The Unlikely Merging of Sustainability and Auto Racing
When elections roll around, NASCAR fans are often touted as a symbol of mainstream America. So it’s heartening to discover that this demographic is actually quite eco-friendly – according to a NASCAR poll, 80 percent of fans believe in climate change and 2 out of 3 support personal climate action.
As NASCAR driver Leilani Münter says in this E&E article, “There’s a lot more crossover than most people think.” Münter has been using her exposure as a driver to advocate for clean energy and educate racing fans about climate change. NASCAR itself, though still largely dependent on fossil fuels for its races, has embraced sustainability with a variety of programs, from recycling tires to offsetting racing emissions. And another branch of motorsport, Formula One, will debut its first fully electric racing series in March.
It’s one more indicator of how far into the mainstream clean energy has come – and one more reminder that climate action supporters can be found everywhere, if you take the time and effort to reach them.
Brittany Patterson, E&E reporter
Leilani Münter, whose self-proclaimed motto is “Never underestimate a vegetarian hippie chick with a race car,” isn’t your typical NASCAR archetype.
At 5 feet 3 inches tall and just over 100 pounds, the former biology major and current vegan may be small, but she says she’ll gladly shout from any platform she’s given on the importance of caring for our environment. She’s spoken before the United Nations and twice to the White House, but she said she most enjoys talking to her race car fans.
Münter, who fell into racing by accident in 2001, says since reaching a professional level in racing where she garners attention as a driver – she is currently with the ARCA Racing Series and raced Saturday at Daytona International Speedway during the Lucas Oil 200 – her voice as an environmentalist has been magnified.
Image credit: carbonfreegirl.com