We use cars because cars are quick. Cars are convenient. Cars are… well they’re just a thing we get, right? Most teenagers hope for a car on their sixteenth birthday. Cars are just the norm.
But like most “convenient” tools of a modern lifestyle (*cough cough* fast food *cough* which entails diabetes and high blood pressure *cough*), cars end up having more negative effects than positive effects- for everyone.
Driving a car is a mindless task; and often frustrating because you’re in a rush and the car in front of you is driving too slow, roadblocks, pedestrians, red lights, deer crossings, etc. All these small things we’ve come to accept as part of our everyday lives end up causing tension- plus add the stress you’ve accumulated over the rest of your day it’s enough to make a person miserable.
Aside from causing you stress there’s the fact that you have to pay for gas which drains your pocket and makes a nice little hole in the ozone layer. A running engine releases several toxic gases to our environment such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons. These and other gases can cause smog in our atmosphere- in fact 25% of all greenhouse gases are emitted from motorized vehicles. Just one gallon of gas puts out 19.7 pounds of CO2!
But, if driving has so many negative effects, why do we do it? What is an alternative?
Biking of course!
At New Community Project biking is an everyday thing. On our harvest days to deliver we bike to the stores, we bike to retrieve compost, and any other little things that come up during the day. There are zero carbon emissions in the process and there are benefits to mental health as well.
Exercising is seen as something we should do simply to lose weight and look fabulous by society’s definitions. In reality though, doing physical activity release dopamine which is what I like to call “happy juice”.
This way, rather than becoming stressed out through the driving the “happy juice” is being released!
It’s been really inspiring to see how much a lot of people at NCP care about conservation through biking. A man named John bikes from Keezletown to the NCP house on the North end of Harrisonburg everyday. It’s about a 45 minute bike ride. Then Daniel, the “bike guy”, told me he sees biking as a sort of freedom one can’t have with a car. Biking opened up many possibilities for him so he actually biked around the country because, well… why not?
Biking is definitely a kind of freedom that I’d been neglecting because using a bike isn’t exactly the norm. We’re taught cars are the most effective way of travel and sometimes cars are actually necessary but… in the end, bikes are more efficient.
Here are some pictures of Brenda and me delivering!