We need to take the bus

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A bus drives towards the village to pick up children.

Carsten Savage

BY CARSTEN SAVAGE (’17)

For American teenagers with driver’s licenses, being allowed to drive starting at sixteen is a privilege that is often enjoyed to its full extent.  We love being independent, driving wherever we want, and the excitement of speeding down the road at a high speed. Now that research has been surfacing about climate change, however, we should be questioning our carbon footprint and the sacrifices we need to make for the planet.

When we see that many adults have to drive to work every day due to a lack of public transportation, we too feel that we need to drive ourselves, but we often do not truly need to; Granville already has a perfectly acceptable bus system that can pick us up and take us to school at a reasonable time. Of course, we often need to drive because we stay after school or need to come extremely early before school, and our needing to be somewhere besides home or school directly after school gives us the excuse to drive, but those of us looking to arrive at school at or somewhat before 7:45 need to take advantage of the free bus transportation.

Besides, our parents are already paying for buses in taxes, so owning an unneeded car on the side makes total transportation costs needlessly expensive. Though significant, money is not the only factor to think about; we need to consider the environment as well. One large vehicle using gasoline is much better for the environment than that vehicle, half-empty now, driving along with many small ones on the side.

The ability to drive has created necessities in our lives. By being able to drive wherever we want during study hall or lunch, we begin to make a routine of getting River Road and Chipotle whenever we feel like it, creating extra charges that strain our savings accounts and require that we work to replace the money. In result, this can lower our grade potential since we are working instead of learning. Why work when you do not have to? Instead, skip driving two miles to River Road and walk down a few steps to the NutriBar; it is both faster and less expensive, minus the name. That name still has some control over us, though, and we may find that we cannot turn the expensive coffee and pastry down, saying that the school food is not “good enough.” However, is that food special enough to warrant a special price and two miles worth of gas?

Driving to a job, club or sporting event is perfectly acceptable, but we need to consider whether we want to pollute the environment for less important reasons. We may drive in the hopes of getting better food than what is at school; however, our school food is fine, and we should instead save our money for Friday night or the weekend. Then, we will have time to actually go out and not have to worry about doing homework or getting back to school before lunch ends. The atmosphere already has enough carbon monoxide, so there is no need to make more for no reason. Some of us may think being on a bus is not cool, but polluting the environment is much more serious. Do we want future generations to be angry that we indirectly destroyed the environment over bagels and coffee?