I try to be green for a while

One thing that I love about Boulder is that it gets me out of the house, quite literally, and moving. The reason for this is that everything (almost) that we might want to do is within walking distance of where we live, or accessible on a bus route. Now my great fear in this particular post is that I will start sounding like some naive eco-person whose interest in saving the earth comes from a desire to be fashionable as much as it does from a concern for the earth. I am like this sometimes, unfortunately — buying massive amounts of reusable grocery bags, and never bringing them back to the grocery store. Buying, buying — anything with a green or eco label on it.

Another manifestation of this outlook in myself is the long-held and firmly entrenched belief that public transportation is a wonderful way to lower the amount of carbon emissions and other pollutants in our atmosphere — for other people. Therefore, with this post, I am publicly admitting to the beginning of a great experiment for me: we are attempting to spend this month in Boulder without renting a car. At any rate, those things are so very expensive, even if you get a tiny little economy model. You can practically buy a new car for what it would cost to rent one for a month. Besides, Boulder is currently the capital of eco-chic, with lots of convenient bus routes. These have cute names like Hop, Skip and Jump. There are a few more, like, I believe, Boogie down Broadway (a well-traveled street here). They actually go to places that I want to go.

I have no idea if this is the case back in Cincinnati. Yes, I know perfectly well that there is a big public transportation system, all buses though, no subway and not yet a streetcar for downtown. I have no idea if they stop at convenient places, because the closest they come to my house is about a mile away. I know this is unfashionable to say, but I am not walking a mile to get a bus, regardless of how much I save on gas.

I think most people have similar attitudes: I’ll try to be green as long as it doesn’t inconvenience me much. Or at all. This is a great stumbling block for the drive to make us all greener and more energy-efficient. We don’t mind it unless our sacrifice will have a chance of jolting us out of our usual ruts. So, I am determined now to give the bus a try before I run screaming to the car-rental agency.

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