The Sustainability Rush

The other night we were driving up 8th Avenue, and there was a backup of cars down the street. It was a gas line. There are ten gas stations left in Manhattan, and one of them is on 216 Street. With development, the demise of gas stations in NYC has been accelerating for years. There are now multiple parking garages with electric charging stations, changing the game.

For countless years we have been watching the push/pull between Government and institutional changes that were bound to take place. The lobbyists pushed the car industry as far as it could to remain in the business of gas-guzzling cars. Regardless of what you think about Elon Musk, he changed the industry. Tesla forced every car company to move quickly into electric vehicles. However, they espoused for years how much it would cost, how they weren’t ready, blah, blah, blah, and boom, Tesla eats up market share, gas prices soar, and each car company has announced that they are making the shift much sooner than anyone expected. Classic tale.

Buildings are going carbon neutral as they should. The environmental impact of building new construction is enormous. In the US, buildings account for 40% of greenhouse emissions. The new generation of architects cares about the environment and shakes things up.

The growth of local produce is accelerating on top of buildings. People are more conscious about what they are eating.

Fashion production makes up 10% of the world’s carbon emissions and pollutes the water supply. Over 80% of all textiles go to the dump each year. Washing many of these clothes sends microplastics into the ocean. The throwaway culture is changing with Generation Z forcing the fashion industry to change.

The shift to alternative energy has been a slow crescendo. Thanks to Russia, the transition is accelerating. Perhaps thanks to Covid, the awareness and accountability have taken a front seat. These changes around saving our planet come from private citizens forcing change. As usual, it is not our Government or large businesses; it is the entrepreneur sustainability rush.