Thursday, June 5, 2008


So this post is about the thing we haven't done so well.
We haven't done much of anything to change our driving habits.
We watched An Inconvenient Truth, and Dyami pumped his bicycle tires, bought a helmet, and proudly set off to work each morning on his trusty bike from 1986.
For about three weeks.
The problem? we live a long way from the train station. With several very large hills in the way. And Dyami was often riding when it was dark out. And cold. And when he was sleep deprived.
He lost enthusiasm pretty quickly, and I couldn't really blame him.
Thankfully, his work then moved downtown, and he decided to take the train rather than opting for a parking space. Then he at least was only driving to the train station, which was a lot nicer.

And then there was my zealous attempt to take public transportation. Which I actually did! Once!
It made a difference, though: now every time Lucy sees a bus, she gets very excited, and says "Bus! Busss!" See! I have influenced the next generation with my greeness and environmentalism.
Problem is: with a baby, riding a bus to do shopping just isn't feasible. And I tend to forget to call to schedule a ride until, say, when I want to leave. You're supposed to call hours ahead of time. Who thinks that far in advance? Certainly not me about my library trips.

What irks me is that this is probably the single greatest thing we could do to live more greenly. And we're not doing it.
So I'm trying to eat less meat instead. Yesterday, I served tofu! See how I green I am?
We're in this house for a few more years, but when we do move, eventually, we're going to try our hardest to live someplace where you might actually be able to take public transportation and/or walk someplace.
It could happen.


Anonymous said...

Sure, cutting down on driving is a Good Thing, but it's also true that its feasibility depends heavily on where you live. But what's that quote about Mohamed and the mountain?

You can also influence how much other people have to drive by buying things as locally-sourced as possible. Julia and I make an effort to buy things from Oregon and Washington whenever possible ... okay, maybe not whenever possible, but frequently. That way, a whole lot less gas is burned on our behalf. (And, you know, we frequently get superior products as a side effect.)

Of course, to do this, you have to know where products are from. Sometimes you can tell, sometimes not. We're lucky that our supermarket labels all the produce as to the country, state, city, or even farm it's from (depending on how local it is). But most supermarkets aren't so forthcoming.

Not that it isn't tempting to buy tomatoes when they're close enough ("Eh ... they're ripe in California now ... let's buy 'em.") And sometimes we do. It's especially hard in the wine category: how a bottle can be shipped from Italy and sold for significantly cheaper than a bottle made a few dozen miles from my house, I don't know.

Of course, someone once told me that buying American products doesn't necessarily guarantee you're saving on transportation, noting that it's probably more efficient to ship a huge boatload across the Pacific than to transport a similar amount by truck from New York.

Anonymous said...

It is so true about the driving, but where we live...not so public transportation friendly :(

I sometimes fantasize about living in someplace like downtown Portland, OR which has been redone to block out cars and make it a higher-density place.

I think all the topics you are posting about are very important and have been definitely studying and thinking on these themes for my adult life. Once I went TWO years without buying any new clothing--EVEN new used!

I can't be very profound or thoughtful on your blog though b/c I'm so braindead when I read it. Forgive me!

BUT...we can talk about it all while walking! Where have you been all week anyway???