Ontario man riding tricycle to Florida to power sustainability conversation
Published Wednesday, August 6, 2014 10:40AM EDT
Stephen Szucs is riding a solar- and pedal-powered tricycle thousands of kilometres from Ontario to Key West, Fla. in hopes people will rethink sustainability in their lives.
"Life continues to evolve so if we want to move our world in a sustainable direction I believe we have to amplify the conversation," Szucs, who is the founder of Sustainable Joes, told CTV's Canada AM as he showed off the trike. "This is the next step."
The trike is technically called an ELF, which stands for Electric Light Fun. It's made by Organic Transit in North Carolina, weighs about 70 kilograms and can travel about 30 kilometres on a full charge. Szucs keeps the weight down only travelling with only five kilograms of clothing. The trike has a 100 watt solar panel on the roof, a 500 watt engine and because it's classified as a power-assisted bike, it legally can't exceed speeds of 32 km/h.
"It's more than just about the environment; sustainability is ultimately about more than trees and whales," said Szucs. "It's about us and ensuring that the Earth continues to be a habitable space for humanity therefore I believe we have a responsibility to rethink things and steward our planet in a sustainable direction."
Szucs is just beginning his #RETHINK tour and expects it to take about six months. Along the way he'll be couch-surfing to save on expenses.
He is hoping one million people will take a pledge and share their message of why sustainability matters. So far many have tweeting in messages such these:
Living this sustainable lifestyle is nothing new for Szucs. He and fellow Sustainable Joe Dave Pope spent part of last year living off the grid. Their goal was to explore sustainable living and show how small changes can have a big impact on the future. They used solar panels to generate electricity and even tried to make their own toothpaste and sunscreen.
This trip is the next step in getting people to talk about making changes in their own lives. According to the Sustainable Joes #Rethink Tour website, the journey to Key West is leg one. They are hoping people will submit suggestions of where they should ride the trike for their next leg. Szucs’ ultimate goal is to make sustainability easy for the everyday Joe.