Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Transportation Tuesday

(this is for October 20th...just got to wifi to post it)

Well, today I was supposed to cut down on my transportation footprint. I walked to work. That is no cut. I always walk to work now.

At work I needed to do a field tour with someone and we took his giant work rig (that's country folk talk for "vehicle"). I thought for a moment about taking my subaru which would get more miles per gallon. BUT...we were going into the mountains on logging roads. This is not somewhere to take a subaru. So, big 4-wheel drive truck it was. Also, I have no idea where I am in the mountains so me driving is hopeless. At one point he turned around and came back down the road we'd just been on and I was STILL completely lost. I even asked "now whose place is this" and OBVIOUSLY it was the same place we'd just passed about 20 minutes before. There was even a moosehide nailed to a shed. I was lost until I saw that the second time. This does not bode well for my move to the boonies. I could die wandering back from the creek a quarter mile away.

ANYWAY, I was happy with the choice to not drive my rig when the driver of the aforementioned giant truck looked at a mud hole with deep ruts and said, "we might get high centered" then went through it. He also noted that he has a winch so we'd be ok. The subaru does not have a winch and I'm not getting one. I do not need to be driving anywhere where a winch would be essential. Maybe at work and hence the invention of the "work rig."

So, along with the examining transportation today, I was to keep a list of food I ate and consider where it came from.
Here is a partial list:
Rice-n-beans...rice from far away, beans from far away, local onion, tomatoes from my garden, local peppers, salt from god knows where, pepper and spices from far away.
Bread with organic but not local wheat and sourdough from my counter.
Buffalo soup with conventional corn and greenbeans, onion from my garden, peppers from the freezer...I think they are conventional.
Oatmeal...not local, with sugar, oat bran and wheat bran. Mostly organic but not local.
And tea...not local.
Tofu fudge-cicle with organic but non-local tofu, conventional sugar, fake vanilla (a gift), and a bit of organic but non-local canola oil.
Not a bad day. I meant to eat kale again (I bought a ton because it was cheap) but I'm SICK OF IT. Will try again tomorrow.

So, for tomorrow, I intend to figure out my food carbon footprint if I can (I've got a meeting in Sandpoint and won't be near wifi or an interneted computer). We're supposed to do that. And try to eat all local/organic/regional/vegan whatever we can. We are to set our own food goal. I think mine will be to continue the all homemade from stuff I have on hand. Throwing out and buying new food rather than using up what I have is more wasteful than helpful. I will be more conscious of eating local and organic and unpackaged now that I've paid attention to this stuff for several days. Just eating homemade tomorrow will be something of an effort because I'll be on the road for at least one meal, possibly 2 or three. That means getting up 10 minutes earlier than planned to make sure I can pack a lunch.
Fortunately, I preplanned and cooked last weekend so I have bread, soup, beans and rice and other things that I can just pack and go. Also have apples (I think they are organic but possibly not local...must check), nuts and dried fruit. I should be fine. And once again people will stare.

I was at a meeting at the casino a few years ago where they had advertised "lunch is on your own." Out of over 100 people there, 2 of us brought a lunch. EVERYONE ELSE went to the casino buffet or one of the other restaurants in the casino. I was stunned. I thought there would be more freaks, more frugal types, more poor people. But nope. Everyone went off to spend between 10$ and 20$ for food that would have given me diarrhea (I still had my gallbladder and rich food was pretty risky).

I guess the goal for today's No Impact Challenge was to get me to be aware of my food. Definitely worked.

The ongoing awareness of garbage is also good.
Th transportation one was pretty good. I even considered trying to carpool to the meeting tomorrow, but in the end did not. The person I could "pool" with is someone in another town, on the way, with whom I've had a challenging work relationship and there is danger of things at the meeting blowing up on us. I really thought about calling to see about sharing a ride but realizing that if things go poorly, this person likes to stomp out of meetings early. If I'm driving that will mean they will have spent perhaps HOURS seething and getting defensive and/or pouting before the trip. If they drive, I could be making someone else come get me or hitch hiking or something. While it would be possible that things could go well, the odds are slim and I'm not quite there yet to taking that risk. If it goes OK, I'll propose to them that we share a ride next time.

Maybe I'll look into offsetting my work driving with some carbon chits.

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