I have a sneaking suspicion that this third category of the No Impact Experiment, Transportation, will be the one where I get a big, fat F (or maybe a D-).
Normally, a Tuesday would be a great day to start cutting down on transportation, because it is my Productivity Day. This is the day I stay at home, or possibly go to a cafe, to work undisturbed and get lots and lots of stuff done.
However, today, my tween was home as well, suffering from flu-like symptoms. This necessitated that I go to the grocery store to pick up some comfort food and also to Blockbuster to pick up some feel-good movies. In addition, I had a hair appointment five miles away. So… I ended up with 19.9 miles on my 2000 Toyota Echo, which I lovingly call “Elmer.”
As far as getting to work, it is also about five miles away. A little too far to walk. How about biking? Well, if it wasn’t 18 degrees and the bicycle lanes weren’t covered with snow and ice, I might consider that. I’ll start biking to work when the snow melts. Then there’s public transportation. I looked at the Waukesha County website and found a map with bus routes. Unfortunately, I would have to walk 1.5 miles to get to the bus stop. Then, I would have to walk 3.5 miles to get from the bus stop to my office. So I don’t really gain anything here. I even emailed an official at the City of Brookfield to find out what options I have, but all he could point to was Route 1 (described above).
This leaves me with carpooling or driving myself. I don’t think carpooling is going to work due to my (and everybody else’s) erratic schedule. So, I’m back to Elmer. At least he’s fuel-efficient. In the No Impact Man Appendix, here is what it says about transportation:
For your own health and the health of the planet, walk. If you can’t walk, bike. If you can’t bike, use public transit. If you can’t use public transit, carpool. If you can’t carpool, get a more energy-efficient car. Also, fly less.
There are a few more ways to minimize impact when forced to drive:
- Drive the speed limit (and don’t worry about the angry cars behind you).
- Offset emissions at Carbonfund.org.
The reason I’m really going to fail this category is that we’re supposed to be driving 250 miles to see my husband in Iowa. He needs a break from the 4-hour drive. Maybe I’ll get to see some Amish buggies. That would be the only way for me to reduce impact via transportation: get rid of the car altogether. Unfortunately, that’s not realistic right now. Maybe one day?