Wednesday, February 28, 2007

One for the road

Another speedbump in the road to economic independence: transportation. Specifically, gas.

Obviously I couldn't consider myself independent of the global economy while continuing to partake of its most addicting and destructive by-product. I read somewhere that every national conflict in the past thirty years has had something to do with oil. I'm not sure about the specifics (or the validity) but it has the ring of at least partial truth. Oil=problems.

On the other hand, having no transportation would derail my other plans completely. Our farmer's market only gathers on Sundays, when my town has no public transportation. Freecycling, garage sale-ing, bartering... all require a working vehicle to some extent. I won't even go into the joys of taking the bus with four or more children in tow because it actually presents the least of the issues, although I am mildly amused by the mental image of my husband and I taking the bus to the hospital while timing contractions. Sounds like good times. I bet someone might even give me their seat.

No, retiring the minivan is not an option. Here are a few viable solutions:

1. Restrict driving to one or two set days a week.
2. Set a cap on gas expenditures or usage.
3. Refuse to drive unless at least x amount of errands can be accomplished in one trip.
4. Find a like-minded family and carpool.
5. Find someone who wants to loan or donate a hybrid car to my worthy cause. Hello Toyota?
6. Take the bus whenever viable.
7. Some combination of the above.

See how pathetically dependent we are on this monster we call global trade? It's worse than crack. Our country was settled by people who didn't think to hold out for convenient transportation. They just plowed ahead and took care of business. Why can't we have that kind of backbone?


Caroline said...

I like your vehicle restrictions. Granted, your vehicle needs are far more immediate than mine in some respects - you need to move small children. I need to occasionally move large volumes of grain. Regardless, you might find some inspiration at CarFree Family -