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Aspire to Be a Role Model & Steward for Planet Earth


The other day I picked up my 5-year old son from school and as we were driving to pick up his brothers from their respective schools, he asked me a question that led to an eye-opening conversation.

My son: Daddy, does your car have gas?
Me: No, my car does not use gas.
My son: How does it move?
Me: It has a battery and uses electricity.
My son: That’s good for the Earth. Does mommy’s car have gas?
Me: Yes, it does.
My son: That’s not good for the Earth because it makes the Earth sneeze.
Me: Laughter : )  (Daddy 1 – Mommy 0)

Rishi Shah

This simple yet innocent conversation caught me by surprise as usually my son’s questions while driving are centered on snacks and candy for him or what is the name and singer of the song streaming on internet radio. Have my passion and values for sustainability and values for doing the right thing passed on to my son or has my son figured out all this on his own? Sustainability starts with education, either at home or at school. Fortunately for my son, he is exposed to sustainability at both.

Setting an Example in Business & at Home

I have been helping hotels and other commercial properties with sustainability and energy efficiency since 2010 and my work has followed me home. Our home is 100 percent powered by the sun, lit by energy efficient LED lighting throughout the household, controlled by smart NEST thermostats and utilizes low-flow water fixtures throughout. In addition, we recycle and reuse whatever we can, and I have been driving an electric car, a Tesla Model S, for almost 4 years now.

Complimenting his exposure at home, my son is learning about sustainability at this early learning center aka pre-K. His teachers have spent some time with his class teaching them about the Earth and taking care of it. Thank you Miss Alexis and Miss Sandra for helping to spur his curiosity and continuing the dialogue that my wife and I have started at home.

Our planet certainly has some significant challenges ahead to overcome including climate change, fresh water depletion, ocean over-fishing, deforestation, and air and water pollution. We as a society have a duty to do what we can to find the solutions to these problems. Let’s all start by educating others especially our children and leading by example by doing the right thing.