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Why Going Carless is Careless
During last Monday’s Congress meeting, it was announced that John Abbott is organizing a day on which neither faculty nor students will be allowed to use their personal vehicle to commute to school. Let me remind you that this ‘eco-friendly’ initiative is being organized by a school that can require you to walk through two whole buildings to get to the nearest compost bin. Personally, I feel this day would create a lot of hassle, with little to no actual positive consequences.
First of all, John Abbott should be concentrating its energy into long-term plans for sustainability instead of one-shot events. Examples of impactful initiatives could be reducing the amount of water that is flushed in the school’s toilets, lowering the quantity of plastic products consumed on campus, or even increasing the abundance of those aforementioned compost bins. These actions could enact change on a daily basis.
Furthermore, students have paid for parking passes with the expectation that they will be able to use them each day they commute to school. Students who live significantly far away from the college will be given exemptions to drive, given that public transit in these areas can often be underdeveloped. However, some students need their cars to get to work immediately after their class, or because they stay at school late for extracurricular activities. So, who are we to say that they can’t use their car to get to school?
I admire John Abbott for attempting to reduce its contribution to CO2 emissions, but banning cars for a day isn’t the way to do it.
Originally Published in Bandersnatch Vol.49 Issue 07 on December 4th, 2019