Monday, September 04, 2006

Pedestrian Adventures

I've been walking to and from work a lot because I don't own, or have access to a car. While walking, I've noticed that pedestrians seem to be invisible to the rest of the world. In three weeks I have been:

  1. Sprayed by lawn sprinklers.
  2. Doused by passing motorists driving through puddles.
  3. Almost run over by inconsiderate and/or blind motorists attempting to execute right hand turns.

I have also almost been late for work several times.

This makes it seem like walking has created a soaking wet, half-dead, fired-from-her-job Stephanie. In fact, it has made me healthier, more aware of time, and less stressed. I highly recommend it.

Another very good reason for walking is the fact that it is good for the environment. Which isn't really true, it would be truer to say that it isn't bad for the environment. I recently did an ecological footprint quiz and discovered that mine is 5.6 global hectares (compared to the 1.8 global hectares available for every person alive right now). This essentially means that it would take about 3 earths to sustain those living the way I do. And I DON'T DRIVE. Pretty scary. I actually filled in the quiz again to see what my score would be if I did drive and it wasn't as different as I thought it would be: a 6.3 (three and a half planets). The biggest part of my score was actually the food part. After filling the quiz in several different ways I determined that it is practically impossible for anyone to acheive a score close to the 1.8 ideal without being vegan, eating 100% locally grown food, not having electricity and walking everywhere. It really opened my eyes to how unsustainable my lifestyle is. And it made me feel a lot less smug about all the "good" I'm doing by walking.

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