Monday, June 07, 2010

Walk-About-Town .... Car-Free Adventure INTRO

Our goal/challenge for the summer is to walk nearly everywhere in town for our weekly errands instead of driving. Giving us the benefit saving gas and money, reducing carbon emissions, spending more time out of the house and in town, and maybe even losing a few pounds while I'm at it! :) We don't have any hard and fast rules for this, I hope my resolve holds firm because just the thought of dragging a wagon loaded with 70 pounds of wiggling kid-ness when it's 90 degrees with 95% humidity makes my asthma start acting up. (or is that a panic attack???)

The post office is farthest away (1/2 a mile) and our most frequent trip. We'll probably head there every other day, unless we're expecting something good. We spend a lot of time at our local library and that almost directly across the street from our house. We walk there year-round anyway. Our town is itty-bitty, most people in the county do not realize we are a town at all. Some think we are a village or just a busy stretch of road. :) But we have our own post office, school, library, grocery store, local diner and ice cream shop, pizza place, McDonald's, hardware, pharmacy, and more! All within a 1/2 mile stretch. The downside is that is not at walkable. We only have sidewalks through the 'downtown' part of town which is about half of our walk. There are no sidewalks in front of our house, the grocery store, or library. There are foot/bike trails beginning to wear in over time. We have a good number of people (kids, teens, and adults) who walk and bike in town instead of drive. It can be difficult, and sometimes impossible, to walk in the winter months due to the lack of sidewalks. (And in Michigan, winter can last a good 6 months.)

Okay, I know I started rambling a bit there, so bear with me please! I'm almost done. :) We do not have any mass transit systems nearby, so it's walk, drive, or stay home. My husband will continue to drive the 30+ miles to work each day. It's not fun. And he works from home, it's just it addition to his regular hours. If telecommuting was an option, that would be great. We'll drive to church on Sundays, because the 20 mile drive it just too far to walk. There are closer churches, but we've been there for nearly 10 years and they are our family. Our family is worth it. We try to combine other trips into that one, it just make sense. Once every few weeks we'll drive the 12 miles to the Flint Market to the bulk of our shopping. Beginning July 29th (and on Thursdays thereafter for the remainder of the summer) I'll be working at a farmers market selling my soaps and things and then we'll do our shopping there.

Like I said earlier, no hard and fast rules. We're just being conscious of our driving habits. We'll try to stick to it and not make excuses.


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