The freedom of your first driver's license may be exciting, but few things make you feel more trapped than getting behind the wheel with a halitosis-challenged drivers ed instructor, and then sealing the deal at the political-appointee-staffed-DMV--not to mention the depressing fact that your presence on the road makes you another mobile soul sucking up petroleum, polluting the planet, just so you can idle outside the White Hen Pantry Friday night while a bribed college student buys your friends a six-pack to chug in your mom's basement.
But a greener form of driving instruction puts a twist on the initiation rite of learning to drive. Drivers Ed Direct has taught about 10,000 teenagers how to safely steer a hybrid car. The online lessons help you earn a license in the Golden State, the Longhorn State, as well as in Florida and Nevada, where the company advertises on Craigslist. In-car sessions are available around L.A. with a hybrid Toyota Prius or Ford Escape. The company doesn't offer instruction for biofuel cars (but you don't really need that anyway). Founder Blake Mycoskie, a former contestant on The Amazing Race, also runs TOMS shoes, which gives a pair of duds to a needy kid for each pair that you buy.