), each city will host free, daytime events for all ages in world-famous parks -- New York's Central Park, Chicago's Lincoln Park, and San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

In addition, there will be more than 200 performances in 80 different venues throughout the three days. These performances include everything from well-known acts at famous clubs to more intimate performances at smaller venues. Throughout the weekend, the festival also features the Green Apple Kids Concerts, so even the youngest Earth-astronauts can celebrate and learn to be environmentally conscious too.

Other San Francisco Earth Day events:
- California State Parks Earth Day 2007 Restoration and Cleanup
April 21, 2007, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm.
Participate in park and community garden enhancement projects such as planting native plants and fruit trees, weeding, mulching, and general garden cleanup.
2007 Earth Day Volunteer Sites
- Slow Food Feast of Fools
and Friends

April 22, 2007, 7:00 p.m. onward
Join fellow foodies for a celebration of the Slow Food movement and enjoy a gourmet feast made entirely from locally grown, hunted and gathered ingredients, including wine and dessert!
CounterPULSE

With the support of its sponsors, the Green Apple Festival has a goal of zero waste. This means that venues will use eco-friendly cups, garbage bags, etc. Also, the festival will be carbon-neutral, meaning that carbon emissions produced by the festival will be offset! There will also be plenty of information available concerning big environmental issues and organizations. Volunteers are welcome too.

The Green Tortoise will be on hand at the Green Apple Festival in Golden Gate Park on April 22nd. We'll show off one of our new, even more environmentally friendly sleeper-coaches. Come by to say hello, take a look inside, and learn more about how we put the "Green" in Green Tortoise!

For more information about the Green Apple Festival, check out them out at: www.greenapplefestival.com

For a list of events in your area, visit the official Earth Day website at http://www.earthday.org.

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Make Every Day Earth Day

Make every day Earth Day! Whether you're a local or a visitor, these ongoing San Francisco Bay Area events and activities will inspire you.

Save the Bay: Discover the Bay Outings and Habitat Restoration Programs
Learn about the ecology of the San Francisco Bay while you kayak, canoe, plant native plants and remove invasive species, hike, bird watch, and experience all the natural beauty the Bay Area has to offer!

http://www.savesfbay.org

Nature in the City
Plug in to local habitat restoration projects, learn about community stewardship, find out where to buy native plants for your backyard garden, and link up with like-minded people in your neighborhood.

http://www.natureinthecity.org/

Bay Nature Hikes, Greenbelt Alliance Outings, Wonders and Wanders
Take a hike with Bay Nature or Greenbelt Alliance, or check out Greenbelt Alliance's Wonders and Wanders page to discover trails and wilderness areas near you.

http://www.greenbelt.org/getinvolved/outings/index.html
http://www.baynature.com/events.html

Friends of the Urban Forest Saturday Tree Plantings
Friends of the Urban Forest wants to plant trees in your neighborhood! Call (415) 561-6890, extension 103 to request a tree, or join them for a Saturday tree planting and potluck lunch.

http://www.fuf.net/volunteering/index.html

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Bike Rides and Events
See the city on two wheels and learn about the ecology and history of San Francisco, or just enjoy the good company and spectacular scenery!

http://www.sfbike.org/?chain

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Friends of the Tortoise: Crooked Trails

Crooked Trails - Travel with a purpose

Crooked Trails is a non-profit, community-based travel organization helping people broaden their understanding of the planet and its diverse cultures through education, community development, and responsible travel. They work in conjunction with indigenous people around the world facilitating cultural exchanges that allow visitors and hosts opportunities to share in each other's lives.

Read more about the incredible work they do and see the complete list of the countries they travel to online at: http://www.crookedtrails.com/

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Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

John Muir

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Copyright 2007 Green Tortoise Adventure Travel