This is Jen writing. I think as Steve and I contribute our thoughts and reflections via a blog about working towards living net zero our unique voices will emerge.
I am a teacher, and just finished my first week of getting to school without a car. The first day and first week are a big deal in education. You want it to go well, and feel settled and calm. I was optimistic yet a bit nervous about the commuting challenge.
My friend and colleague Denise lives 2.8 kilometers away from me, and we at times carpool. However, she needs to backtrack in order to pick me up, and I felt uncomfortable asking her to do this every day. I decided to use our electric scooter to travel to her house, and then travel the rest of the way with her. My car would be off the road, and Denise would be traveling to Tecumseh Public School regardless.
So, after a week of doing this, what are my thoughts?
- I have been forced to lighten my load, as I have to carry my lunch in my backpack. Instead of bringing my entire day book and mark book home every day, I am only bringing what I need. This feels really good!
- The trip takes longer. I need to leave 15 minutes before Denise leaves. Our homes are both approximately the same distance from the school.
- I need to be more organized and prioritize tasks at school. I can’t stay after school to tidy or get things done in the same way, so any jobs that require me to be in the classroom need to be done first.
- I am saving money.
- I am not putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
- It is very joyous to scooter through the streets of Dundas, listening to music. We leave early, so there are not many people or cars about on the first leg of my commute. I feel more connected to my community, unencumbered by a vehicle, somehow organic.
- I am very very fortunate to be commuting with someone who likes carpooling and is a friend. It is lovely to chat with Denise in the morning and after school. We share what we did in the evening and how our days went. Our friendship is deepening, and that is a beautiful thing.
Six positives and one negative (it takes longer). A fun start to the contest!