Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Killing Two Birds

I'm in the library writing this post tonight.  Why am I not home in my cosy hideout with a glass of Mr Lovelygrey's fine homebrewed beer to oil the cogs of inspiration. Well, it's Beaver's night and it's not my turn on the helper's rota.  Louis' usual liftshare didn't work out and so he needed a lift.

Now living and working  in a rural area, a car is pretty much essential.  Gone are the days of city life where we walked to work and could go up to two months without buying a tank of fuel.    My lease car does about 15,000 miles a year.  Of this I do about 10,000 miles of private mileage and roughly half of this is used up just by getting to work.  This leaves just under 100 average weekly miles for all other journeys.  Sounds workable until I factor in a couple of 'long haul' journeys to visit friends and family and then I'm struggling to stay within my mileage quota.

And yet  I'm pleased to do this.  I don't want to jump into the car without thinking about its enviromental and budgetary consequences.  We cycle and walk whenever possible.    And when I use the car I work, as far as possible, to the killing two birds with one stone rule.  For example,  I try to pick up groceries during my lunch hour or at the end of the day so no need for a special shopping trip.  And whilst I'm experiencing, say, the bright lights of Newton Abbot, I may combine a visit to the park, a trip into the town centre and taking stuff to the recycling centre into one trip

Staying in Bovey Tracey for the hour whilst Louis is at Beavers saves four private miles.  In the summer I swim in the open air pool and in the winter the library is my hdeout.  This may seem like peanuts  but over the year this tactic probably saves me just over 150 miles, about 1.5% of my total private mileage.  Not startling when viewed in isolation but  overall, I reckon I drive three or four thousand miles less than I would have  if I hadn't adpted this tactic.

PS:  I feel I need to acknowledge the source of the wonderful image  used to illustrate this post.  It was produced by a pupil at a school in Texas!  Check out their pictorial representatives of common sayings!

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