Sunday, September 16, 2007

Living the G(reen)ood Life Pt. 2

Green it up...

Here I am picking wild plums in Minnesota. My girlfriend and I ended up picking about 10lbs worth, but what I have in my pouch here alone would cost about $15 at the farmer's market. Actually, Ive never even seen this variety for sale. Ah, the wonders of wild foraging.

Nature truly is a buffet. You just have to know where to look. During the spring and summer you can harvest highly mineralized wild greens, and of course wild fruits like apples, berries, and these plums here. Its so fun, and its free food. Well...what about the birds? You should see how many of these plums go to waste, and the fruits that are out of reach feed everything else.

Once a week a person could go out and get a week's worth of goodies. I was even doing it in Central Park for a while. Mulberries, Juneberries, Apples, wild spinach and other of charge. Sure you have to pick them, but who's against picking free fruit? Come on!

Another way to REALLY go green? KILL YOUR CAR NOW. I know I know...this is the car culture, and because we are products of it we assume that life would pretty much be impossible without one or usually two cars or more per household, but step back and analyze for just a moment.

I do live in NYC, and I used the subway and bus system for $76 a month before getting my bike. Now I bike everywhere. Except when its REALLY raining, I'm always taking the bike. I have not owned a car since the end of 2003. Lets add it up...

Gasoline. (when I dropped out of the car system it was $1.70 and I was freaking out. I don't know how everyone still participates in this madness)
Maintenance. (tires, oil change, and all the other small (and not so small) repairs that are needed each year)
Car Payments. ( I always bought used and paid for it in cash, so this was never a problem for me, but I'm willing to bet that this is not too common these days)

What else...I'm sure there are lots more. Parking fees and fines, speeding tickets, plus the fact that you are spewing garbage into everyone else's air so you can get around town.

I added up my costs in 2003 and realized that I spent $6000 that year just on car expenses. Remember, I bought the thing in cash in 2001 and in 2003 I spent all that money on just upkeep and gas and whatever else. So since 2003 Ive probably saved at least $20,000.

Eating is a big part of the equation, but when it comes to the pocketbook, you have to look at the car. Add up all those expenses and ask yourself if there are any other possible ways to survive without it. Carpooling? Telecommuting? Getting a job closer to home? We are talking about serious money here, so why not brainstorm a little...saving your money and the earth?

If you were to give up the car for JUST two months, think of the bike you could buy with that money. You would really want to ride that bike because it would be such a high quality machine...fueled by your body, not black sludge pumped from terror-supporting countries.

Lenin said that the capitalist would sell you the rope that would hang him, but in this situation, we are BUYING the rope that will hang us. Giving money to these countries that fund terror and fouling up our atmosphere at the same time just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

Long more on clothing and gardening next time.

Use your money to liberate yourself, not to push you deeper into indebted servitude.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yay! I love your blog! You are sooo inspiring!!