Saturday, August 16, 2008

"Making Do Without the Minivan"

In Newsweek's My Turn Essay this week, "Making Do Without the Minivan," Jennifer Perrow describes her family's summertime attempt to reduce their reliance on their minivan. She says:
I love the high cost of gas. It's forced our family to rethink our spending habits and our carbon footprint, and we're finding we can do much more on much less than we thought
By reducing family driving and walking or biking more, she notes that "life feels simpler." What I especially liked about her experiment is that what started out as reducing driving became more of an experiment in voluntary simplicity. She notes that errands that had her running in the car here or there have been eliminated in favor spending time with the kids and the family dog.

One of my favorite things about becoming a conscious consumer is its spiraling nature; you start out examining one thing, like the way you drive, or the way you eat, use energy, spend your time, etc., and pretty soon you begin to realize how connected all of those things are. By becoming conscious of how you do any of these things can lead to greater awareness about how you are (or aren't!) living your values on a daily basis.

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