When KLO Middle School student Owen Clark found out he’d be attending a global leadership conference in Ontarioin April, he wanted to travel there in the most environmentally-friendly way possible and lead by example.
His research quickly led him to rule out taking a plane because it is one of the most carbon-intensive transportation options out there.
He then turned to trains, but realized it would would take too long to travel thousands of kilometres across the country.
Instead, Clark turned to only other reliable way of transportation left - the open road.
The problem was that driving a gasoline powered vehicle wouldn’t be environmentally friendly either; that’s when he turned his attention to the idea of renting an electric vehicle.
“I decided to rent a Tesla Model 3, particularly because it’s one of the electric cars that can go the furthest on a battery,” said Clark.
“This car can go almost as far as a gas car in terms of mileage.”
The Tesla Model 3 can travel 518 kilometres on a full battery, according to the company’s website.
To help cover the $4,500 to rent the car, Clark recently launched a GoFundMe campaign to support his initiative.
“The GoFundMe page is going pretty great,” said Clark.
“We’ve raised have $1,500 so far. That includes one big $500 donation that we received on Monday, March 10.”
Clark said he hopes to inspire others to reduce their own carbon footprint when they travel next.
“When people take a lot of short flights or when they have to make a lot of connecting flights, their own carbon footprint can really go up,” said Clark.
“To lower your footprint, you can take a longer vacation instead of a shorter one or just travel locally.”
Clark said he also hopes to inspire business people to lower their carbon footprint.
“More and more people are now able to do some of their business online,” said Clark.
“Next time you’re planning to fly somewhere for a business trip, maybe think of doing a Facetime or Facecall instead.”
Clark expects the drive to take about five to six days round-trip.
So far, nine people have donated to Clark’s fundraiser online.