Lending a pushing hand (Day 357)…

February 20, 2008

a pushing hand

OK, confession time: You see that little tagline up there, underneath the Green as a Thistle banner? That bit where it says I’m gonna try to be green without being smug about it?

Well, I have to say, the past few days I’ve been sitting here listening to the sound of car tires spinning (I’m back in the city, by the way, after some technical difficulties); and while a more earnest environmentalist might hear such a noise and think, “Oh no! All that pollution going up in the air for nothing! I better run out and give that poor driver a push!” (Earnest people speak with a lot of exclamation points, by the way), I’ve been quite content to sit inside, minding my own car-free business, shaking my head back and forth and tsk tsk tsk-ing that if only people would stop driving cars, we wouldn’t have this problem.

But this isn’t right. I’ve been stuck in that situation and I know how frustrating it is — not to mention the embarrassment that’s suffered as everyone walks by on the sidewalk, staring pitifully as you attempt to gas, brake, gas, brake, gas, brake, rocking back and forth to no avail as the exhaust pipe spews toxic fumes all around. It sucks. Period.

So now, instead of judging, I’m going to put my coat on, go out there and help push these poor folks out. If it’s a Hummer, I’m not gonna lie — there may be some purposeful hestitation. But most people on my street drive Volvos and Volkswagens, so it should be just fine.

Photo pushed all the way from rachsnedic on Flickr

It’s not all downhill from here (Day 285)…

December 10, 2007


I have very fond childhood memories of my father waking me up on cold winter mornings, helping me into my snowpants and puffy jacket and driving me up to Mount St. Louis/Moonstone, two ski hills (and by “hills” I mean bumps, really) an hour and a half’s drive north of Toronto, in Barrie.

I remember that cold, damp rental area where we’d get fitted for boots, skis and poles, the collection of lift tickets I’d amass on my zipper and wear like a badge of honour to school, and the Snickers bar my dad would buy for me (he always got a Mars bar) for the drive back home.

But I also remember those days when we’d have to check to see if there was actual snow on the hills or man-made snow, those days when the traffic on the highway was unbearable, those days when there’d be endless lines to get on the chairlift.

These aspects of skiing are less than green, of course — making snow requires tons of energy, as does running a lift or even those dreaded T-bars, and the drive there and back emits even more carbon dioxide.

So from now on, I’ll be cross-country skiing and show-shoeing only, preferably as close to home as possible.

Photo of a desolate chairlift courtesy of dooda on Flickr