July 28, 2008

This $123/barrel oil isn't doing it for me.

Though it may seem really obvious, it never becomes more so until you actually try it -- ending the use of cars and planes when possible. I was in the city a lot this weekend, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that people used taxis unnecessarily and not enough people rode bikes.

I guess this is a lot more applicable to big cities, but I see no reason why it shouldn't apply to an extent to the suburbs. A lot of us, in my area, at least, will drive everywhere -- whether we're going to the tennis courts at the high school, a friend's house, Starbucks, or the bank. For some reason, the $4.whatever/gallon gas prices don't seem to be stopping anyone in middle class suburbs, but it really is up to the individuals to start taking some incentive and starting to invest in bikes. It takes me 2-5 minutes tops to drive to the high school, Starbucks, the bank, or most of my friend's houses (at least the ones that live in the district).

If I were to bike, it would take me, maybe, 3-8 minutes. The fact that many places need a highway to get to seems to be an impediment for people who want to bike, but as I'm slowly realizing (and maybe this was clear to everyone else and I'm just a little behind), you can get practically EVERYWHERE on Long Island through a local route. I'm just so used to the highway that I never realized this (note that I don't drive. My mom and sister take me everywhere because I fail to take Drivers Ed. or learn how to drive, but I think I'm going to use that as my excuse to not drive and just invest in a kickass bike).

Beyond local destinations -- say I wanted to go to Boston for a college visit, I could drive for 5 hours or fly for 1.5 hours (but go to the airport 1.5-2 hours early and then take the time to get into the city from the airport). Even better, though, would be taking a bus that's going there (to the middle of the city, so no travel from bus station to city after arrival) anyway, whether I choose to or not, for $32 - 40 round-trip. Anthony mentioned a few great bus services that take you where you need to go for cheap, with the convenience of having an electrical outlet at your seat and wi-fi, so you can get what you need to done, wasting no time at all, here.

Maybe this was all too plain to see, but not enough people act. Cars aren't that necessary, and I intend on embracing that. It kind of links with the fact that people are often too rushed. I'm all about efficiency and getting things done, but at a certain point, I think it's worth it (and totally feasible) to do something as simple as leave somewhere a little early to walk and get there at the same time you would've driving or get off the computer more often to bike to the local grocery store and pick up your greens (or cookies or whatever) and put them in your bookbag to bike home w/ them. Every time I walk somewhere, I find that there's something about the outdoors I didn't notice last time I walked around or drove in the area, giving me a greater appreciation for the surroundings and a greater reason to get out of the freaking car.

Try it sometime. Walk to the grocery store and take your groceries home in a backpack. See how easy it is, and make it a lifestyle.

Oh yeah, and you burn a lot more calories. End the laziness epidemic. Technology's great, but you gotta get outside every so often. Stop reading this blog and smell the fresh air (unless you haven't read some of the other posts, then you can read those then go outside hahah OR EVEN BETTER - take your laptop outside and walk and read the posts at the same time. Just don't bump into anything.)

Stay real boys and girls,