Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Change the World Wednesday: Reduce your Emissions

Time for another Change the World Wednesday (#CTWW) challenge at Reduce Footprints. In case you're reading about this for the first time, the goal of CTWW is to get a bunch of people to make a small change that has a big impact on the environment (in a good way), especially if they all do it at the same time.

Last week's challenge was to go car free for a day. Or longer.

If you live in Wilmington, you know that's difficult. I used to ride my bike to work when I lived in town, and I had to outfit my bike with a rearview mirror so I could see if a car was about to hit me. Wilmington drivers are terrible to begin with. Throw in roads with no shoulders and speed limits that are too high for the roads, and you couldn't get me back on the road on a bike if you paid me.

Not to mention the fact that I would have to bike over the bridge (with two kids in tow). No thank you.

So how can we be more responsible with our gas if we have to drive?

Here are some tips we came up with on how to save gas in a bike-UNfriendly town:

Gaby: Run errands in the same location on the same day. For example, I go to Green Baby Diaper Service once a week. On those days, I also stop at Progressive Gardens, Tidal Creek, and Lou's Flower Shop.
 Liz: Go car-free one day a week. If that means that you have to stay home all day, so be it. You'll get a lot accomplished.
Gaby: Does shopping online help you save gas? I feel like when it comes to big errand-running days--
Liz: Or Christmas shopping...
Gaby: Or Christmas shopping, you end up driving to so many places that you're better off buying from somewhere like Amazon or and having everything shipped together.
Liz: When diaper service customers sign up for delivery, they save gas because we deliver to certain areas on certain days.
Gaby: So you're saving all those people separate car trips to bring their diapers to the store.
Liz: Yes, and we have an online store, so people can sit at home and do all of their shopping if they want to.
Gaby: What about carpooling?
Liz: We carpooled today!
Gaby: You're right. People don't do it often enough.
Liz: It's because we all don't go out often enough.
Gaby: So in order to save gas, we all need to get some babysitters and go out on the town every weekend.
Liz: But carpool while we're doing it. And it makes for an automatic designated driver.
Gaby: Right. Sounds good. I'm in.

Reduce Footprints has some more great advice on the subject, especially for a town like ours:

"My final thoughts on this challenge: Many areas don't have sidewalks or bike lanes so leaving the car at home means sharing the road with traffic and that isn't safe ... especially if you're traveling with children. If that is the case in your area, I suggest contacting city/county officials to let them know that you want these safety features in your community. And get your friends and neighbors involved ... the community leaders need to know how you feel. There are also many areas that don't offer convenient, inexpensive bus service. Again, tell your public officials that it's something you want and need."

Next week's challenge is to consider the environmental impact of the treats we give out for Halloween and offer suggestions for better alternatives for treats, parties, costumes, etc. Join us and you can change the world too.


  1. Oooh ... some great ideas! I've been thinking about shopping online and whether it's more or less Eco-friendly than mortar & brick stores. I'm leaning towards online shopping as the winner because I live in an apartment and I've noticed that the UPS/Fed-Ex guys come on certain days. When they do, they deliver to a bunch of folks in the area. So ... one trip out for many deliveries.

    Wonderful post!!

  2. thanks for sharing your great idea. I LOVE online shopping and save so much money, even with postage. Not to mention saving stress. I believe our online supermarket vans can distribute about 25 family's shopping in one delivery; so that's 25 cars off the road - fantastic!