In the past decade, humanity has begun to seriously take note of the impact it’s having on the earth. Such awareness is a part of a larger movement—a movement for sustainability. In our time, this has been a bit of a “buzzword.” People like to use it, to make themselves sound cultured and aware. So I took the liberty of finding a definition. Sustainability refers to being able to be maintained at a certain rate or level, or conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources, according to Merriam-Webster’s New World Dictionary.
Because sustainability is the “cool” trend now, we see a mass of advertisements and products touting their sustainability. Unfortunately, these products often offer little more than planting a tree. But today, I want to talk about a real option: An option that could end our dependence on foreign oil; an option that could halt the irreparable damage done to the ozone every time you drive to class. And, because it is important to look good while you do good, I wish to assure all of you upfront, that this option is indeed “cool.”
If it isn’t already abundantly clear, I am not talking about the Toyota Prius. I am talking about Motor Trend’s 2013 Car of the Year—the Tesla Model S. The first Model S’ were delivered in June, and already they are being hailed as the cars of the future. They give new meaning to the word “sustainable.” The Model S is “the worlds first premium electric sedan,” according to the Tesla site. Unlike the Chevy Volt, or the Toyota Prius, which both contain some form of an internal combustion engine; the Model S is truly electric—in every sense. It gets an EPA estimated 265 miles per charge, assuming you plugged it in before you went to bed—just like you might plug in your iPhone.
So let’s go back to the top and remind ourselves of the definition—sustainability refers to the ability to do something “without depleting our natural resources.” If you’re driving a Tesla, you’re helping to do that. It seems that fully electric vehicles are a viable alternative for the future of the sustainability movement. They don’t use gas, and they look great doing it. It’s time that “sustainability” became something more than a word thrown around by cynical hipsters and CEO’s trying to take our money. It’s time to make a positive change.
If you can’t afford a Tesla, you can still do things around campus to contribute to the cause. First rule of helping out the planet, and the UA, is to toss your stuff in a recycling bin. My friends, it shouldn’t be the hardest thing you do all day to recycle. But, because I know it places a great burden on some of you, I once again took the liberty of scribing a guide. Step one, look up from your cell phone. This step can be the greatest challenge, because it forces you to focus on what is actually happening around you. Step two, find a recycling bin. They’re located handily next to the regular trash cans for those of you who are unaware. Step three, read. Indeed, all you need to do is read the clearly labeled bin and decide what to throw into it.
But if you’re just too cool to recycle, or too ‘Merican to drive an electric car, let me remind you of the potential consequences of such actions. The landfill where all your trash is going will eventually leak toxic garbage juice into the ground water. That ground water could seep into non-ground water. Therefore, if you don’t recycle, you’ll end up drinking toxic trash juice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If something isn’t done to decrease the depletion of ozone, the sun’s harmful rays will microwave you to death far before you have time to be poisoned by toxic trash water. If you don’t jump on the bandwagon, your death is imminent, and it will come sooner rather than later. Take care of the earth, and it’ll take care of you.