Monday, May 24, 2010

5 Dirty Words

Caught your eye, didn’t it? I know it caught mine. And no, it’s not what you think.
Like most Portlanders I tend to have an eye toward conservation: I take public transportation to and from work, I combine trips when I’m out driving around, I recycle, I even compost.

In the first part of May, MINIGirl and her family took a trip down to Southern California so I had the opportunity to “sublet” her parking spot in the garage next to our office building for a week. In the two and a half years I have worked in that office I hadn’t once driven myself to work. In fact I frequently extolled upon the virtues of taking MAX to work daily, and for the most part those still hold true.

After the week was over I gave MINIGirl her parking pass back and went back to my daily commute on Max. I hated it. I’d had a taste of freedom and now I was locked back in to the schedule that the MAX set for me. So I began to think to myself: “What if I drove to work everyday?” But logic hits me upside the head noting all the money I save by taking the MAX, and how virtuous for the Earth it is. So I quietly take my seat on the MAX and contemplate what another few months of light rail commuting would mean.

In between podcasts I looked up at the posters that line the walls inside the car and I see one from TriMet: “5 Dirty Words: POLLUTION. Fact: 4.2 tons of smog-forming pollutants are avoided every day by leaving our cars at home and riding TriMet.”

GUILT. Pure and simple. How selfish of me to want to shave ten to fifteen minutes off of my commute home and contribute to global warming.

If you would like to read the rest of TriMets 5 Dirty Words look here.


Jeanine said...

oh and though you already mention it, we save SO much money and CO2! I'm happy car-free and still haven't used my zipcar account for pleasure, only for work. :-)

Jeanine said...

driving also equals more stress (traffic). mass transit equals time for reading (paper or iphone) and people watching!!