20 October 2009

Transportation - No Impact Project


I take the public train to work. I walk a block to the train station and while I could transfer to another line that let’s me off right in front of work, I opt to stay on the first train and walk about six extra blocks. My employer pays for the cost of my monthly pass.

I use my time on the train to read books, listen to music, or talk on the phone. When going to rehearsals during the week, I take the train as well. On the weekends, however I ride my bike.

I participate in a car sharing program, Zipcar. It’s really convenient for errands, trips to Ikea, and taking friends home when its past midnight. I don’t want them to take the train so late.

This summer while playing on a local beach volleyball team, I would take the bus or train home and then bike to the beach for the games.

I don’t own a car. (my boyfriend owns four and two motorcycles. So he does enough to cancel my efforts out.)

In all honesty, I do enough to cancel the efforts out. I travel to NY about one to two times a month to visit him and those frequent trips cancel out a lifetime of granola behavior. This year I’ve traveled A LOT. I’ve gone home to Texas multiple times. I’ve gone to NY more than I can keep track of. I fly to Las Vegas and Palms Springs and also drove a six hour car ride to Hudson, WI. My travels and vacations cancel everything out. But what can I do? My family lives in Texas. My love lives in New York? Should I walk there? Or only Skype?  I need to hug my five year old sister on occasion and the only way to do that is to take a three hour flight to Austin, TX.

I’m not a fan of purchasing carbon offsets. So I won’t do that. Why can’t the airlines find ways to be more sustainable so that they are being better stewards over the sky? Why can’t there be a green airline? Is that an oxymoron? Can’t there be a plane made from recycled metal, that serves organic snacks, plays environmental documentaries and flies on corn oil or something? Blah!

This summer I thought about biking to and from work. THOUGHT is the operative word. I never did it. I could blame it on the fact there there are limited bike racks and no place to shower. But my gym..which I never go to is four blocks from my job and I could shower there. And if I’m up early enough to shower…well there should be ample space to park my bike. So I thought about it but didn’t do it. Perhaps my goal should be that when the weather is nice, I’ll do it at least once in my life. And once I’ve done it once, I’ll tell myself to do it for a second time at some point. And I’ll build from there.

 In the winter, that is not going to happen. Winters in Chicago have wind chills of -10 degrees. And if I’m biking along the trail by the lake, its probably even colder.

So what do I do? How do I change my efforts? I felt horrible feeling out my daily survey for today. I didn't change anything about how I get from one place to another today. Should I have biked today? So I have walked all those miles to work? What should I do? I'm at a loss.

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