Monday, September 08, 2008
Time to do my part
So today the federal election campaign starts in earnest. But while I used to live and breathe politics, today my reaction is more like the little guy on the right. Sure, there are important differences between the parties and candidates, etc., but I can't help feeling that whoever wins the election doesn't have that much relevance to what happens in my life. Call me cynical but that's the way it is.
However, that doesn't mean I'm not interested in things. In fact, I've decided that my goal for the next while is to figure out ways to reduce my own carbon footprint. And I figured that since I've been having trouble coming up with reasons to update this blog recently, I'll share my journey with you all.
The first thing I've done is to make a commitment to using public transit to get around instead of driving. I was a pretty dedicated user of public transit when we lived in Hamilton and I worked in Toronto - I spent a lot of time on Go Trains and buses. But since we moved to Victoria, I've tended to drive when I needed to go downtown or more recently, get to the office.
So for the last few weeks, I've been buying bus tokens and travelling to work by bus. Last week, I upgraded to a monthly bus pass. Travelling by bus is longer (about 50 minutes one way, as opposed to 10 minutes by car) but it gives me a chance to catch up on podcasts on my Ipod. So I don't mind the extra time. However, when I go to work by bus, I can't get home at noon to walk the dogs -- that could be a problem.
I haven't decided whether to get rid of my car for good yet. It's a 1994 VW Jetta that needs a brake job but is otherwise still a good car for around town. I'm tempted to keep it around to have for taking the dogs places and picking up groceries, etc. But I may get rid of it too, depending on how well my second major carbon footprint idea works out.
And that idea is a new bike, which I finally picked up last week. It's a hybrid, a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike, which has some of the features of both. It's a great commuting option and since I live in Victoria - where bike commuting is a realistic alternative year-round - I'm looking forward to making that option work.
I'll tell you more about how that's going in my next post.