Planet Ark News

Confessions of a Lazy Car Driver

Date: 30-Jan-17
Author: Claire Bell

Claire on Planet Ark Photo Shoot © Claire Bell

Claire on Planet Ark Photo Shoot

Being without a car for a few weeks forced Planet Ark staff member, Claire, to change some of her lazy driving habits and make some positive changes to her every day actions.

Many of our every day actions are performed without much thought, they’re habits. It’s only when a change occurs or we have do without something that we stop and think about what we’re doing.

Recently my car broke down and it was out of action for a couple of weeks.  I have to admit I thought I was pretty good at limiting my car use and I’m conscious of my environmental footprint. In short I was kidding myself.  It was only when I was without the car that I realised how much I did actually rely on it and how lazy I had become.

Being without the car forced me to actively think about how I travelled whenever I left the house. I hadn’t really done that for a long time.  For example, normally if it was raining I’d jump in the car and drive to the station instead of walk.  I’d even drive to start my walk by the local river or I’d automatically just drive to the nearest supermarket.

For the last three weeks this has all changed.  If it’s raining, I take an umbrella and still walk to the station and I do the same when it’s hot! I have jumped on my bike and cycled to the local pool and shops. I haven’t been to the big supermarket instead I’ve walked past the local shops on my way home from the station and picked up what I need every few days. When going for a walk, well (and I type this with embarrassment) …um… I’ve just walked out of the house and kept on walking, no brainer, right?

I intend to keep these newly formed habits going and not be tempted back into laziness. None of these things have been hard, and they’ve no doubt been good for me, better for the environment and beneficial to my local community. Win win all round.

The beginning of the year is a good time to think about what you’re doing. Are you on auto-pilot?  Are there small changes you could make to reduce your reliance on the car, get moving and keep it local?

Claire

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