Tag Archives: walking

No Impact Experiment: Transportation

I’m rather insistent that Bug’s summer vacation be educational as well as fun. I’m one of THOSE moms. This week, we’re taking part in the No Impact Experiment, a 1-week carbon cleanse, and learning (hopefully) why it’s important to be more conscious of the environmental impact of seemingly mundane daily decisions. 

Today’s challenge was to burn calories, not fossil fuels. The first step was to reflect on our transportation habits by making a list of everywhere we needed to go today, and how we typically get there. Here’s our list:

  1. Destination: Coffee shop. (I’ve been trying to cut this habit down to only once per week, especially this week given day one’s challenge (consumption). Normally I can sate my craving – or at least ward off a headache – with a cup of tea at home, but Baby Jupiter got up extra early this morning and my reward for not pelting him with obscenities was an extra day at the coffee shop. Don’t judge.) Normal mode of transportation: Feet.
  2. Destination: Grocery store for lunch and dinner fixin’s. Normal mode of transportation: Feet.
  3. Destination: Doctor for Bug’s suspected eye infection (turns out, it’s not infected – yay!). Bug’s normal doctor is located 40-minutes (by car) south. I’ve thought about switching him to a new doctor closer to home, but Bug loves his doctor all most as much as I do. And since we usually only visit his doctor once a year for a check-up, the distance isn’t really that much of an issue. Normal mode of transportation: Drive.
  4. Destination: My ex-husband’s house (so Bug can spend the afternoon with his dad). Normal mode of transportation: Dad’s truck.
  5. Destination: Guitar lessons. Normal mode of transportation: Dad’s truck.
The second step was to come up with alternate modes of transportation. Since I’m currently working from home (read: no pesky commute) and we’re lucky to live in a very walkable neighborhood, our feet (sometimes aboard a bicycle or scooter) typically take us everywhere we need to go, so numbers 1 and 2 on our list required no adjustment. For number 3 (the doctor), I decided to make Bug an appointment  with Baby Jupiter’s regular – and much more conveniently located – pediatrician. We were able to walk instead of drive. Numbers four and five are beyond my influence, but Bug was quick to point out that he and his dad could easily walk to guitar lessons since the lessons are so close to his dad’s house. But since his dad needed to transport Bug back to my house immediately following the lesson, they decided driving would be best. Maybe next week.
In the end, this was a day not much different from any other day – probably the easiest challenge for us so far.

Of course, we haven’t forgotten the previous days’ challenges regarding consumption and trash. Bug did break down and buy himself two packs of Gogos yesterday, but he made up for it by talking me out of impulse buying at the grocery store. “Mom?” he’d ask. “Do we really need chips, or do you think we can live without them?” And I did buy Baby Jupiter some more summer clothes today since he owns only one pair of shorts, but we bought from a local 2nd-hand store (AND it was a buy one get one free sale) so I feel okay about it. We also continue to accumulate trash at a very slow trickle in our special collection spot in the kitchen. I’m interested to see where we net out with our garbage at the end of the week.

Tomorrow’s challenge involves taking action to make a change in the community. Activist training 101, if you will. Stay tuned!

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Filed under Environment, No Impact Experiment