Posts Tagged 'flying'

Progress: Hurried

Heading out the door soon, but before I go, it’s a new month, so goal summary:  I turned on my AC that once, but otherwise the no-AC thing hasn’t been horrendous, except for not sleeping.  I’m heading to the antipodean winter, too, so AC becomes moot for a couple weeks.  Certainly won’t be on here while I’m gone.  As for everything else, vegetarianism, check, carbon offsets, getting done, yeah.  Let’s describe last month as distracted, but tending in a positive direction.

New monthly goal- sustainable travel!  I clearly spent days coming up with that one.  On my trip, beyond the carbon offsets and the personal offsetting fun, I’m going to examine all my touristy choices.  Choosing local places with green missions, and not big chains, for instance.  Buying souvenirs from real NZ type people, not imported trinkets.  Respecting the local environment by not kicking a moa. Etc.  I’m sure I’ll think of more there, and it’s possible I’ll get a chance to post while away, so I may even share.  But for the next couple weeks, be pleasently surprised by updates, instead of expecting them?

Pre-trip breakfast (the tomatoes came along just in time):

pre trip breakfast

Have a great weekend!

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Busy Week and Vegetarian Insight

I’m planning and building a tiny kitchen for a class assigment this Saturday.  Also, V’s apartment is soaked with very gross stuff and they’ve knocked out a couple of his walls to find out where it came from, so add that to the hectic.  So pardon the slow posting while I draw and help V move stuff around- and ust know that my kitchen has a built-in compost pile, greenhouse, and herb gaden, so I am with you all in spirit.  Maybe I’ll post some pictures when I’m done with the model?

And yes, I realize I am leaving you hanging, without a monthly goal, but right now the goal is to survive the week.  Plus I was all excted about gardening then it got cold again, so I’m just being stubborn and not wanting to do anything but that this month.  I’ve overwatered my houseplants to compensate.

As for the vegetarian hook- I was exclaiming with a vegetarian friend over the bizarreness of this report on how scientists at the Antarctic research station no longer eat penguin breasts for dinner.  No longer!  Thank goodness that madness has stopped!  Seriously, how do you look at a penguin and think for even a second that they could be tasty!  They’re so adorable and squawky, how can you not be so amused and happy with them that you have no chance to consider them with a nice mustard sauce?

My wise friend then pointed out that, as a moral vegetarian, she looks at every animal and thinks that.  This gave me pause, because only penguins evoke this reaction in me.  Not that I love meat entirely and wholly, but at some point, I’m going to look at an animal and wonder how it tastes, and if it’s offered in a legal or at least safe fashion, I’ll have a try.  But not penguins.  Now, why are we wired so differently?  Her comment was a big insight for me into how different my world view would have to be for me to be a happy vegetarian.

Nonetheless, I am considering some sort of flying bargain- I get to fly, guilt-free with offsets, if I eat vegetarian for some specified amount.  I’m not saying this negates my carbon from flying or absolves me from planetal destruction, but it’s a way to leverage my guilt to make one good change.  Hum.  Maybe.

P.S. Argh so sad.

Progress: Traveling, Cleaning Out

I got a passport in January.  Really, personal friends, I did, remember how I’ve been planning to do that for two years, and how I promise to do it every three months ‘for real this time’?  I did it, and I have the paperwork to show for it, and in three weeks I can hop on a plane going anywhere in the world and SPEW CARBON ALL OVER YOU MUAHAHAHAHA.

I am conflicted about that.  I am certain that I want to get out and see the world, and I’m certain that, for my time and resources, airplanes are the most practical methods of transport to a bunch of places, but I’m also certain that airplane rides spew a bunch more greenhouse gases than I’d otherwise be comfy using.

Now, I don’t travel for business (not for lack of wanting, I’m just in the wrong business right now).  And I’m not wealthy, just very ok, so I can’t afford to jet about more than once or twice a year.  I certainly have other spending priorities that will limit my self-financed travels.  I’m not going to be spending all my weekends in Puerto Rico or anything like that.  But V and I want to go visit his family in Norway, and I’d like to go to a friend’s wedding in Oregon, and I didn’t spend 7 years studying Russia with the intention of never visiting there again.  Plus how else will I explore Byzantium, and meet Czech poets, and I want to smell India, and after we visit the Norwegian family we’ll have to visit the Colombian family, and Brazil always sounded nice, and so on.  Oh, then I want to learn to fly myself, because I want to be a pilot even more than I want to ride a motorcycle, and I think if I promise to give up the latter my loved ones will be so grateful I’m not going to kill myself that they’ll support the pilot’s license whole-heartedly.  See, I’ve got dreams.

I should feel guilty about this.  No Impact Man and his commenters certainly have a lot to say about limiting plane trips, and I respect their opinions.  One plane ride is a year of driving, carbon emissions are more harmful higher up in the atmosphere, if everybody in the world flew places we’d be living in The Day After Tomorrow, considering doing that much planet damage just to make yourself happy means you’re a bad environmentalist, etc.  And carbon offsets don’t count.

I dig that.  That’s fine.  But it doesn’t make me think only ever going as far as my hybrid can take me ever is a viable solution.   Flying is occasionally the only way for me to get places I want to go, and until there’s a better way, that’s the one I’ll use.  All that remains is trying to compensate somewhere else for those carbon emissions, and in the interests of that, I’m gonna look into offset or carbon reduction products later, and bike to work now.

As for the cleaning out, both my closet and V’s closet look totally awesome now, and the Salvation Army and Goodwill have many new wares to sell.  I’ll think of a new monthly thing in the next few days.

Have a good Monday!


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