A note on Sustainability

There are three main reasons I have started to cyclocommute (a word I just made up): financial, physiological and ideological. Financially, I was spending $4.50 each day in gas on my commute. That is at least $90 a month, before you figure in wear and tear on my car. A bus pass only costs me $64 each month. Physiologically, getting on my bike several times a week is good for my health. I’ve started stretching again and I have more energy throughout the day.

The most important reason, however, is ideology. Driving myself by car is not a sustainable exercise. What I do at work in no way equals the resources it takes to get there. Sustainability is about doing things in a way that does not leave a debt behind you (in this case, an environmental debt). Eventually all the chemicals and fuels we use are going to make the world unlivable. So I ride my bike to cut down the amount of chemicals and fuels.

There is something that happens when you get out on your bike; you become part of the community. No longer encased by metal, glass and plastic, you no longer shy away from conversations with neighbors and other commuters. You learn more about the area and more about where you fit.

There are many other areas where sustainability matters. One of the biggest (and most written about) is food. Learning how much of the food in this country is grown will destroy your childhood ideas of farms and farmers. Sustainable food is organic, free from pesticides and naturally fertilized. It is also tastes better and has more nutrients.

Take some time to look at your life; the things you use that you don’t really need, the things you waste and the things you throw away. Try to eliminate those things; (I know this will sound cliché) reduce, reuse and recycle (in that order).