Filed under: environmental issues | Tags: carpooling, environment, gas prices
It’s been crazy over the last few weeks with the news being filled with stories about how gas prices are actually declining. This is a day we all probably thought we’d never see again, but here in KC, gas is down to about $1.63 in some parts. With gas below $60 a barrel, we’re likely to see them drop again. This is now my moment to be like Al Gore when he said he invented the Internet, but I really think that I have helped drive down the price. Now, I know I am not alone in this effort and there are many factors that have led to this point, but sometimes I like to take the credit. I can take this credit because I am an official carpooler! I’m not talking just me and someone in shot gun, but a full car! That’s right everyday I ride to work with 3 of my co-workers. We are four proud everyday!
Not only are we saving gas, but maintence costs on our cars as well. I went from driving approximently 50 miles per day (about a thirty minute commute) to 6 miles a day total. That reduces the number of oil changes and scheduled maintence. We drive to a shopping parking lot everyday and one person is in charge of driving for the week. That’s right I drive to work only one week a month. One of my fellow ‘poolers (that’s what I call them) actually said she almost forgot how to get to work the other day because it felt like it had been so long since she had driven.
Of course there are a few drawbacks and that’s convenience. I do add about twenty minutes on my day driving to the meeting place and then home at the end of the day. Also, it isn’t as easy to leave during the day to run errands or grab lunch, but we plan ahead and pack our lunch more. You might also worry about emergencies and what you would do if you had to leave unexpedidly. In KC there is a free service where once you register, you can call for a free taxi ride if your ride has to leave. How cool is that? Now you have no excuse.
All in all, it’s definetly been worth it to my sanity and my pocket book. The drive goes by quicker on days where traffic is bad and I haven’t listened to annoying morning show DJ’s in months. It does take a bit more planning, but I would recommend it to everyone. We’ve been ‘pooling since June and you won’t find any compliants here. Just because gas is cheaper doesn’t mean we have to use more! My carpool has vowed to stick together even if gas continues to drop. Go ‘poolers!!!
-Alison KC, MO
Filed under: design, environmental issues | Tags: Austin, bags, design, environment, fashion, solar power
I just went to Austin, TX for the first time and I guess I never knew what the slogan “Keep Austin Weird” really meant. I had this vision that there would be a bunch of weirdo cowboys with guitars slung on their backs roaming the streets, but I learned that is not at all true. What they’re actually saying is “Leave the Chains Out and Keep Austin Unique”! I don’t remember seeing a single chain restaurant or store on my trip….it was extremely refreshing!
I was in awe walking down South Congress Avenue peeking in all the cute little boutiques when a store sign caught my eye. The store’s name was Therapy and their motto was “Dress well. Eat Chocolate. Live Green.” I was so excited because I enjoy doing ALL of those things! All of their clothes were made of organic cotton and hemp and they didn’t even look like those Potato sacks dresses you think of when you imagine eco-friendly clothing. They even had shoes made of recycled plastics and lets not forget the entire wall full of CHOCOLATE!!!
One of the most innovative items I saw was a Purse by a company out of Chicago called Noon Solar. Their philosophy is to combine fashion with sustainability. All of their bags are made out of materials that can either bio-degrade naturally or be reclaimed and re-used for generations to come. They’re all similar in the aspect that they all have a solar panel pouch on one side, but the opposite side has multiple design options to choose from for both men and women. To learn more go to www.noonsolar.com
-Kelsey, Vail, CO