Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Challenge

I started this blog in September of 2008, when gas hit $4/gallon in Asheville, and lots of stations had no gas. I started riding the bus quite a bit then and enjoyed it. I became a little more conscious of my driving habits. Then I got a different job a year and a half ago, and the place where I work isn't on the bus route. I still walk places around West Asheville...but I jump in my car, alone, an awful lot. I got complacent. Gas got cheaper.

With the crisis in the Gulf right now, seems like another good time to concentrate on how we get from here to there. I am feeling so sad and helpless about what is going on, but there is one thing that is somewhat under my control, and that is how often I get in my car, by myself, and drive somewhere. So I was just thinking, could we each one make a commitment -- just once a week, instead of hopping in our car for a trip, to try to take public transportation, walk or bike? Or, just not go on that particular run to the store, etc. Please let me know how this experiment goes for you...if you want to email me a paragraph or two about it, I'll post it here on the blog. Or if you want me to interview you about it, I'll do that, and write and post it. Please consider doing this...if you want to try this experiment more than once a week, more power to you!

This particular link that I'm posting is more ambitious. It says that we need to cut our average daily driving miles by 5.4 miles. (It was written when the top-kill BP solution was thought to have a chance of working, so is a little out of date as far as dealing with the Gulf disaster goes.) The article says that only 20-30% of the average American's car miles are devoted to getting to work. The rest of those miles are for shopping, socializing, errands, etc.

Doesn't it seem odd, that in spite of the devastation in the Gulf, gas prices have gone down? I think it is very important to oil companies that we consume, consume, consume. Until our habits change, we are never going to get funding for public transportation, green energy sources, etc. We have got to demand it, and learn to walk our talk. It will be very difficult. We haven't been asked, seriously, as a nation, to tighten our belts, conserve, since when? World War II?

1 comment:

Lynn said...

I don't use the public transit system much for various reasons, but I do try to carpool when I can to other things besides work, I organize my errands to where I do the least amount of driving and sometimes offer to run errands for others nearby while I'm out. So those are ways I try to conserve, but I'm sure I can do more.