Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day


It’s Earth Day. Try holding your breath.

The Environmental Protection Agency now is ranking carbon dioxide, which we exhale with each breath, as a pollutant.

I will admit there’s a lot I don’t know about this whole environment-global warming thing.

There’s a part of me that thinks the whole thing is a scam to get us out of our cars. That’s not entirely a bad thing.

That’s because I happen to live in a development that features a walking path that goes through the entire development, and then winds through a local park. Very nice. My wife and I try to use it as often as possible.

But that’s where we stop being environmentally friendly. There is not a single other thing we do that does not require us to get in our car.

We don’t really live in a town. We live outside town, as is the case with so many suburban developments. It was a nice place to raise our kids, but I curse my situation every day right now.

I yearn for the days before I was married and in my first year of wedded bliss. My first apartment was in West Chester. I lived in the third floor of an old house right across the street from the library.

Once I drove home from work, I parked the car (itself something of a challenge in West Chester), and I didn’t need to use it again until the next morning. There were some weekends I did not use the car at all.

West Chester is one of the most walkable towns I have ever lived in.
There was almost nothing I enjoyed more than getting up in the morning and walking downtown to grab a paper and a cup of coffee.

That’s only a memory now. A trip to my Wawa today means getting in the car. The same for church. Ditto for groceries and every other errand we run, usually three of four times a day.

Somewhere along the line, our planning process went haywire. I live in a pretty modest development. We are now surrounded by the bane of today’s home market, the McMansion. These mini-Shangra Las all have one thing in common. They almost inevitably make their residents dependent on their cars.

I look forward to the day (alas still far in the future) when I can get out of my house, and move back into a town where I can walk to do just about anything I need to do.

I don’t want to wind up in a development for seniors unless it is part of a town. I don’t want to be cut off from the rest of the world.

I want to get up in the morning, throw on a pair of shorts, and walk to my local Wawa. Hopefully I will meet a lot of people along the way, all doing the same thing I am, staying out of their cars.

In the meantime, Happy Earth Day. Don’t forget to breathe while you’re out there walking.

1 Comments:

Anonymous mobitronia said...

during this event, it’s about having an empty road free from cars. my plan was to trade my buick into an electric car.

April 29, 2009 at 9:28 PM 

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