On Friday, as I was driving my gas guzzling 4WD shopping (I know, eco-hypocrite), I passed by a high school in town releasing students for the day. Looking at the school bus, pedestrians, cyclists, and cars packed with teenagers, I reminsiced what it was like to be that age when everyone didn’t own their own car and transportation was challenge.
I know what you are thinking, how could we learn anything from teenagers? The age where kids are obnoxious, think they know more than adults, commit serious fashion mistakes that they somehow think are cool, and oh yes, want to be with their friends more than their family. It is exactly this last item that we can learn from…avoiding reliance on their parents to usurp their independence makes them eco-friendly when it comes to transportation.
Every time you see a car with teenagers in it, it is full. Teenagers carpool. They want to be together, not all of them have drivers’ licenses or cars, and they need to split the gas costs.
Teenagers ride buses. Where school bus transportation is available, buses are packed. As a teenager myself, we rode city buses to go downtown for the day. Public transportation was our friend.
Teenagers cycle and walk. Again, the limitations of their driving age and wealth create the necessity for these greener forms of getting around.
If we could go back to our youth or copy today’s children’s transportation habits, we could do a lot to curb our own personal contributions to climate change.
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