Saturday, July 22, 2006

Living a sustainable life

The goal in living sustainably is to not take more from the earth than you contribute. Most of us haven't reached that yet. Most of us never will.

My goal is to do what I can to reduce my footprint on earth and hope that I can slow down the consumption of our nonrenewable resources enough to allow technology to advance to the point where we humans aren't consuming so much.

Part of that is reducing my use of gasoline. This year we moved to a house that is within walking distance of KMart, a grocery store, a movie theater (the cheap theater at that), the library and more fast food than can possibly be good for our health or the environment.

It's also within walking distance of the local school (half a mile). So I'll get my kids off to school and walk 2 miles every day (half mile there, half mile back 2x/day). But, I'll have to drive to work. It's only 2 miles but this area hasn't embraced the idea of non-car commuting to work - sidewalks don't exist and employers aren't prepared for you to arrive sweaty and needing to change clothes. And today's styles aren't bike friendly (I love the way wide-legged slacks look on me, but those will so get caught in the chain).

My goal is to buy a scooter after we pay off some debt. At our present rate, we should be able to do it around the start of the new year (thank goodness it doesn't really get cold here).

We've been biking a lot more lately and I've come to realize my bike doesn't fit me at all. It's waaaaay too small. I'm tall and I need a much bigger bike than I ever realized. So that's on the agenda for after payday. A new, bigger bike for me. I'd be glad to buy used but there don't seem to be any down here. I don't know if it's because people don't buy them much down here, use them until they die or don't use them but are too embarrassed to admit it and allow them to rust to dust in the salt laden air or a combination of all of the above.

So, we'll buy me a bike and Hyperion a trailerbike. Oceanus already has one and Hyperion likes to ride on it. Neither of them fit in the trailer anymore, so it's time. Of course, it really sucks to have to balance a bike for a 6yo. I have bruises on my leg from keeping the bike from turning over because of him. If it had been just me, I'd have let the bike lay down, but since he would have gone down with it, I kept it up enough to keep him from getting hurt (it still went down).

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