2.27.2007

Car-free Sundays

After Quarterly Meeting this winter, Chris and I started talking about what would be one more thing we could do to live more sustainably on the earth.

We already recycle and compost and turn off unnecessary lights, most of the time anyway. We try to juggle our desire to live on one salary with our desire to eat organic food. But as I wrote about in one of my earliest posts on this blog, Life After Oil, we sacrificed our car-free lifestyle when we had children.

This year, we’re attempting to live with car-free Sundays. It’s not such a stretch for us. We live half a block from a street-car line that drops us off around the corner from our meetinghouse. Like most personal environmental witness, it’s basically a matter of inconvenience. As in we were late for meeting last Sunday because we all slept in a bit and we didn’t compensate by deciding to just drive downtown.

It means we don’t go as many places after meeting. Although we once managed to take our kids to an afternoon playdate at a friend’s house and then walk home afterwards. We tend to not go shopping on Sunday afternoons, although we can and do sometimes walk to the corner store if we need milk or fruit or something.

And we aren’t holding ourselves strictly even to this low standard. We still drive to meeting in Santa Barbara when we’re there and we still drive home from Quaker Center on Sunday nights if we’ve been there for the weekend.

But it’s a small step in the right direction. The low hanging fruit, as some like to say. And I hope that by exercising some discipline in this area, we will become strong enough to be more faithful in the future.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Emily L. said...

You present good ideas here--I am always trying to find ways to make environmentally conscious decisions, but often find it very difficult. It makes me wonder how our economy would have to change to make this kind of lifestyle more manageable. For now, car-free Sundays sound great!

2/27/2007 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Quietpaths said...

What is it like to walk where you are? Is it all pleasant? Walking after Worship can evolve into nearly an extension of the quiet time one spends inside with the Meeting. At least to me the Sunday walking ritual we have is very important. That is, if you have a peaceful place to stroll.

2/28/2007 5:48 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Emily, a small step in the right direction is a good place to start, no?

Christine, our meeting house is on a very busy street in a very urban neighborhood. Some people find it unpleasant, I would say at least it's not peaceful.

We used to live just a few blocks away and walking to and from Meeting was a useful practice. But now it's several miles and over or around a pretty big hill, even for San Francisco, so taking Muni is the best we can do. It's still not peaceful.

My mid-week morning walks on the beach, however, are very peaceful, interiorly, even if it's windy and dramatic outside.

2/28/2007 11:47 PM  

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