cycling is a gateway drug
Just some snapshots from a pretty typical week in the Simply Bike household. Biked to work, got groceries on my way home, ran with the pup, did laundry, baked, ate, slept, read, taught, graded, and blogged.
Nothing that special or that particular about it. But were I to compare this week with, say, a week in my life as an undergraduate, the differences would be pretty drastic. For one, I didn’t really cook or bake in those days. I didn’t ride a bike. And I sure didn’t hang-dry my laundry in the backyard.
I would say that my life as an undergraduate ranked pretty average on the whole. Once I started graduate school and became a little more aware of the world around me, I started making decisions that snowballed into how I live today; healthier eating, smarter consumerism (or nonconsumerism), broader awareness of social and political issues, and a much increased appreciation of nature and our planet.
And they all sort of went together. Once I became a runner, I couldn’t help but make better food choices. Once I thought about my gastronomical habits more, I couldn’t help but think about where my food comes from and at what price. And once I started cycling and being aware of something called a ‘carbon footprint’, I couldn’t help but hang-drying laundry whenever possible, turning off lights more, reusing (canvas) grocery bags, and thinking about other ways to be a more responsible user of this planet.
The list I mention is of course pretty elementary. I believe that most people can implement these changes without much bother to their lifestyle. And I believe that one little change begets another small change. A few baby steps later and you’re already acquiring positive karma. Don’t say you weren’t warned – cycling is a gateway drug!
I’ve also noticed that once you’re making changes in one area, it’s tougher to excuse questionable behavior in other areas. If I bike to work all week, I have a tough time justifying a drive to the grocery store; I’ve biked this much already, why not another mile or two?
It’s funny how these things go. Responsible living sure is a slippery slope – be careful what you start!
I would love to know – have you noticed this snowball effect in your life as well? What kind of things have you made part of your regular routine in order to live more eco-friendly and more environmentally responsible?