Posts Tagged ‘car’

Fourth day of green watching. My recent car trips, driving my daughter around, have brought home a new reality. I no longer enjoy being in my car. How else can I explain my rush to get home? Speeding way past the 65mph limit on the freeway, whenever I could. And getting in touch with the unpleasantness of being boxed in, and at the mercy of traffic. Not being able to do much else, other than tune in to NPR. And then, what do you do, when the program sucks?

Nearly a year ago, I wrote emphatically:

The truth is, I looooove my car. What is there not to like? The immediacy, the convenience, the privacy, the spaciousness, the experience of moving around in my little cocoon. I can get on the phone while I drive, listen to NPR, spread my stuff on the passenger seat. I don’t have to worry about the other cars so much, I am not as invisible as on a bike. I can cram a lot more activities in the day. I am free to go wherever, freeway if I please, don’t have to plan. No need for a disgraceful helmet. I can wear a dress without having to worry about it flying off. I had never thought about all the advantages, until now. Ask my sixteen year old daughter, car = freedom. Not what the green people want to hear, but the truth nevertheless.

I can’t help but notice the change. As convenient as my car is, let’s face it, it pales in comparison to the pleasure I get from riding my bike, or working on my laptop when taking the train. If only, we had a better transportation infrastructure! More trains and buses, more frequently, and cheaper. And environments, designed to enhance riders’ experiences.

Read Full Post »

It is my pleasure to introduce Cass Nevada, my new guest in the BlogActs Series. Cass was one of the very first commenters on this blog, and over the months, has become a long distance friend and faithful supporter. Cass always surprises me with the depth of her writings. I feel so zen whenever I read her! When not blogging, Cass works as a consultant in social media, online customer experience and support, as well as support training and management development.

The automobile is arguably a key component to our culture–not Shopping, not Monday Night Football, but the Car. Without the automobile, Shopping and Football games would take on a whole new look. In January of 2007, while living and working in El Salvador, I realized how much I enjoyed not having a car–how it changed my brain somehow. Every time I came back to the States and resumed my normal car-focused behavior, I was aware of a growing contempt for my car. I decided then to begin a year-long project to see if I could live without my trusty car. Not all cars, just mine. That was the beginning of My Life with Car–a project that has changed a lot more in my life than just my transportation habits.

First, about “BlogActs.” I really love what La Marguerite is doing by calling out BlogActs–it’s a stellar idea! But in my case, action seems like such a…well, an active thing. And I don’t quite think of my year long project as an “action” Maybe at first I did, but I don’t now. Now it’s just part of my life, and that’s good. But I got to thinking about my project and realized, you know when you commit to change something in your life–something fundamental or maybe even not so fundamental–so many other aspects of you life change as well, not to mention your consciousness.

For example, you can’t start taking the bus or riding your bike for most errands or meetings downtown and not have that impact your thinking about how much more relaxed you are than when you’re in traffic…and wonder what other parts of your daily routine are driving you slowly out of your mind–like shopping, consuming, wanting and wanting and wanting. It’s also not possible–at least I don’t think it is–to become conscious about one part of your life without other things popping up for attention. And that’s been the interesting part of this project. Let me diagram this in my own case, my year long project to change my transportation habits and perhaps even ditch my car:


So again, I’ve discovered and re-discovered this all along the way: it’s the small steps that count. The single BlogAct I took on was to chronicle a year of learning about my transportation habits. The hundreds of offshoots from that one commitment–now that’s action.

Read Full Post »