Day Three: Burn calories not fossil fuels

…PLUS continue to buy only what’s needed aniStock_ car exhaustd strive for ZERO trash.

American car owners spend an average of 1000 hours annually behind the wheel! Imagine what we could do with all that extra time! Not to mention the money.

This part of the No Impact Project experiment is currently easy for us to manage on a daily basis. I work out of my home, so, except for special events, Chamber meetings, etc., I don’t use my car for my job and jet off maybe once a year to CA. My husband’s layoff has eliminated his driving. Plus, he’s been unable to drive in the last few weeks because he broke both wrists in a bike riding accident. Of course, today was the day he had to drive 66+ miles (round trip) to the doctor to have his casts removed. Truth be told: if he has to travel for a paycheck, that is what he will do.

My son takes the bus to school 99% of the time—although the school is very close (a 5 minute drive and he’s on the bus 40 minutes). The school entrance is off a busy road, making it a bit inconvenient; my son and I did discover a chained off faux entrance off of another road with the school in view just up the heavily weeded hill. We’re willing to test it out at least once — let me rephrase that, I am… my son is not necessarily full-on-board with this idea–barring a skull-and-crossbones No Trespassing sign, swamp or killer bee mine-like hives. Keep in mind my son is only 8, so I wouldn’t even think of allowing him to walk to or from school alone–but this gets me thinking about organizing a weekly walk-to-school day at the bare minimum… I digress. I think I can safely assume that not one kid walks to my son’s school. A fair amount of kids don’t take the bus—their mom or dad drive them to school, many with a cell phone stuck to their ear so if we attempted to walk, we’d have to be extra vigilant not to get plowed over.

Bottom line: other than my husband’s unavoidable trip to the doc and my son traveling to school, we didn’t burn any fossil fuels to get from point A to point B on this particular day. There was no point B to worry about. We didn’t buy anything. But the garbage challenge will continue to haunt me. We tossed a couple things—mainly from food packaging (more guilt pangs).

Tips to minimizing travel:
(I know, you’ve heard most if not all of them before, but here they are anyway).

  • Put a sign on your garage door: Stop before you drive. Do you really need what you’re going out for?
  • Combine errands into one efficient run
  • Share rides with neighbors and friends
  • Even if you carpool to soccer, ask yourself — do my children have to be in more than one activity each?
  • Tally  up your saved miles each week and put the gas money saved in a jar
  • Designate at least one day no driving day
  • Stick a tack on the driver’s seat (just kidding)
  • Take a stay-cation this year as an experiment with minimal to no driving. (Did I just hear an ‘eek!’ from the peanut gallery?)

Day Four: Healthy eating to lessen your “foodprint”

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