Friday, June 15, 2007

Cars

Thanks for your patience with this blog's week-long break. Now, in with the magic of blogosphere time, we return to where we were when we left off...


Issue Six of Crunchy Chicken's Low Impact Week



Son and I regularly take the bus. We are a one-car family, not for environmental reasons, but because I feel uncomfortable driving because of personal medical issues. (Here it is a benefit. It is also a negative: I can no longer ride a bike.)



Luckily, our area has terrific public transportation, both by bus and by subway. Rail service will improve when the area builds the Purple Line, opposed by one of my favorite local knitters because it may destroy a beautiful bike path. What irony!

* * *

Our car is a decade-plus-old Honda Civic hatchback. It gets more than 35 miles per gallon on the highway (40 on a recent trip!) and somewhere around 30 or so in the city. We are hoping our car will last until the 2009 3rd generation Prius comes out....

* * *

In addition to taking public transportation and driving a fuel-efficient car, we know that reducing the miles driven on our car is a way we can make a huge difference in our impact on the environment.

The problem is...

...it is not so easy to reduce our miles.

We bought our house near where David used to work. We love our neighborhood--but David's new job is further away. Although it is technically accessible by public transportation, the wildly-out-of-the way public transportation routes mean p.t. takes significantly longer. Given that David wants to get home quickly in order to be as much of an equal parent as possible, prolonging his commute is troubling both for him and for me.

He's been playing with ways to make it work. Could he find people in the large organization who live around here and would like to carpool, at least occasionally? Could he telecommute one day a month (and perhaps take the subway on another day) to save gas AND have a little extra time for family? Telecommuting works perfectly for a few work chores he has, but not most--but saving them up for one or two days a month might work beautifully. Condensing the work week by working longer days 9 out of every 10 days is another possibility.

Although these changes might seem minuscule, realizing that they could easily lead to a 10% drop in driving made us feel great!

2 comments:

Sheepish Annie said...

I think that a lot of it is about "balance." We are going to leave footprints. The goal is to make them less damaging. You may be able to use a few more miles in transportation if you are balancing it out with less invasive choices in other areas. Which you do (and do very, mindfully). These posts are really good at making me think about my choices...

Ariel said...

Delurking to let you know how much I've enjoyed and been inspired by your posts. I've been thinking about ways to reduce my environmental impact, decrease consumption and eat more locally recently, and it's been wonderful reading about your experiences doing the same. Thanks so much!

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