In honor of the old Green as a Thistle, here are the changes that Vanessa made during her green year that is still relevant today. I also added my own and made the list universal and not stuff that can be applied in Ontario, Canada only. Use this list to get some ideas to green up your life!
Once upon a time back in 2007, Vanessa Farquharson was influenced by the Inconvenient Truth and wanted to see if she could make green choices without resorting to being a hippy.
Over the years I have radically reduced by possessions, consumption and waste. I have been interested in being green and saving the environment since I was 14 years old. I use to make information packets to pass along to my family to get them to recycle. I read books on how to be green, making natural products and reducing my carbon footprint for fun. This topic is very important to me.
Since then, I have grown to be very environmentally conscious. People and businesses are waking up and changing. Products are being made from recycled material and are energy-efficient and businesses are striving to be sustainable. These are all good things, but we can do better.
I admit that I have a collection. As a minimalist, that is frowned upon, but I don’t care! This collection is really near and dear to me. It represents all the places I have lived. An interesting fact about me is that I am 21 years old, and I have had 16 different addresses. Needless to say, my family moves around a lot. New places, neighbors, scenery and schools were a given. But, libraries were always a constant. They were always there.
I never really thought about myself as a DIYer (Do It Yourself). But looking back, I guess I was. I hated spending money on ANYTHING. I still hate it. Why spend the money when you can do it yourself?
I was always a charitable person. Despite growing up in a poor family, I always wanted to do charity work, volunteer and donate to others. I even won the community service award when I graduated college. Then, when my mom found a monthly homeless event in my neighborhood, I jumped at the chance to give back.
I’ve been biking to work for about a year now. In the beginning, I stuck mostly to trails and sidewalks because I was afraid of being in the street with cars. I couldn’t keep up with traffic because I am slow, and I was afraid of being hit. Continue reading →
I had an encounter the other day, and I thought a post like this will help others who are thinking about commuting anywhere by bike. Continue reading →
I’ve been commuting to work by bike for about a year now (minus 3 months when the area decided to freeze over for winter). At first, it was my only option. I was fresh out of college with my very first job in my field of study. I had no license. I still lived at home but with my single mother’s busy and hectic schedule, I didn’t want to bother adding in another two stops to her day. I also wanted to show independence. I was sick of relying on unreliable people, so I decided I would start biking to work.
At first it was a challenge. All I had was my old mountain bike that had no breaks. I had this bike for about 7 years. It had been my ‘horse,’ ‘motorcycle’ and any other imaginative thing a preteen could come up with. It was out of shape. But, there was a bike shop on the commute, so I would stop there to get it fixed up on my ride home.
Another challenge was that the commute was 5 miles. That’s one way. So, that was 10 miles a day. For being very overweight and out of shape at the time, very didn’t mix so well with the bike being in bad condition. So, I rode 5 miles to work in the early morning heat on a bike with no breaks in hilly Pittsburgh. I had to stop half way through to take a break and drink water. I had to walk my bike down hills. My knees were killing me.
On the way home I stopped at the bike shop. They did the best they could, but they told me that the gearbox is in bad shape and it would only stay in one gear. At least I had breaks.
I continued on with the week. By the end of it, my butt was extremely sore, my knees were killing me and I had two flat tires to deal with it, but I knew this thing was a thing I wanted to do. So, I started researching about biking and commuting. I knew with my first paycheck, I would treat my family to dinner, but I would also buy a new bike. This time, it wouldn’t be a mountain bike. I had learned that their tires are not good on level, smooth land. There’s too much friction and that would make you go slower. That explains why it would take me 45 minutes to do 5 miles. I also saw many others on bikes that had skinny tires and you had to lean forward. They were going pretty fast, but they looked weird (the riders looked weird, too), and I was scared that the skinny tires would always get flats.
So, I looked at hybrid bikes and got one. It cut 15 minutes off of my commute and I tweeted many times that it was the best ride I had ever felt. 10 miles a day? Bring it on.
Later that year, my fiance and I moved to an apartment closer to my work. So 10 miles a day has been cut down to 3 miles a day. Sometimes, I miss the longer commute. But either way, I love biking to work and here’s why:
- It’s freedom. I still don’t have a driver’s license and this is a way I can have a taste of mobility freedom.
- It’s different. Although, I see many people commuting by bike, I still feel like we’re going against the norm. The majority people drive, walk or take public transportation. It feels good to be different and it’s a great conversation starter.
- It saves money. Living and working in a city, you have to pay to park which is extremely expensive. Just having a car is expensive. And, also, I’m not wasting any gas.
- It’s faster than a car. Don’t believe me? Let’s have a race in a city with city traffic.
- It sneaks in exercise. It’s excellent exercise. I believe biking 10 miles a day really jump started my 40lb weight loss to date.
- It’s nice to be exposed to fresh air. Everyone these days seems to be stuck indoors. But, it’s nice to have some fresh air everyday.
Do you commute by bike? Tell me about it!
For the past few years, my facial cleanser have consisted of two ingredients. Oil and oil. ( tweet this ) Yes, I voluntarily put oils on my face. Turns out, Olive oil and Caster oil work extremely well for cleaning and moisturizing your face. It’s called the oil cleansing method. This has worked wonders for my face and I love how simple it is.
Have you ever tried the oil cleansing method?