Historical Perspective and Congrats
The Green Living Guy Breakthrough Model Award started with one post eight years ago with our first Breakthrough Model, Tara Mackey. And so over the years the award has continued on.
For 2020, we are changing the Green Living Guy Breakthrough Model of the Year to the Breakthrough Woman of the Year. While each woman is a model in their own right, I wanted to celebrate the accomplishments of beautiful women making an impact by green living, not necessarily as a model.
However, this award is not really about being the best at walking the runway. No. This is bigger than that. This is about women breaking through with a unique environmental message of sustainability with sass, energy and great vibes.
For The Green Living Guy Green Breakthrough Model (WOMAN) of the Year must possess inner beauty, strength and also a real understanding of life, as well as our world today and how to be. Yes. How to be. So I met Tiffani Van Ee this summer on her journey with her daughter across the United States in their Tesla Model S, a found her story to be a most noteworthy green adventure, and worth a moment to look at.
So on behalf of all the previous awardees, the Green Living Guy fans and I say: Congratulations, Tiffani Van Ee aka Tesla Mom USA and 2020 Green Living Guy Breakthrough Woman of the Year.
Now there are models. And then there are role models. Tiffani Van Ee, She’s a role model.
GLG: So what made you do this 10,000 mile all-electric road trip?
TVE: It all started with buying a Tesla with free supercharging. I had never really traveled the Northeast US before, and Abbey was out of school for the summer, so I decided we should hit the road and test out the Tesla charging infrastructure. I wanted to see if my electric car would make it all the way across the country. I called it the Supercharger Tour. One supercharger/ landmark at a time.
GLG: When did you get a Tesla? In January of 2017
As Tiffani also wrote on her blog:
When car shopping my top 3 considerations were comfort, technology and environmentally friendly:
I can honestly tell you that even though it cost a little more than I originally intended to spend, I have not regretted it once! I absolutely love my Tesla just as much today (if not more) than the day I first took delivery in January of 2017. I never have to buy gas again, and the speed, comfort, and luxury of this car, not to mention the sexy style, and the high-tech updates, are a constant source of joy. I love being part of the Tesla family, and especially being a small cog in the wheel of Elon Musk’s environmental and technological revolution. It is worth every penny!
GLG: What’s your career been like besides owning a Tesla?
TVE: I traveled the world as a flight attendant. Then after Abbey was born I moved to
Hawaii, where I did grant writing, administration, and project management for the State of Hawaii and Hawaii Ecotourism Association. My Hawaii projects focused on primarily environmental education and ecotourism. Now I balance my time living in Southern California as a freelance writer, Home Organization Consultant specializing in the Konmari method. And of course full-time single mom.
GLG: When did you go Tesla Mom? I mean commit to a brand and the whole thing.
TVE: I started documenting Tesla related content on IG right before I left for the 10,000 mile cross country road trip. At that time I think I called it @tiffs.tesla.adventure. Then I changed it to Tesla Mom when the articles came out after I got back.
Diary of a Road Tripping Tesla Mom by Tiffani Van Ee -Baltimore Post Examiner
Road Tripping Tesla Mom Tells All -EVANNEX.com
More Road Trip Adventures With Tesla Mom – InsideEV’s
Eventually my growing IG fam suggested I start a YouTube channel which I was very nervous about doing. I had been posting Tesla pics and places we’d traveled, some still shots of myself and Abbey, but I was hesitant to put my personality out there on display. Ultimately I decided it was more important to get the message out about how practical (and sexy) electric cars can be.
As you will find when you watch her YouTube videos, Tiffani doesn’t plan her road trips very thoroughly. She says that’s because she likes to keep the door open to spontaneity. “I trust that even when things get difficult everything will turn out okay. Somehow it ALWAYS does. The only thing I know for sure, if we wait for things to line up perfectly before we go after what we want it may never happen.”
Her favorite quote: “Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”
Tiffani’s growing popularity on social media led to this exciting collaboration with another up and coming YouTuber. Click on the photo below to check it out.
GLG: What made you?
TVE: Well my parents made me. My dad was a former US Naval Aviator… my mom was a former Hooters girl, yes Hooters. So my fate was practically written in the stars. Former
flight attendant who loves fast cars. But really, I believe the biggest impact on who I am today came from my Grandmother. She gave me my very first computer and a love of technology, and also instilled in me the value of higher education. She is the epitome of a strong, intelligent, practical woman and I strive to be more like her every day.
GLG: You tell me what you want about your daughter since it was your trip.
TVE: My daughter is named Abbey and just turned 9 yrs old! I can’t believe it. I adore her, and I can’t wait to see more from her as she grows up. She is a great road tripper and loves Tesla camping (sleeping in the back in the Dreamcase.) She loves new adventures, dance/ singing/ theater, swimming and reading.
GLG: Name 5 things you learned about Tesla on your road trip.
1. Daddy Elon is gonna take care of me. Knowing that anytime I had a problem I could call Tesla Roadside Assistance gave me the confidence to go places I’d never been before, places I would never go if there wasn’t a supercharger there. It was just me, my daughter, my Tesla and some pepper spray but I felt so very well taken care of.
2. If you are low on charge, to make it to the next Supercharger the car will tell you how to drive in order to make it there – For example, drive below 70 mph to reach the next Charger.
3. There’s a ridiculous amount of storage space in the Tesla Model S.
4. That I could flip the backseats down, put a comfortable bed in the back and use it like an RV, sleeping at Superchargers on the way to my final destination. And most Superchargers are near a Starbucks, perfect for freshening up and getting a coffee first thing in the morning before getting back out on the road.
5. Sometimes needing to charge the car up at a Tesla Destination charger is a VIP experience.
For example I had to stop at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans once and it was a perfect experience. Better than any gas station anywhere ever! This full story can be found here. But in general what I learned was that Tesla is not just a brand of car. It’s a luxury and futuristic experience. Even more valuable than that, it’s a family. The community among the Tesla owners is really incredible. I’ve met so many wonderful people and had incredible new opportunities due entirely to my Tesla ownership.
LAST ROUND OF QUESTIONS AKA LIGHTNING ROUND
GLG: Are you organic? Yes. I try to always choose organic for myself and my daughter.
GLG: Do you use safe cosmetics? I don’t really wear much makeup. I prefer a mostly natural look but I do get eyelash extensions.
GLG: Your house is green? My house does have solar panels. The electric company buys the energy collected form the panels and subtracts that from the bill. Most months the cost is negligible. So I basically charge for free at home as well as at Superchargers.
GLG: Do you drive vs fly more because of the emissions? Yes, I drive more now. If I can get there in time using Free Supercharging, why wouldn’t I drive? Sometimes I have to fly, but I take road trips whenever I have the opportunity now.
Well Congrats Tiffani Van Ee. So well deserved. Last night she was even at the Tesla Cybertruck unveiling event in Los Angeles, CA seeing Elon, the Cybertruck and all the Tesla YouTubers/ Influencers and being spotted herself…
To follow Tesla Mom USA’s latest adventures: