Climate change has been elevated to emergency status, and the young will be the most impacted. In the past, students influenced their parent’s behavior with seat belts, not smoking, and recycling. With electric cars reducing mobile source air pollution, in particular lowering exposure to bicyclists and under-served community residents, students might consider influencing their parents about electric cars. High school students could choose to:
- Become knowledgeable about electric cars and recharging stations so, as with the introduction of the computer and cell phone, they are the expert in the house.
- Explore locations and prices for installing an electric charging station in their garage, on the side of their house, or on a post in their driveway.
- Draw designs for installing an attractive outdoor charging station and build the box and post, perhaps in a vocational class.
- Study car websites to compare prices and battery life for second-hand electric vehicles.
- Understand the design requirements and costs for installing solar panels to charge the electric vehicle.
- Consider saving money to buy a second-hand electric car—perhaps a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle because, if there is no nearby charging station, the car could be filled with gas to get back home.
- Form a club at school and consider electric cars, pollution reduction, or clean energy as a career.
- Push the school to have all electric school buses and organize a fund raising campaign to offset the cost for the buses.
- Become involved with the community and help identify locations to install electric car charging stations in apartment and condominium complexes.
- Search for the best webinars about electric cars and develop a website to let other high school students across the country know about the online resources.
Think of ideas and send them to Anne Lusk at AnneLusk@hsph.harvard.edu. Ideas could include having a webinar, learning materials, or special projects for class credit.