I moved recently a little closer to downtown. It really doesn't make sense for me to do a lot of driving with where I live. I have a snazzy new bike. Within a few blocks, I can get on just about any bus I need to go almost anywhere in the Triangle. I am really enjoying my commute to work. It takes a little longer, maybe 15 minutes of so, but I get a lot of extra time to read or knit or listen to music. On the bus, I am surrounded by weirdness (about which I will report here). I also feel like I'm doing some good for the environment by cutting down on my fuel consumption. I've recently been inspired by others who are trying to make similar sacrifices, cutting down on plastic, recycling as much as possible, biking more, etc. I have found it quite easy to live without driving. At first, I thought I'd allow myself to drive once a week. I don't even need that. I can walk to one grocery and ride the bus to the other. I can still get to the yarn stores. There's one place I can't seem to get to, but I'm working on it. In short, I'm really enjoying this.
I am really surprised by the reactions I'm getting though. For example, I've also cut out plastic bags too. I went to Target the other day, with my own bags. The little girl tried to ring them up when I was checking out. She was really confused. She apparently also thought that meant that she could just toss my stuff at the end of the check out counter and move on to the next person. Another grocery check out girl rang me up for a couple of the green bags, then proceeded to bag my items in the plastic store bags. "Oh, did you want to use them, like, now?" That's the idea, Cookie. When I mention to folks that I take the bus, the usual reaction I get is, "what's wrong with your car?" Someone else thought I had epilepsy, yet another person suggested I had certain "legal" troubles. I'm not driving because I have a DWI or seizures. I'm doing my part. I remember seeing a Discovery Channel special on Antarctica and the scientists there studying the environment. The hole in the ozone layer is getting smaller. Smaller! What we're doing is actually working. Or maybe it's because the 80s are over and a lot less aerosol hairspray is being used. Who knows. The point is, that really affected me. That and a $64 monthly bus pass is a hell of a lot cheaper than three tanks of gas a month.
I certainly don't expect everyone to understand, but it works for me.