ASU sustainability alumnus gears up for carbon-neutral road trip

John Martinson shows off his Tesla at Green Living AZ event in Scottsdale, ArizonaTo Arizona State University alumnus John Martinson, “range anxiety” — the fear of becoming stranded in an electric vehicle after the battery dies — is a state of mind, not an actual concern. With a bit of planning, a cross-country road trip in an electric vehicle is possible. And Martinson should know: On July 1, he’s embarking on a monthlong father-son road trip from Arizona to Canada and back in his new Tesla, which advertises up to 310 miles of range. Completing an ambitious road trip in an electric vehicle may worry some people, but for Martinson, it’s another way to live his values. Martinson is a recent graduate of the ASU School of Sustainability’s Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program, and he’s also the school’s alumni board president. Before he graduated from the school, Martinson co-owned the successful China Mist Tea Company for 34 years. He believes in natural capitalism, which is a business model that takes into account the value of earth’s natural resources and ecosystems. It’s important to Martinson that his trip is carbon neutral. Though the Tesla Model 3 doesn’t burn fuel, the production of electricity emits carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. To counter these pollutants, Martinson will purchase carbon offset credits from Carbon Fund, an organization that supports vetted projects worldwide that help reduce carbon emissions. He’s letting the ASU sustainability community decide, via a social media poll, which carbon offset project to support: energy efficiency or forestry. Martinson wants to serve as inspiration for others who are considering an electric vehicle and alleviate their concerns regarding range through blogging, collecting data, delivering presentations and connecting with people on the road. And he wants to do ASU proud. “It has been my great honor to have graduated from ASU and now to be able to give back,” Martinson said. He will be presenting at School of Sustainability alumni and online-student events in Seattle on July 21 and Mountain View, California, on July 25. His Tesla is wrapped and features the school’s logo. To learn more about Martinson's journey and to follow along, visit his road trip website