Walk slowly...or quickly if you're late. Just WALK! One of the reasons we fell in love with our new apartment was because we have so many amenities within walking distance. There is no reason to use my car to run errands. All of the following is within a 5 minute walk:
- 4 grocery stores (including the coop and another smaller health food store)
- Post Office
- Hardware store
- 8 coffee shops
- Children's Museum (indoor playground)
- Ice cream shop
- Every restaurant imaginable (from sushi to pizza)
- Video rental store
- 3 Thrift Stores
And if I just have to go somewhere else...the bus stop is 1 block away. Of course, when it's freezing cold, walking doesn't sound so appealing, so I do drive sometimes...but I try to avoid it. I have been working on planning my week so that if I do have to drive, I can clump everything into one trip. I've also been trying to be more mindful of if I truly "need" something. For example, do I NEED to go to Costco to buy my bread? They carry a locally made brand that I like...but it's on the other side of town on the busiest road in town. I can walk directly to the bakery that makes it and even though I'm spending a little more, I am saving on gas, emotional energy drained in traffic, and I would be supporting a local business. Or I could just make my own bread! But that's another post. I would encourage YOU to examine your extra car trips and work on condensing them or eliminating them altogether.
This morning it was about 20 degrees and we bundled up and walked to our friend's house for a play date. I was not really looking forward to the cold weather, but the rewards were many:
- Exercise. It feels so great to walk. Move those legs!
- Fresh air. Freezing cold fresh air. It was good.
- A slower pace...which results in you inevitably looking around at your surroundings. Today I noticed so many wonderful things on our walk...a family having breakfast around their table, cute houses along the way, majestic mountain views...things that I wouldn't have paid attention to if I would have jumped in my car and rushed over there.
- Time to think. Check out this interesting essay on walking by Henry David Thoreau.
My entire life I've wanted to live in a city that I could walk places, but I've always thought I'd have to move to Manhattan to find it! Walkability will be at the top of our lists the next time we move (let's hope that's not for awhile). I feel so blessed that we have the opportunity to "stroll" to our destination. Next on my list...a sweet cruiser like this one. Wheeeeeee!