Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Observer Becomes the Observee

My experience without a car will be featured on this weekend's edition of Weekend America. My computer is on the fritz so I'll be offline for a few days, providing a bit of a Labor Day break.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

And here we are

The Grist story has been published. Whew. It was a long road but well worth it and I'd like to thank Grist for allowing me to tell this story.

I've been asked what I've learned from this experience and I struggle with that question. Whatever it is I take away from having two young children, riding the bus, walking and making small, daily efforts to live a more simple, less harmful life, I think it's still happening. I don't pretend to have the answers, or know that my efforts are going to make any difference in the long run, but do know I'm doing the best I can with the knowledge I have. And I try to do a little better every day.

Anyhow, thanks for reading. Take the bus. Go for a walk. Enjoy yourself.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Walk, no drive, no walk, no drive, no walk this way

As if just being alive wasn't issue enough, what with all the water and electricity and fossil fuels I use (it gets really bad when I start trying to figure out how much energy it took to make and deliver my treasured stroller), now a posting on Grist's blog tells me walking is possibly less efficient than driving.

How am I ever supposed to figure out the right way to live?

But even I, in all my science-challenge thinking, know that it's more efficient to walk than it is to drive to the gym. So I've got that covered.

Oh crap. I forgot. I do that too.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Day 31: The end is near

In the beginning, when I thought giving up my car might turn out to be me waxing poetic about shaking this motorized monkey off my back, I worried I'd lack enough funny stories to write a full story.

Now I'm wondering what story best illustrates the frustrations of not driving in a world of asphalt and traffic lights. And not to be too down on this experiment, I also hope to convey how enlightening portions of this trial have been and how deeply they've impacted my life.

As I get into the car today, to go to the bookstore, I'll feel a little guilty that I couldn't make it work better. But as I head home, my husband on this way to work, I'll tell that Orange H bus driver that I don't need a transfer and read Carolyn a story.

I can't return to a time when cars were a choice, at least in Normal. But I can do a lot with less, and that's not only the start of a great story, it's a gift.

I'll post again after the Grist story appears and then I might begin writing about other ways I try to do my part in helping the planet.

As Given Harper, a professor at Illinois Wesleyan U. and leader of the school's green team, told me a few weeks ago, "You can't change the world. You can only change the world around you."