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Eco-Efficiency and Sustainability

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Our world is inundated with various problems that affect us on a global scale. Gasoline shortage, for instance, is a major problem that requires our attention. Gasoline is a non-renewable source of energy and because of our continuous consumption, we are on the brink of losing access to oil reserves around the world as the limited supply of petroleum fail to meet the demand for it. Since 1902, when the Ferdinand Porsche first invented cars that were able to run with electric motors (Juettner, 15) many people consider the widespread use of hybrid cars as a solution not only to oil depletion but also noise and air pollution and global warming. Moreover, those who recommend hybrid cars assert that these are economical forms of transportation because people could save on the cost of gasoline. Hybrid cars are also known as sustainable forms of transportation because they do not require high consumption of gasoline as they rely on electricity to run (Zumdahl and DeCoste, 216). However, despite the advantages and contributions of hybrid cars in lessening air and noise pollution and green house gas emissions, their use and promotion are merely “band aid solutions” to the problem of sustainability because using hybrid cars would not directly and effectively solve existing problems regarding sustainability.

Hybrid cars are expensive. Although it is an environment-friendly transportation, not many people can afford it. Similarly, companies that manufacture hybrid cars would not be able to keep up with the demand if majority of the world’s population decide to switch to environment-friendly cars (Black). Moreover, even if many people use hybrid cars, those who would not be able to afford them would have no choice but to continue using cars that consume gasoline. The conversion of cars to hybrid ones is also expensive. Other problems that consumers would experience with hybrid cars include the limited power of these types of cars and that hybrid cars are difficult and expensive to maintain. In the long run, people would find that using hybrid cars require more money, time, and effort, prompting them to revert to using cars run by gasoline. (Mi, Masrur, Gao, 1).

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Aside from the disadvantages of hybrid cars, the main reason why it is only a “band aid solution” to the sustainability issues is that the use of hybrid cars does not address unsustainable practices. Hybrid cars are merely alternatives to people who both understand the need to switch to environment-friendly cars and can afford it. Hybrid cars also consume electrically charged batteries that leak chemicals that pose danger to the environment, thus, instead of helping the cause, its use worsens environmental problems. As of today, none of the car companies that manufacture and distribute hybrid cars has offered a solution to the problem, especially when it comes to the proper disposal of batteries to prevent hazardous leakage to the environment (Stellet, Schuecking,  Steeg & Lang, 25). Another reason why hybrid cars are mere band-aid solutions is because those who belong to the upper class in society, including wealthy organizations that are capable of influencing environmental consciousness are the ones who are responsible for the depletion of gasoline and increased emission of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The real problem surrounding sustainability lies in human practices. The predominant lifestyle today, which is wasteful and undisciplined, is the main cause for some environmental and economic problems and encouraging people to switch to hybrid cars would not influence unsustainable behavioral practices in society.

Social awareness, responsibility, and discipline are two of the most important things that public and private institutions should address and cultivate in order to solve the problem of sustainability. People must be aware of the problems so they would understand how they influence environmental development or degradation. Aside from awareness, people should be held responsible for their actions and must observe discipline so they can control and limit their daily activities to lessen their contribution to the degradation of the environment. Moreover, governments must set standards to limit the involvement of private organizations in worsening the conditions of the environment. Sanctions should be in place to discourage them from participating in unsustainable practices. Overall, the resolution of issues in sustainability lies on behavioral change.

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