A New Chapter in the Green Experiment

Today is an important day because not only have I lived in Pittsburgh for exactly one year, but we are starting a new green project: no car.

We’ve been toying with the idea of selling it for a while, and when Taylor’s mother offered to drive it home to New Mexico we gladly agreed.  Pittsburgh is a moderately spread out city but with decent public transportation that we can take for free as students, so we are ready to stop feeling guilty every time we drive the one mile to the grocery store.

My estimated pros and cons of not having a car:

  • Pro: saving about $1600/year on gas, insurance, and parking
  • Con: I will always forget this when we need to rent a zipcar or uhaul for any reason and will not want to spend the money on them
  • Pro: we have bikes and will use them more
  • Con: will make acquiring furniture more difficult
  • Pro: we will not end up with a lot of crap we don’t need
  • Con: will take an hour to get somewhere that would previously have taken 10 min
  • Big Pro: feeling good about using public transportation
  • Pro: new and exciting adventures/vacations via Megabus $1 tickets

Think we can do it? I am excited for the challenge.

Bye bye Subie.  We will miss you. 

I don't have a picture of the Subie so here are a few of our favorite city buses

I don’t have a picture of the Subie so here is a bus instead

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New Green Habits: On Cars, Elevators, and Worms

This week, Taylor and I are trying to decrease our eco footprint by not driving at all.  Taylor estimates that we use about a 1/4 of a tank a week, which isn’t that much gas, but the everyday driving that we do could easily be avoided by just taking the city buses or walking.  So this week we’re doing our part to unclog the streets of Pittsburgh and reduce emissions, and hopefully we’ll be able to keep it up.

In the spirit of using less resources (and being less lazy) we have also decided to take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible.  That will mean quite a few sets of stairs every day because we work 3-4 floors up. I got a little out of breath this morning, but I think I can handle it.

Lastly, as of this week we’re going to start composing to provide organic matter for our [future] gardens and to reduce our waste.  As badly as I want a worm bucket (no sarcasm; I like worms), Taylor has a compost pile in his backyard that nobody uses. Perfect.