This is just a quick blog post today. Since the Gulf Oil Spill began I’ve been seriously reconsidering the structure of my life: where I live, how I shop, how much I need to drive. For me, this July 4th is the day I want to officially redouble my resolve to become independent from oil. To read why this is such a huge issue for me, read on. Below are some small steps I am personally taking to decrease my own oil consumption:
Cycling Routes This week I’ve been mapping every route between my home and town, trying to evaluate if there is a way to safely bike to town. Or a way to help make a safe bikeway so we can all increase our cycling options.
Staycation I’ve decided to stay local for the holiday, much as I want to hop in the car and drive the 6 hours to visit family this weekend. Staycations can help the environment, reduce stress, and stretch dollars. Luckily there is lots to explore in my area.
Shopping local I can get about 75% of what my family consumes from local farmer’s markets and my own back yard. Buying organic and 100% locally produced directly reduces demand for oil by reducing ‘food miles‘ and pesticide and herbicides. I’ve made a conscious effort this week to only shop at local stores, and only when I’m in town for other errands or work. No extra trips. And saying no to plastic bags. And buying organic. We can do it. Check out my Local Green Guide for where to shop local and green in Westchester and Fairfield counties.
With the disaster growing and growing, my outrage has increased, as well as my focus on how I personally help to create demand for oil. Driving my car has a direct impact on oil demand, which I knew, but now each time I turn the ignition I think of oil leaking into the region my sister used to monitor the manatees, where her husband’s family fished, and now I can visualize the nightmare of burning turtles and the yet- to-be determined long-term destruction from the dispersants that BP continuously jetisons into those waters, killing everything in its wake.
But it’s a holiday, so celebrate, have fun with friends and family, and take a little time to consider the Gulf and our impact. Consider independence.