Another benefit to parking the car and going in rather than using the drive thru: you get to know your bank teller, your barista, even your fast-food counter person. These days when we're so isolated from other people, it is good to make personal contact whenever possible.
I'm curious whether buying local and organic vegetables and fruits really has green benefits. While some food travels 1500 miles from farm to fork, much of that travel is using rail and truck -- both of which may be far more efficient in terms of emissions per pound of food purchased than the local farmer and his pickup truck. I wonder if this has been carefully studied.
And the idea that buying from the farmer is economical because the transaction eliminates the middleman has not happened in my experience. Farmers' market foods tend to be kind of pricey compared to the nearby big markets in the city.
Thanks for the encouraging article! Flexitarian... what a great term. We started visiting the tfarmer's market after our Saturday morning run, and the produce prices are better and they last longer thanthe store
Another area to go green is in your skincare. Choose products without harsh chemicals, petroleum, or animal bi-products and you will be helping both the environment and your body in BIG ways
While quality, organic products may have a higher sticker price, the value is far better than those with cheap fillers and expensive packaging.
I believe we need to participate in civil and urban design. In America and Australia (where I live) car culture rules supreme. I am active and vocal in being part of the solution for people and animal friendly neighborhoods. Get involved in your community: when we live in unpolluted, sustainable living spaces we naturally move our bodies more & connect with our communities.
To those who won't cut out meat (I saw a comment about not being able to get enough protein) - there are plenty of ways to get non-animal based protein. Want tips and suggestions - please ask me how and I'd love to help!!
p.s. Most people eat way more protein than they actually need to.
Ridign a Bicycle even at $4/gallon gas does save money unless you need to exercise anyway. Why, the food required to fuel a bicycle commute costs more than gasoline. 1 Gallon of gasoline can move an effecient car about 25 miles on a average commute. To travel 25 miles at somewhat relaxed pace on a comfortable bicycle, most humans will need around 900 kcal. That's a full meal... which will cost you at least $4 if you eat healthy.
Make the comparison with an electric bicycle or a scooter, and things just got skewed for the worse.
Just making a point that you don't always save as much as you think. So unless you eliminate a car form the household, or need that commute as a from of exercise, it won't save you as much money as you think. Gaoline is still a very cheap form of energy.
i live in a city, i have no prior knowledge of growing fruits or veggies and using old and repurposed containers i have started my own garden this year and it is doing quite well with some dirt, compost i make in a trash can in my house by a window and water...start up cost was all of maybe $5.00 for seeds. i don't own a car and do everything by bus or walking, even grocery shopping and i have 4 kids. granted somethings are too far to walk to or the roads are unsafe (or there isn't a bus where you live, etc) but i think this list is actually very practical and totally doable by most.
Even though there are good suggestions here, one must do what is practical for them. For example, I live in the rural area of my city so walking anywhere isn't really safe due to a lack of sidewalks along our two-lane roads. Growing my own food isn't practical because I don't have the knowledge, skill, or start up funds to start a garden. I don't go to fast food drive-thrus. If I do get fast food, it is usually at a Subway or the local non-chain burger joint where I can park my car and walk in. I'd like to live accroding to these suggestions and someday I will. Right now, it's not feasible.
I agree that these are great suggestions but not all of them are practical for everyone. The nearest grocery store is 6 miles away. The fruits and veggies are not fresh. I could walk or bike but how would I get my groceries home and what do I do with the kids.
I won't cut back on my meat. As it is I rarely get enough protein. Much of the meat we eat is grass fed cattle raised locally or wild meat that has been hunted.
But, as with many things, we do what we can and what works for one doesn't mean it works for all.
I must be doing something wrong in the "grow your own food" department. With a tiny yard, I plant tomatoes in a container. The cherry tomatoes do just fine, but I'm lucky if I get two decent tomatoes per plant all summer long...off to the farmer's market I go.
Everyone wins when we follow those simple recommendations!
4/5/2011 8:20:08 AM
I commute to work 5 days a week, in the morning when I get off the commuter bus, instead of taking the subway, I walk 20 minutes to work. I burn around 80 calories and save $2.50 in metrocard fare per day.
3/29/2011 2:45:41 PM
I was surprised last year when I saw one of the vendors at my local "farmers"' market buying bulk tomatoes at the local super store. He was selling the tomatoes the next day at the farmers' market and charging more! It is so easy to be hoodwinked by shady people.
3/21/2011 10:18:29 AM
Our church, the United Church of Christ, has a Lenten Carbon Reducing Program. It has us reducing our carbons for lent. I am going to offer this article as further incentive! Thanks. JaneWK1
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