A Road Trip to Sustainability
- ANTON WATTS
- EVAN SCHAPIRO
4 minute read
There is something so mind-opening, liberating and gratifying about a road trip. Especially a road trip that can make a huge impact by being environmentally-conscious and saving our environment while leaving an imprint as minuscule as possible is even more inspiring. We sent this couple on a voyage in our KONA Electric — out of LA and into the open desert. Our couple found relief, connectedness and a bit more about themselves on this Sustainable Road Trip, and their account was enlightening.
Smog to Solar
A wet and windy winter's day in Los Angeles, and my mind was as crowded as the clouds above the Hollywood sign. It's the season of long lines at gas stations and cash registers. Smog and stress hovered over us. Downtown LA is a beautiful sight — filled with striking architecture and diverse citizens — but today, the hustle of the city left us drained. We needed an escape. We needed to get energized. We gave our car, the eco-friendly KONA Electric, one single charge — 250 miles, zero emissions, and began driving out of the busy, metropolitan city.
We drove deep into the desert. We almost zipped past an old, seemingly abandoned gas station but decided to stop in to experience its new purpose. We needed a few supplies for this desert voyage, and The Station in Joshua Tree was the perfect spot to gear up. The Station is a dreamy shop, filled with outdoor gear, vintage goods and a friendly crew. It indeed functioned as a gas station years ago — oh, how times change!
The beautiful thing about the shop is that the staff loves chatting about their products, art, auto, food, design and California culture. We shared laughs with the crew and bought a pair of vintage binoculars; we received a recommendation for a hike in Joshua Tree where the most beautiful jays often appear — Barker Dam.
We left the shop and laughed as we noticed our KONA Electric parked against The Station's beautiful, vintage gas pumps.
The pumps were now as dry as the desert sands, which was okay by us. We still had a full charge to burn. No gas needed.
Come for the zucchini coffee cake,
stay for Patti's coffee talk.
We didn’t burn fuel when we left The Station,
just a bit of Palo Santo.
We continued down Garnet Road and raised our eyes to another long line. This time, the feeling was sublime, not stressful. I stared at an infinite row of windmills. They rose like monuments in the desert, producing the Coachella Valley's energy as they made their routine revolutions.
I later learned that there are over 4000 separate windmills in the San Bernardino Mountains. And these 4000 simple, beautiful structures provide enough energy to power Palm Springs and the entire Coachella Valley. Energizing. We drove down the valley, and I let my hand ride outside the window, like a wave.
I felt the wind's power. I took a deep breath;
the fresh air whipped across my face. As the sun broke through the clouds, we pulled over. We took it all in.
I raised my head to meet the power of the blazing sun. I recalled that, along our journey, homes, hotels and businesses solar panel-paved roofs. I marveled at the progress we have made in harvesting the elements of the universe. Surrounded by clean energy production and consumption, our place in this landscape just felt right.
Finally breathing easily, we waited for the sun's glow
to wake us for our journey home.
Sustainable Tip #1:
Consider Your Choice Of Vehicle
By choosing a hybrid car, you would help reduce emissions by 50% in comparison to traditional, gas-fueled cars. However, by driving an electric vehicle, you would create zero emissions to help head toward a more sustainable future.
Sustainable Tip #2:
Bring Reusable Items
Instead of creating waste and hurting our planet, why not bring reusable items such as water bottles, bags and utensils? By doing so not only do you save money but most importantly you can help save energy, lessen greenhouse gasses and stop the use of plastic which can take up to 1,000 years to decompose.
Sustainable Tip #3:
Be Environmentally Conscious
While enjoying your trip, if you happen to stumble upon litter or waste, help throw it away in the proper trash, recycle or compost bin. Nature is beautiful, and we need to remember to leave it the way we found it by doing our part in preserving and conserving.