The most direct flight path (Day 350)…

February 13, 2008

air canada

First off — oh my god, Day 350, I’m so freakin’ close!

Ahem, now, moving on: Today’s change has to do with flying. I’ve greened my air travel in numerous ways already — carbon-offsetting my flights, peeing before I board, packing carry-on only, choosing the vegetarian meal — realizing, of course, that none of this changes the fact I’m still spewing tonnes of carbon dioxide into the air by choosing to fly in the first place.

But everyone has their green vices, and this is mine. So much like the way I’ve found zillions of ways to green my eating habits without going vegan, I’m gonna find every possible way to green my travelling without limiting my trans-Atlantic options (and the next option: Spain).

This time, then, I’m going to make sure that when I book my flights, I choose the most direct path, with as few stopovers as possible. It might mean I have to sacrifice the air miles I’d get with Air Canada, or that I take a red-eye instead of a day flight, or whatever. But in the end, direct flights are always faster, and because they don’t require multiple take-offs and landings, less fuel is required, then less pollution results.

Photo courtesy of caribb on Flickr

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Can I offset getting lost? (Day 337)…

January 31, 2008

road signs

Today, I move. It’s happening right now, folks, as you read. I’ve got a man who recycles bikes, a writer from Treehugger.com, a random greenie, my Dad and a few other people helping me out — should be interesting. But in just a couple days, I’m leaving my pretty house in the hands of my friend and sister, and heading up to a cottage for about a month to write a book.

The owners have given me directions, which is nice of them, but when directions are more than three sentences long, I’m already lost. If the piece of paper says, “Turn right after the lights,” I’ll think of a million different ways to interpret that: Does that mean right after? Like that little alleyway right after the intersection? Or turn right, comma, after the lights? Or maybe the lights refer to the lights of this crosswalk here, not the traffic lights way up ahead? Or…” well, you get what I mean.

Often, I’ll try to be good and look up the route on MapQuest or Google Maps in advance, but because I don’t have a printer, I end up sketching it on a piece of scrap paper. Then usually I look at it later and see I’ve just drawn the railroad tracks and a parkette instead of the north and south highways — or even just North and South.

Point being: I get lost. But getting lost not only sucks for me (or the poor soul in the passenger seat), but for the environment.

All that driving around in circles means a lot of carbon being emitted, and for no reason. So to make sure I keep my polluting ways to a minimum for this trip, I’m going to make sure I have a good map in front of me and extra-super-detailed directions (and no, I’m not going to buy a new map — I’ll just steal one from my parents).

Photo courtesy of Johnny Blood on Flickr