Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
I was finally convinced of the need of reducing pollutants and to make my contribution to reduce traffic, greenhouse gases emissions, and oil-dependency. The grassroots activist decided to walk the talk!
Well, not really, the truth is that I can’t afford the $130 per month I need to pay for a parking space close to my work, so I decided to ride instead of to drive. I need to drop my baby to one of those baby warehouses that we call daycares before coming to work. The daycare and my workplace are in perfect opposite directions, so everyday I drive to the daycare, and then pass in front of my apartment in my way back to work.
I had to re-schedule and wake up half an hour earlier (which is a terrible sin according to my beliefs), drive to the daycare, drive back, and then take Rusty for its first ride.
I wasn’t really looking forward for this, because I had bike all my life as leisure activity, not as a mean for transportation, but as soon as I started pedaling I felt good. I felt the chilled wind in the face, the smell of the spring gardens, and the closeness to the neighbour.
I discovered then that other bikers salute you, that soccer dads say hi when you pass next to them while they are getting the kids ready for school. You can see the joggers, the dog-walkers, and the squirrels trying to steal food. I have the privilege of biking through one of the most affluent neighbourhoods in Toronto, so the streets are calm and clean. When I hit downtown I take a side street full of construction workers and potholes, but I go faster than the line of cars standing just there, waiting for the traffic light. In the corner of Bay and St. Charles there is a group of teenagers promoting biking over riding and they greet me: “Hi you sir! Thank you for riding! You are my hero!” (Actual words, I am not making this up).
Admired by the men! Desired by the women!
Then I look at my watch, coming here today only took me five minutes more that driving. I am not tired, especially because I cannot feel my legs anymore, and over all, I saved $130 bucks of parking. I understand that not everybody can bike to work, but this is just an example on how different facts add together to a result.
The raison de être of this blog is to find out how to use economic theory to promote sustainable ideas. How can we play with capitalist rules to support social welfare, fair trade, and the environment. How to match the economic benefits and the social responsible behavior? I was forced by economic rules of supply and demand to take my bike. Given that is not winter anymore, I am not willing to be fleeced of $130 per month for parking. The environmental impact is clear: less traffic, less pollution, less demand for petrol. My health will improve, so my waist line (I hope). If enough people do this, you will see an adjust in price of petrol and parking spaces, maybe then increasing the demand, but now that I tried riding it won’t be that easy to take me back to drive for the summer/fall; so the economic law pushes the environmental fact, and it’s all good.
I, of course, will insist from now on that I started biking for the environment’s sake, so do not tell anyone!