Friday, March 4, 2011
It's been a long time since I joined in over at One Small Change with any little changes to my own lifestyle. I was very enthusiastic about making changes at first, but as all the "low hanging fruit" of obvious eco-habits started to be used up (reusable grocery bags, rechargeable batteries, waste-free packed lunches, rags instead of paper towels, unplug stuff, line-dry laundry, skipping showers, etc), I found myself unable to think of new things to change.
But I've been in this dysfunctional relationship with my car for a long time. I really really want to be the kind of person who just doesn't own a car. I don't love the wheels! But it's incredibly difficult to live in our society without a car - I managed it when I was in college and didn't have any kids but since then the schlepping got to me. Running errands, doing the shopping, transporting large quantities of stuff to and from, and just running the kids around does require that I own some sort of car.
So we bought the Prius, and I love it. The gas mileage is great ---- but it's not all the way to carbon-neutral, by any means.
Does it have to be all or nothing, however? Just because I own a car, do I have to use it everyday? Do I have to drive all over, back and forth across town, just because I can? No.
So I would like to announce (drum roll please) Car-Free Fridays! We are going to try and go it without the car, just that one day a week. It's not a stay-home day, so we will actually have to use alternative transport. Today I took Carbon to school and then Hypatia and I headed over to church for my office hours, all on the city bus. With the kids too big for my bike trailer and too small to be trusted riding their own bikes in traffic, the bus may be our friend for a while. Luckily, we have that option and our local bus system is wonderful.
It's not a lot, to leave the car at home one day a week. I'm still driving all over town the other days of the week, and I can certainly get all my errands done without having to do any on Friday. But imagine if we all did it! If we all left our car at home, just one day a week, what would that add up to?