I told you I’d bring you an up-date on my “winter” biking commitment. (Winter is in quotes there because we really haven’t gotten into the season proper yet.) Well, today started out cold (“felt like -18C”, according to the weather network) and I just couldn’t face the ride to work. I’m not giving up entirely, but, with the bike path in NDG closed down for the winter, I’ll have to ride along Sherbrooke St. to get downtown and I’m leery of that idea. Plus, it’s just plain cold! I’m a wimp! I admit it! My apologies to my intrepid son, Travis, who is still bravely facing the elements every day “au velo”, and without the proper clothing, I might add. I’m very proud of him and ashamed that I’m not as badass as he is!
However, just because I’m not as committed to winter riding as I could be doesn’t mean I’m going to get back into the car for every little errand I have to run. If the weather’s too cold, snowy, rainy , etc. for me to overcome my wussiness, I will be forced to walk or take the bus more often. That’s okay, too. I’m really enjoying not getting the car out as often; I don’t really like being in the car. It’s too easy and it makes me feel too wasteful and “first-worldly”. Although people in our environment don’t often think this way, I believe it’s important to think twice before taking out a large, inefficient, non-renewable-resource-guzzling machine to go to the drugstore that’s four blocks away. Thinking differently about this is also good for ourselves, because, even if we take the bus or metro to where we’re going, we will almost certainly be walking more than if we took our car; but if we ride a bike, walk, run, or skateboard to where we’re going, even better!
Gardening is about making our world a better place and when I became more connected to the planet through my garden, I think it heightened my awareness of the negative impact my (and others’) bad habits have on the world. There’s no end to the problems we’re facing, as the e-mails I get from many well-meaning organizations tell me regularly, but, while it’s easy to throw up our hands and say, “what’s the point of even trying!”, there are a few things that even a single individual can do to lessen one’s negative impact on the world. Taking the car out less often is one of them, and, as in most cases of taking good care of the planet, there are no real down-sides. It takes more effort, but that effort rewards you with better health through exercise, and less damage to your wallet. You AND your car will last longer!
While I’m on the subject of “things you can do”, I want to share one of my pet peeves. Plastic water bottles. I play in an orchestra where people buy bottles of water to drink, or they take the plastic glasses provided by the venue to drink from, every day. When I think of the number of bottles/plastic glasses that are piling up in the recycling centres just from the 90 people in my orchestra, it drives me crazy. Why don’t people simply buy one re-fillable bottle and bring it everywhere with them? Fill it up with tap water, because it’s perfectly drinkable in our city. Why not? Also, I’ve never seen a soloist bring a re-fillable bottle on stage with them in all the 22 years I’ve been working there. I may have missed one or two, but still. If the soloists would start doing that, think about how much impact that would have! It would make people think!! When I see a Youtube video of a stand-up comic, or a singer, or anybody doing something on stage, I notice what they’re drinking from. It’s almost ALWAYS a plastic, non-refillable water bottle. What gives?? Why is this such a difficult habit for people to break. It’s really NOT that hard. Okay, rant over. By the way, there are a few people who do bring refillable bottles to work (Ginny, I know you’re one!) and I salute them!!
As an apology for my lecture/rant, I am going to give you some beautiful, non-polluting music to listen to and relax with. “Cry me a River” with the amazing Ella Fitzgerald singing.
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