Earth Day was April 22nd, and as an environmentalist and son of a scientist, our family fully embraced the day of marches in support of science.
Our first step in celebrating Mother Earth was to pick up an all-electric vanpool car, a Tesla X, from Green Commuter. I found out about this amazing company when they launched last year and came to Los Angeles. They rent out the Tesla X, the all-electric SUV version of the popular Tesla car, to riders by the hour, day, or weekend. This is great for two reasons: 1) our family of four (about to be five) only has one car and sometimes (especially on weekends) having a second car is helpful, and 2) I could never afford a Tesla X (let alone most all-electric vehicle) and, 3) having the opportunity to drive it for a whole weekend was such a treat and, especially on Earth Day, made it extra sweet!
I don’t know about you, but my kids love anything that moves – cars, trains, trucks, buses, planes. So on the way to pick up the car, I thought it would be fun to take as many modes of transit as possible (and be as “green” as we could). So we rode a train, took a bus, and walked. For native Angelenos, those modes of transit seem pretty foreign, but for our family, we use them almost every day. And we love this “new Los Angeles” – one with all kinds of transportation options. We even stopped for ice cream along the way at Salt & Straw, a funky new ice cream shop which just opened in the Arts District – a fun new part of town to explore.
Once we got the car, we took full advantage! We invited our neighbors to join us in the vanpool down to the March for Science. We even had one of the speakers join us – Andres Cuervo, the executive director of FuturizeX (the tech hub at UCLA) to talk about public funds for science research.
We loved the creativeness of all the signs at the march itself and my son enjoyed the experience of walking amongst all those people, despite the heat. When we got overwhelmed, we took a detour and visited the magical Los Angeles Central Library with a whole section of children’s literature.
For me, the March was an opportunity to expose my son to the importance of peaceful protest in a democratic society and the need for scientific inquiry and public, non-politicized support for science research. While he may be a little too young to soak it all in and remember the experience, I am sure he understood that what we did together was special and meaningful to me. At the end of the day, that is sometimes the most important thing as a parent — exposing your kids to new experiences and showing them that you are passionate about something and that, someday, they will hopefully become passionate about something of their own.