Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Being ethical

I'm trying to travel as ethically as possible. I'm on the waiting list for the next Year of Living Generously, but have decided to start thinking about it already. I'm aware that I'm going backwards as far as ethical travel is concerned, as I now drive much more than I used to! The work I do means that getting rid of the car isn't a possibility. The nature of the work means that car sharing and using public transport (which is fairly dreadful in Lincolnshire) are also not really possible. To get to one of the locations where I work I could use the bus, which has a half hourly service on that route, but getting to the bus station means carrying all my stuff (including laptop) through a fairly dodgy area of Lincoln and returning in the dark. So I'm using the car for work stuff. However, I have thought of two other ways of improving the situation:
  1. Cut down on car use in Lincoln itself. I got my bike overhauled at the weekend (after Anne's near-death experience I decided to get the local bike shop to do it) so I can trundle to the library, Ranger meetings and generally around town on that. I could also cycle to the station on London days, thus avoiding using the car, remove the need to find somewhere to park it, and save £4 in car park charges! Shopping locally will also help the situation (I've found a farm shop on one work route so am going to try that out.). In a funny sort of way I miss London public transport. Although everyone moans about it, it's excellent - cheaper than public transport is in many other UK cities, gets you all over the city and runs regularly. But I didn't like living in London...
  2. Think of an ethical way of buying petrol. Has anyone got any ideas about this? So far I've been buying it at Waitrose, which at least has a good ethical policy (although I'm not sure if it has a petrol one!) and is also cheap (currently 89.9p a litre). I've seen a few independent garages, but there are still some around here charging more than £1 a litre, which seems SO much. Bear in mind I'm doing about 90 miles a day at the moment... There are the more extreme ideas, involving electric cars and bio-fuel but at the moment this is the car I use and it doesn't belong to me so there's not much I can do about that one!
I've found some useful/interesting resources, including:

And onto another topic. When I cycled off to the library to pick up the Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood, which I'd reserved (last week, that was speedy!). I also discovered some NEW knitting books in the craft section. So I got Ann Budd's Knitter's handy book of sweater patterns to have a look at. Aren't libraries great, and of course librarians are absolutely wonderful! (DB - are you reading this?! ;-) ).

I've only had a flick through the sweater patterns book so far and it certainly looks comprehensive! I'd had a look at her earlier book, Knitter's handy book of patterns in Waterstones and thought it was an excellent idea.

Can't wait to get started on the Penelopiad, as I usually enjoy Margaret Atwoods, but am thinking I might need to reread the Odyssey first as it's a while since I read it? But on second thoughts, I doubt anyone else is rereading it before reading the Penelopiad so I should just dive straight in... Anyway I need to finish the book I'm currently reading first. Like I need to get the charity bobble hats & Christmas presents finished before I can put my sticky paws on the gorgeous laceweight from my SP. So, in fact, I should stop burbling away here and go and get reading/knitting...


happyspider said...

I get around the whole ethics of travel thing by being spectacularly lazy and at the age of twenty still not having my licence. My learners permit expired about 18 months ago and i just havent go around to it yet (too much knitting, you know how it is).
I love the idea of those types of sweater books, but when i flick through them they always seem to be so boxy in shape. You know, the sort of thing my grandma wears. I dont know about you, but people at my Uni pretty much avoid you if you're not in 'uniform' of trendy clothes.

KnitYoga said...

I use the bus service most of the time except when going long distance but that's due to a combination of being ethical and also having not driven for many years despite having passed my driving test years ago. I think you'll enjoy the Penelopiad. I'm about half way through and I don't think you need to reread the Odyssey before reading it.

Mary Anne said...

thank you for the link to the Year of Living Generously site. I am committed to recycling. As for travel, when I was working I bussed every day because my job was near a convenient bus route but K had to drive because there was no bus route near his job - and he needed to work :). You have to set your priorities but you can find other ways to make a difference, like cycling locally, as you said.
Thanks again for the great links to the various sites.

knihovnik said...

Well, it has to be said that librarians are fab DG ;-)