a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

Tree-hugging roadside assistance? Who knew? Now you do, so it’s time to wake up and smell the petroleum – AAA is not only old news, it’s bad news, with a long history of lobbying against any and all auto alternatives like mass transit, bicycle paths and even the Clean Air Act.

Better World Club, roadside assistance and travel service jumped out of the auto-industry supporting box, bringing travelers an intelligent way to improve their “car-ma”. Two boyhood friends from Ohio survived the ’60’s, worked their way through law school, did some other worldly stuff and eventually created a company that is un-paving a way to better travel. Better World not only offers all the traditional roadside services with generally lower rates, but members receive discounts on hybrid and bio-diesel rentals as well as other types of eco-travel. They also offer Roadside Bicycle Assistance, Auto Insurance and family membership prices for domestic partners.

Ok, so BW won’t bail you out of jail, but you get the benefit of knowing that they are actively promoting “low impact, responsible travel through partnerships with companies who share their philosophy and commitment to protecting the planet” and donate 1% of revenues to environmental clean up and advocacy. They are supporters of the Pay As You Drive (PAYD) insurance initiative, even showing up to testify in it’s favor before the Oregon House Transportation Committee. PAYD programs will encourage less miles on the road (studies project as much as a 20%decrease) but could result in fewer new roads and fewer accidents.

It gets even, uh, Better. Members booking flights or becoming BW-insured, receive free carbon offsetting and are encouraged to make donations towards additional offsetting of personal energy use.

If you’re already a member of another roadside service, you can still join now and become an active member of Better World Club the day your old (smelly) service expires. Call now or visit them at

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  1. Jason Says:

    Great tip! I joined BWC about a month ago after learning that AAA lobbies for oil, gas, and transport.

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