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Energy group starts simply

The people that brought you the free energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs are back. And this time, they want you to focus on your car.

The people that brought you the free energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs are back.

And this time, they want you to focus on your car.

Tomorrow at SuperEX, One Change kicks off its second campaign. Partnering with Natural Resources Canada, the Trillium Foundation and Canadian Tire, One Change: Fuel aims to distribute 13,000 free tire gauges around the nation’s capital through September.

City resident and One Change executive director and founder Stuart Hickox is the first to admit that the campaign already has a lot to live up to.

The Ottawa-based non-profit organization’s first campaign, Project Porchlight, has handed out about 2.4 million bulbs in 500 communities across North America. The organization, which recently achieved charitable status in the U.S. — the application is still in progress in Canada — has 140 full-time employees, and has trained 10,000 volunteers across the continent.

One Change was born in 2005 after Hickox, a self-described “average guy from Ottawa” came across a light bulb statistic.

“If every household in Canada changed one bulb to an energy-efficient bulb, it’s like taking 66,000 cars off the road,” he said.

When it comes to improving fuel efficiency, reducing emissions and making vehicles safer, checking your tires is “the most simple first action you can take,” he said.

If every Canadian driver kept their tires inflated, it would cut 1.4 million tons of greenhouse gases and save $600 million a year in gas, he said.

Oil and filter changes are “the next simple thing you can do to improve your car’s fuel efficiency,” said Hickox.

“Our slogan is ‘simple actions matter,’” he said. “We get people to believe that simple actions matter and they’re more likely to do other things. We get everyone to participate with a simple first action and they can go on to do more. We’re not just changing light bulbs and checking pressure. We’re changing people.”

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