Going Green

As I drove to work today I breathed a bit easier as I noticed that gas prices had once again dropped below the $4 mark ( not sure what the prices were like else where in the country but here in Central Indiana we peaked at $4.20 a gallon last week). Not sure how long the prices will be below $4 as Fourth of July is just a week away and chances are we will see yet another spike. I also recently heard that the price of steak will be rising as the floods in the central part of the country have devastated many crops (not to mention peoples homes) and so with the cost of gas plus the cost of corn that feeds the cows on the rise such affordable restaurants like Texas Road House, Outback, and LongHorn might all become a luxury of the very wealthy.

The experts have all been on the morning shows and the various news stations informing us how we can all save money and “go green”. They talk about how we should ride bikes, car pool, use public transportation, shop at our local farmers market, walk, go on a stay-cation rather than a vacation, recycle, grow your own vegetables, and the list continues. Now, while all these are great ideas and suggestions I am just wondering how realistic they are in today’s America. For instance, I would love to not drive and use public transportation however I live in Anderson IN and work in Muncie IN and guess what, there is no bus, train, trolley, or subway that goes from Anderson to Muncie. In fact, there is no public transportation system that connects any of the outlying cities to Indianapolis (example Indygo does not make stops in Fishers IN where a great number of people commute from everyday). Car pooling is another fantastic idea but how many of us live by our co-workers or even someone who is generally going our same direction not too mention, is on the same time schedule as us. On top of that last time I drove to Indianapolis I did not notice any car pool lanes. I know they have them in other cities but of course they are much larger and have better public transportation.

Growing a garden sounds wonderful as I have heard it is very therapeutic with stress relief and a great source of food. I live in a 650 sq ft apartment. I have no yard to grow a garden. Not sure what the rest of your living conditions are like but for me growing a garden is out of the question.

Walking and riding bikes. Where can I start, well again great idea but here in Central Indiana sidewalks and bike lanes are an anomaly. So you basically take your life in your own hands if you decide to walk or ride your bike anywhere.

However, I have started attending the farmers market and picking up some locally grown fruits and vegetables, and that has saved me money as well as they seem much fresher then when I get them from the grocery store. I have also started recycling. I have my own bin on the deck of my apartment and I recycle everything I can. I have noticed I have a lot less trash and now when I see someone throw away an aluminum can I find myself getting it out of the trash can and recycling it (may be a little OCD I know).

While we can all probably do a couple of the green ideas what about the big picuture? Will we eventually have to redesign our cities (both big and small) to be more self efficient? Or will we a large number of people start moving to the bigger cities (Chicago, New York, San Francisco) and the suburban life all be just a distant memory?

I believe we Americans took for granted our natural resources and our cost of living. And while we complain about the rise in cost of living I feel as a nation we are just waiting around for big brother to cut interest rates and open up new oil reserves. To me this is not just a glitch in the economy that will soon pass. The days of driving our giant SUV’s and trucks on a $1 per gallon gas are gone. It is time for us to really take a hard look at how we live our lives here in America and start acting and stop waiting. 

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Published in: on June 26, 2008 at 2:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

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