The Green Mile
Over the past two years I’ve made a genuine effort to “green-up” my life.
I buy thriftily, make an effort to bring more local foods into my diet, and try, try, try to use my library more than amazon.com. (That last one is a toughie.)
I carpool when possible, bike when necessary, and walk often. I could recycle more than I do----and I’m working on reducing---but on the whole, I’m doing okay. It’s a process after all. I can’t do it all at once, and I shouldn’t chide myself for where I’m not. I’ll get there, one baby step at a time.
Overall, the best thing I’ve done to green-up my life was to move as close to work as possible. I have a very old vehicle that, even with good maintenance, is not long for the world. I knew that I could either (a) afford rent or (b) replace my car…but I could not do both. So, I chose to move close to work in the eventuality that my vehicle would die and I could not replace it immediately. You couldn’t say that I was re-locating for eco-reasons; they were fiscally motivated. Nevertheless, I made the move---and it ended up having several great results.
Great result (1) My car gas consumption is 2/3 less of what it was before the move. The savings alone is a blessing. What I save on gas, I’m putting in an account for my dream used vehicle.
(2)Time! I get to sleep in an extra 15 minutes in the morning, and I’m home 7 minutes after I leave work. I am better rested and more cheerful, generally.
(3) Air Quality! When I think of the carbon emissions I’m NOT making, I’m glad for the improvement in air quality. My vehicle is old---and although it is properly maintenanced, my car is still miles away from being a Prius. ( Just for fun, I bought carbon emissions offsets from Terrapass, too. What little I do drive it--- is carbon offset.)
(4) Exercise! Believe it or not, I live so close to work that I can walk there within 15/20 minutes. In good weather, I do walk. In bad weather, I carpool with a neighbor who also works where I do, and lives on my street.
So---living close to work? For it ! It’s the best and accidentally greenest thing I’ve ever done.