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Climate Programs that Create Lasting Change

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Reliability Study: A Message from our Founder

We are a small and nimble non-profit organization. We develop and deliver programs, initiatives and collaborations that create meaningful and lasting change. Our finger is on the pulse of the newest – and most important – carbon mitigation solutions that consumers can take, from the adoption of electric vehicles to heat pumps to energy efficiency solutions and more. If we happen upon issues and challenges in the market, we address them head-on and work with speed and tenacity to develop creative solutions.

California leads the nation in EV adoption, in no small part to Governor Newsom’s bold climate-focused actions. When I served as Governor Newsom’s EV policy advisor during his gubernatorial campaign, it became clear that a significant issue in EV transition was consumer misperceptions.

To address the issue, Cool the Earth developed a national non-profit collaborative effort, Ride and Drive Clean to educate drivers. We have extensive user-focused experience with open-system public charging including DC Fast (DCFC), working with thousands of members of the public as well as with cities, agencies, NGOs, utilities and CCAs. Unfortunately, our constituents frequently have encountered charging stations that were not functional. We have experienced the issues ourselves.

To try to understand the extent of the problem, we collaborated with a Professor Emeritus from UC Berkeley in the design and execution of a data-driven Bay Area field study. Cool the Earth also provided funding for the study.

Despite existing reliability challenges in some of the public charging networks, EVs are ready for many drivers today. Most EVs now can drive 250 miles on a single charge at a fraction of the cost of gasoline. With data in hand, we believe the industry can begin to make improvements to the charging infrastructure that will meet all drivers’ expectations.

See the study:
Reliability of Open Public Electric Vehicle Direct Current Fast Chargers

Carleen Cullen

Founder and Executive Director

Who We Are

Since 2007 we’ve engaged children and parents with our K-5 climate education program in schools nationwide. In 2019, in order to increase our collective impact on climate, we expanded our focus to clean energy and transportation and launched Drive Clean Bay Area, now Ride and Drive Clean, inspiring electric vehicle adoption through community, workplace, and consumer engagement.

Experts Agree on Health and Climate

Dr. Brandy Beazley, DPN, RN, interviews Carleen Cullen, Founder and Executive Director of Cool the Earth, about improving public health and fighting climate change.

This 10-minute video podcast includes an update from Carleen about Cool the Earth’s co-sponsorship of a recent study on EV charging infrastructure.

Climate Change Programs: Scaled Behavior Change Solutions

Our programs are based on Community-Based Social Marketing strategies. We focus not just on the “what and why” but also the “how and now.” We are data-centric and produce tangible results.

Two national grassroots programs:

Ride and Drive Clean is a national campaign to accelerate EV adoption. With over 100 partners, including cities, agencies, utilities, regional NGOs and national NGOs, our collaboration has influenced thousands of drivers to switch to electric. Cool the Earth is the architect and backbone of the collaboration.

Adopt a Polar Bear is a K-5 schools program educating kids about climate change and motivating families to take specific actions to reduce their carbon footprint.

Online Learning


500,000+ people

Electric Car, EV


323,000 carbon-saving actions

Earth, Globe


31 states, 5 countries

Golden Gate Bridge, California

Ride and Drive Clean

In 2019 Cool the Earth established Ride and Drive Clean, (formerly Drive Clean Bay Area), a nonprofit collaboration committed to clean air, a cool planet, and a just and equitable future for all. Cool the Earth is the backbone for the campaign, providing services such as database management, communications and marketing, program development, and partner collaboration. Through education, behavior change programs, car shows, test drive events and peer-to-peer programming, we motivate individuals replace their gas car with an EV.

The EV transition must be inclusive of all communities. We offer programming, such as financial workshops, for those in our communities of concern, and expert advice on how to charge at home if you live in a multi-family building.

Our work doesn’t stop when a car is purchased. We offer advanced workshops for new EV drivers, with expert advice on utilizing clean energy and charging at home, work or on the road.

Adopt a Polar Bear

Adopt a Polar Bear is a fun and empowering online program for students in grades K-5. The program teaches children about climate change and empowers them to lead their families in taking climate action around transportation and clean energy.

Our online program is an adaption of our in-person school assembly program that has been running for 13 years. Our free program is run by school volunteers and is open to all. It is available in English and Spanish and for all communities, including low income and disadvantaged schools.

Adopt a Polar Bear Program for kids