Last Monday, Bellevue College students were met by an array of vehicles exhibiting alternative energy options outside of the large semi-circle of glass that lets light into the Jean Sarto Floten Student Union. Sunlight energy is currently one of the leading forms of alternative energies being researched, due to the theoretical omnipresence and sustainability of the technology’s nature (though many Washingtonians would argue the omnipresence part). Welcoming faces darted about, happy to trailing from gathered students to the beautifully complex things going on underneath the hood, explaining the technology on display to those who would listen.
“I thought that this was a great way to really kick off earth week with something visually stimulating that everyone could physically see and even touch,” said Zack Boucher, employee of the Sustainability Department at BC. “We also wanted to highlight the installation of our newest DC fast charger on campus which is making it easier than ever to charge an electric car quickly and conveniently., the Student Science and Sustainability Association meant for the exposition to bring to attention the atmospheric impact of typical combustion based engines, to demonstrate new technology, and what the average collegiate can do to reduce their footprint without having to take the bus. There were many options for different budgets, with brand new electronic bikes ranging in price from 500 to 5000 and beyond. The electric cars were much pricier, but the technology that powered the machines was a promising look at the future of electronic vehicles, where big-name companies like Honda, Nissan and Tesla Motors, along with numerous lesser known and private companies, are producing top of the line vehicles with efficiencies that allow for as much as 600 kilo meters from five minutes of charge time, and many of these names were on display in the courtyard.
BC students produce 21,759 metric tons of carbon emissions every year as a direct result of gasoline-combustion style commute. Student SSA is pursuing many compromises, seeking to find alternatives to the average form of transportation for the average student, in such a way as to be approachable fiscally, as well as ecologically. Efforts with ride-sharing and carpooling encouragement have been promising enough in the past that they believe further change can come about. “These vehicles represent what the future of how we will be commuting will hold,” says Zack. “Our dependency on fossil fuels, especially for commuting is not sustainable. The goal here was to show students that they do not need to drive a gas guzzling SUV to get around but that there are more practical, environmentally friendly options out there.”