This past weekend, I hosted an Electric Car Show in honor of Earth Day along with the New York Electric Auto Association. My son volunteered to help coordinate the show so afterwards I treated him to a nice lunch. As I approached my Tesla Roadster in the parking lot of our local Bertucci’s, there was a mother trying to strap her wailing kid into his child seat. She looked at me and said, “He loves your car, he won’t let me leave and keeps pointing at it.” I smiled and asked her if he wanted to sit in it, she shamelessly grabbed him out of her car and said, “Would you mind?”

He honked the horn, pressed the buttons and smiled in joy and we both smiled as he explored the cockpit. She asked me about the car, I shared, “it’s electric!” This is the car that started it all…well sort of….the electric car movement. The Mom listened and was amazed that this awesome looking vehicle would make no noise or emissions when we left the parking lot.

Photo from our Earth Day Electric Car Show on Saturday, April 23rd.

“We should all have the reaction your son has when we see an electric car” I said to her. “These cars are faster, require almost no maintenance, average 80-100 mpg equivalent, but still very few people drive them”. She had entered a new understanding, sort of my curbside EV evangelism. This sort of conversation has happened many times before and I am never really sure where it goes when I leave, but I can only imagine that some of the discussions stick and even convert the person, immediately or eventually, to be an EV enthusiast or even an owner.

Diana and four year old daughter Mayla Lillo build a Fairy House together.

The messaging to our children often is that the world is broken and they have been tasked to fix it which is a daunting task. The last story I would like to share is about the daughter of our Designer and LEED-AP, Diana Lillo of ID Unique Solutions, INC. Diana’s four year old daughter, Mayla (Italian for Apple) had been going through some sadness from time to time, but her parents just couldn’t get her to share what was bothering her. They pressed Mayla to share her concerns and she began to talk; “I am just so worried about the planet… worried that somebody is going to build a really big building and its going to break the earth!” Diana and her husband decided to bring Mayla to the ceremony to show her a room full of people who care about the world like she does. You can’t make this stuff up, the future is bright, our kids hold the keys, our Earth will survive with the passion we have – it’s infectious!

Earth Week for me was amazing this year with several opportunities to our passion for Environmentally Impactful projects, technology and thought leadership that helps sculpt the future with other “green” enthusiasts. We celebrated a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Plaque Ceremony at my building (Vanderbilt Financial Group) in Woodbury, NY, as the first LEED Platinum office building on Long Island. The Long Island Chapter of the USGBC (United States Green Building Council) did an amazing job of coordinating the event and among the attendees were 13 students of Professor Gus Kalogrias from Adelphi University studying Environmental Sustainability. Of the 60+ attendees, I loved talking to these students most; they have a passion that is pure for environmental sustainability. They too cry for the future of our earth and desire to make it environmentally better than we have and for that I am grateful.

Special thanks to: USGBC, Tesla, Empower Solar, Paul Meyer, Diana Lillo, David Schieren, Electric Auto Association, Adelphi University, Habberstad BMW, ID Unique Solutions, INC.