Sustainability has way more facets to it than many realize; buying an electric car is not sustainable and neither are solar cells or wind turbines. To understand sustainability, we have to look at the entire lifecycle of a product and not just its most convenient aspect.
This includes materials for production, the manufacturing, usage, and recycling. Renewable energies and electric cars are more sustainable in their usage, but rarely in material creation, manufacturing, or recycling. And depending on which materials we use and how well we recycle, “sustainable” products can end up a lot less sustainable than we would assume.
We need products with every part of their lifecycle aimed at improving sustainability. If we invest in renewables without improving the recycling rate and minimizing resource-intense materials in its production, we will end up with the same mindset that got us into this mess in the first place.
Electric cars are more sustainable than regular cars, but that should not exempt them from criticism.
We are still consuming materials and energy, which brings forth the more pressing matter on sustainability and climate change;
We can’t consume our way out of it.
Less consumption and an awareness of what and how we consume is key. What is more sustainable than a car? No car.