I moved to Winchester recently to live with my husband again, after living apart for about four month due to our jobs. Winchester is between the two cities we work in and now we commute in opposite directions. While my husband can take the train, I have to drive to work – it’s 50 minutes one way, mainly along motorways. Surprisingly, it’s not too bad, but it’s a different kind of driving compared to city roads. Time wise, it’s also not much longer than what I did previously, the only difference is that I now cover distance instead of being stuck in traffic. The downside is that it seems I left the petrol cap open. It’s shocking to see how many litres I get through in a week, and the carbon emissions associated with that.
On my way home the other day, I thought about the carbon footprint that is associated with my commute and what it means for my attempts to live more sustainably. Unfortunately, I don’t have another choice and my best option is to fill my time in the car with something I like. I quite enjoy listening to the radio or just letting my mind wander. At some point, I might try listening to podcasts or an audio book.
I also realised that I still have enough other choices in life and when I make these I can opt for the more sustainable alternative. By doing so, I can offset my carbon footprint associated with my commute at least a little bit. The choices I’m thinking of include the food, clothes and other stuff I buy and the places I visit. I mainly eat vegetarian, try to buy clothes and other stuff second-hand (if new I usually go to TK Maxx and in future, I’d like to buy more from sustainable brands) and go to cafes and restaurants that use local and organic produce. Bigger choices might include deciding on our next holiday, or a new car. Our holiday destinations in particular can influence our carbon footprint a lot.
Our lives are full of choices, and it’s up to us to decide on more sustainable options, ones which not only fulfill our desires but are also kind to the planet. In the not so distant future, I hope to drive an electric car that is powered by renewable energy, or even better, commute by train! But until then, I will try and make as many positive choices in every other aspect of my life as possible.