Toyota sponsors Neshaminy teacher’s road trip

More stories from Ashley Reiss


Mr. Maloney and his fiancé, Lea, get ready to start their engine.

“How far will you take it” is Toyota’s slogan for its new Hybrid Rav4, a slogan that Neshaminy AP Environmental Science and Biology teacher, James Maloney, brought to life with his fiance, Lea, on a cross-country trek. He wished to view as many national parks as possible on his trip of the United States that started in June of 2016 and ended in July.

Prior to the trip, Maloney contacted numerous car companies hoping to find a car. While numerous car companies supported the idea, only Toyota volunteered to help. They agreed to donate a brand new Hybrid Rav4 for Maloney’s trip because their slogan matched what he wished to do.

The official partnership took place in late May, and on June 6 Maloney had a new Hybrid Rav4 that he could use to fulfill his long-standing dream and test the validity of Toyota’s slogan.

Maloney always had an interest in the outdoors; he enjoys hiking, mountaineering and birding, and many other outdoor activities. He has a Master’s Degree in Zoology, as well as a Master’s Degree in Education.

His outdoor interests are evident in his aspiration to trek across the nation, not only to bask in the beauty of the world but also to take a critical look at the plight of the environmental landscape.

“I was impressed with the magnitude of some areas of the country and the expansive views, high peaks, iconic structures and waterways,” Maloney said.

With the beauty Maloney was able to take in, also came the realization of how much hurt people are unleashing and how it drastically changes the landscape.

As an environmental teacher, he stresses the adage, “Think Global, Act Local.” “Protecting the environment does not mean that every wooded area can be a National Park.” Instead, “We need to be stewards for our own pieces of wilderness, which starts with personal actions,” Maloney said.

These personal actions start with everyone “holding themselves accountable for their actions; then change will occur,” Maloney said.

Throughout his trip, Maloney noticed several concerning issues. “There are invasive species threats out west, but they make a more concerted effort to minimize their transfer and impact on the environment. The biggest observation was the connection of human settlements with water. Water is the ultimate limiting factor of the ecosystems and when it is present, the area shows its presence,” Maloney said.

Maloney, through the work of Neshaminy, wishes to be more proactive with implementing ways to aide in our most basic environmental concerns. “We can eliminate single use plastic bottles, we can recycle more, and we can stop disrespecting the area by littering,” Maloney said. “I want to see Neshaminy’s campus be a model for practicality and sustainability.”

According to Maloney, making environmental consciousness the norm would foster monumental changes for our planet and would eradicate the wasteful thinking that we have grown accustomed to.

“The trip was everything I could have asked for. I would do it again in a heartbeat; there is still so much more of the country to see,” Maloney said.

Maloney’s partnership with Toyota did not stop with the return of the Hybrid Rav4 in August. Toyota agreed to fund the students of Neshaminy High School 10,000 dollars for projects associated with the themes of the trip.