New Year Resolution for a EcoFit Planet Through Recycling Our Ride
I didn’t consume planetary sized portions this seasons. However, I decided to go on
a diet – a low carbon one.
Looking at our common waste size, it’s clear we could all examine our lifestyles and
get even more lean eliminating some luxury.
One luxury is a vehicle I obtained mainly for transporting things and when running
late deciding to forego the bus to conveniently ride. Almost a decade ago, I wrote a
column noting I buried my car for Earth Day. I lived years without turning a single
Then a couple of years later, a friend of mine, Ohana, found a car for sale just sitting
there with the potential to balance steering and saving the planet. I purchased a
Mercedes Benz turbo diesel. I only fed the behemoth beast benz a diet of alternative
fuels made by friends at Pacific Biodiesel.
My New Years Resolution many moons later is to finally get rid of an ecological
experiment of truth as Gandhi would refer to and I affectionately dubbed the ’85
GOrby Rolihlahla. I named the car after Gorbachev for his vision to launch Green
Planet and earlier endeavor of perestroika as well as it looked like a vehicle leaders
of Russia would be chaufered around the Communist Capitol. Rolihlahla meaning
“pulling the branch of the tree” or “troublemaker” is to honor Nelson Mandela vision
of being strong in the face of all adversity.
To have a biodiesel benz in the belly of the beast of fossil fuels would need such
a strong name. It also was a rally call when inserting the key, GoGoRolihlahla
Rolinhlahla, and watch the wheels roll and roll without contributing to climate
I have decided to continue the mantra of Jack Johnson, Reduce Reuse & Recycle even
with the benz. I recycled it to a local charity. I am attempting to get by again with
only walking, biking and busing.
I will continue now to balance without what the American dream says I need. I
didn’t want to be addicted again. Actually using alternative transportation is great
on many fronts such as health, friendships and financial to name a few. It is amazing
how wonderful life can still be without an automobile. So, the question arises in
America? Does each individual really need an automobile?
There are also alternative methods being born to share vehicles when people really
need to. That is exciting and balancing our needs with what our world demands
today. We can also carpool too.
On the first day back to work in the New Year, I decided to carpool. One joy of
journeying with others is music selection. I was fortunate enough to have the
country music station entertaining my ears. During the drive, there was a contest
asking listeners the question of what 40,000 things are on our highways across
the country. I was watching beauty of Hawaii out the window and then all of the
people in the car began to guess. Two agreed the answer had to be gas stations.
Interestingly enough the answer was electric vehicles. Wow, if our country stations
are plugging into electric facts, maybe, we are ready as a nation.
Every year there is an article or news story stating that the electric car is confirmed
dead. By now, more and more Americans are aware of the true story to eliminate
this fleet decades ago due to documentary films. The rev of a real revolution could
be upon us.
Of course every choice has some consequences.
Electricity isn’t entirely clean. Unless, you have the ability like one of my close
friend. He just told me he is purchasing a Chevy Volt. He just had twins. He said it
was a catalyst for continuing to select sustainable choices. He is already way ahead
of the average citizen with solar panels on his roof as his most recent purchase.
However, he also loves his American cars.
He compromised so his children won’t have to in the future. More importantly,
when he shared his decision, there was no compromise in his voice –only conviction
of a proud parent and caretaker of our planet. He said, “Just think my children will
never know gas in their lives. They will say daddy don’t forget to plug in the car.”
Change is possible and also positive in our lives.
In a couple of years, I might pen a new column when I purchase an E MiniCooper.
Maybe, I just won’t be able to resist its sleek look and superior power or it will be
difficult to get around to do most basic activities in the land of Aloha. Or I will start a
new initiative with sharing alternative fuel vehicles across Hawaii. Will let you know
the next footstep in my journey of ecological experiments of truth.