A tiny rant

Why are you driving to class when it is less than a mile away? It is a beautiful day!!!!

Why are you not thinking about your carbon footprint? Turn off your lights before you leave the house, leave your car in the parking lot, RECYCLE! Geez louise.

I wrote this in the BV a few months ago and I still believe it!

After junking my Neon this summer, I returned to Bona’s with no motorized transportation. I have my bike and my legs. That’s it.

I hated it at first, but now I embrace every day of walking. I walk a few miles a day, and it puts me in a great mood.

I don’t have to scrape off a car, sit on its cold seats or worry about finding a parking spot. I allot 15 minutes to walk from my townhouse to the Reilly Center, and I find that since I started walking, I’ve been late to class fewer times. And even if I am running late, I ride my bike, which bisects the time I need to travel. While riding on the Ho Chi Minh trail, I’ve seen cars pass me on the road, but I still arrive in class before them because they have to park far away. To me, driving your car a mere mile across campus is pointless.

Last week, I crashed a building meeting for Townhouse 23, the “green” apartments (I’m cool like that). Rob Hurlbert, associate director of facilities for maintenance, asked the residents if, after living in the green townhouse, they had changed the way they live. To reduce their carbon footprint, did they unplug their appliances that weren’t in use, recycle more often, turn their lights off or walk to school on a nice day? The residents nodded their heads after some silence, but it wasn’t very convincing.

It made me wonder how all students at St. Bonaventure think about their carbon footprint – the impact of their activities on the environment. It kind of hurts me to see a line of cars on the way to class on a beautiful, blue-skied day.

And besides efficiency and conservancy, a 15-minute walk nurtures the simple joy of living. During a recent stay at Mt. Irenaeus, the friars invited us to take a walk for reflection. At about 7 p.m., we trekked up a lit path, one by one. At our own pace, we were told to be completely aware of our surroundings – listen to the gravel crunch under our feet, feel the crispness of the air and follow the long trunks of the trees with our eyes as they tower above us.

I think about that now as I walk to and from main campus. I glance into Bob’s Woods. I peer up at the sky. I breathe deeply, letting in all the air I might’ve forgotten about if I was rushing along. I delightfully watch a family of deer cross right in front of me. I see a speedy student quickly brake to avoid them.

I know what’s going on around me. I am completely aware, I’m reducing my carbon footprint and I get to class efficiently. And I all I have to do is put one foot in front of the other.

One more thing, if you’re still reading: Why would you drive to the gym? Aren’t you going there for exercise? Doesn’t driving defeat that purpose?

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