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Sustainable Experiences For a Sustainable Future

When we think about climate change, all too often we think in terms of things. Buying fewer things. Recycling things. Making sure things are made from more sustainable materials. That’s why terms like reduce, reuse, and recycle are etched into our vernacular. Yet when it comes to experiences, our climate consciousness can take a back seat. 

From research, we know younger generations are more focused on experiences rather than things (see just one article about it, here). Happiness comes from experiences, not from things.

So, as we head to #Davos next week for the 54th Annual World Economic Forum, we’ll be asking why we’re so focused on things, and not on experiences as a way to accelerate the greater consciousness of our environmental impact. Yes, carbon offsets are a thing—and as part of our Net Zero initiative, Zum has offset the emissions from every one of our rides since 2021, giving us carbon neutral bus fleets. Yet we know this isn’t enough. 

At Zum, we’re hard at work rolling out EV fleets for major metropolitan school districts, with buses equipped with vehicle-to-grid technology (V2G) to send energy back to the grid. This means our EV school buses—basically giant batteries on wheels, batteries 8-times the size of a regular EV car battery—can send clean power back to the grid during peak hours (i.e. during dinner, or on hot summer days). Amazing, right? Our buses, which are so ubiquitous that people often forget about them, can actually be used to power homes, and even entire communities. And since school buses are the nation’s largest transportation system, all of those buses together form what’s called a virtual power plant—a distributed source of clean energy that can help decarbonize city infrastructure and further our society’s environmental goals. 

So, the next time you’re at home cooking on your electric stove, or streaming the latest show on Netflix, remember the yellow school bus, and how it’s actually sending the power you’re using. If the humble yellow bus can do that, what other great resources do we have at our disposal, which can be used to create new forms of energy, and power amazing experiences? 

These questions, and more, are the ones we’re excited to discuss with world leaders, youth representatives, innovative business leaders, and nonprofits at #Davos 2024. If you’ve got a great question for the world’s leaders, please share it in the comments below.

And if you’ll be there, please DM me as it would be great to meet up and discuss how we can create exciting sustainable experiences together.