For No Impact Week today I am meant to be thinking about my travel arrangements. Now I live near enough to my place of work to be able to walk there if I have the time, so better planning could make that possible more often.
On the other hand I only work three days each week and once a week I do an evening shift, so I wouldn't walk home then when it's already dark. I often do shopping after work, so I am doubling up on journeys, but if I planned it right I might only have one or two light items to carry home most days.
I might try walking to work today as hubby isn't back at work yet and he can pick me up after visiting his mum, I'll need to be better organised before walking to work on a regular basis is feasible. It is something I shall definitely work on. There's also the matter of walking when it's pouring with rain, which I am a bit averse to.
Getting rid of the car is out of the question. Without a car life becomes much more limited and besided, these days I need to visit my parents at least once a fortnight, who need moral, and sometimes practical support. Even if I don't need to take my mum somewhere, which I usually do, the train is slow and expensive and I'd have to get a bus or taxi at the other end, which would all take a lot of time out of a day's visit.
I also anticipate flying more than usual this year to visit family, so while I shall try to walk more during the week, I shall have to work harder at reducing my carbon footprint in other ways.
A few years ago I participated in something called the Year of Living Generously, which involved undertaking a new 'generous' action each month. Some actions were about more sustainable living and others were about being a better neighbour. This got me started into looking at ways I could change the way I lived for the better, but I found that even a small change once a month took some doing and also that other family members weren't always as keen on making the changes as I was.
So I think the best way to make lasting changes is to work on things a bit at a time, going at your own pace, and if you need to get your family to join in, taking their views and needs into consideration. Sometimes you just have to give up on some changes to keep the peace, and if those changes are minor it won't be the end of the world. Other changes might need more subtle tactics and ingenuity or an element of compromise.
For instance, I remember my family weren't too happy when I changed to recycled toilet paper. Indeed, one member protested very vociferously. After a while I gave it up, to be honest I wasn't all that impressed with the stuff myself. A year or so later I discovered a softer version of recycled toilet paper and the family accepted it happily.
So perhaps this will be the year I walk more and use the car for less short journeys. It's been something I've thought I should work on for a few years now. It will also help me achieve my goal of getting fitter, so I shall try to give it a go.
I know I am lucky not to have to go very far to work and therefore, even when I do drive I don't spend hours in slow-moving traffic, but I can choose to walk, too. In fact my journey to work is mostly downhill, so uses very little petrol, but I need to think of the positive impact walking will have on my health, especially if I take short cuts and avoid all the car fumes in the mornings.