Monday, January 18, 2010

Squeezing Into the Green World

So, usually I leave my car at school in my parking garage, and use the light rail train (LRT) system or the bus to get around the city. Since I have recently gotten a job, and the LRT hasn't set up that far south yet (to be completed this summer probably) I am unable to do that, since the buses aren't fast enough. This means I drive my car to and from work many days, which is about a 5 minute drive. It's not great for the world, but keeping my car at the school still saves about 15 extra minutes of driving my car to my house, which is across the river.

Sometimes I think the world has become so accustomed to wealth that they now just equate 'doing well' to being a normal standard of living. People don't HAVE to have a truck, but it is a status symbol, a representation of where they are in the world, not caring if it uses more gas in the 20 minute drive home than my little hatchback uses in a drive to Red Deer (yes, Red Deer is a city, it's about 1.5 hours away, and my car uses less than a quarter tank to get there).

Case in point: the parkade I park in is an absolute hazard with the number of exteded cab giant trucks parked within it's walls. They block the driving lane because they stick out so far, and they often take up more than one space in the parkade to protect their precious paint jobs. There is no need for this many students to have vehichles this large, worth tens of thousands of dollars to get too and from school. The attitude that comes with them is what bothers me most. The air of entitlement and lack of common sense and moderation hits home. I also just hate the lack of courtesy to other parkers when they take up too much space. Today, two large trucks were both parked just over the line on either side of a parking space. This is my pet peeve. It takes 20 seconds to adjust your placement of your vehicle, it would take nothing to move over so that you are respecting your own space. These two trucks choose not to, eliminating the possibility of a parking space... except for a wee little car like mine. Now, I can assume that these people were just being negligent and rude, or I can assume they were late for class and so adjusting didnt seem important in the grand scheme of time... Either way, their need to have a huge truck and not be parked well outshone the needs of others, including even common courtesy. So I folded in my little side mirrors and slipped my car into the demi-spot that was custom made for my lil car balancing out the monoliths beside me.

I am hypocritical, ranting about a personal peeve on a page which is meant for eco and ethical ponderings of human ecology. But I can't help but think that this lack of thought for other people may have a larger impact, or reflect the larger scope of things: When a person chooses a product, is it a larger reflection of themselves? Or am I just blowing things out of proportion? The further I write about this stupid occurence, the dumber I feel about how gross it makes me feel, because it is just silly. That said, I just don't understand why people need such huge vehicles when they are usually just getting from A-B, and why these two individuals chose to park so rudely... Do they litter, swear loudly in public places, and unseat the old woman on the bus (oh wait, they don't take the bus... they have the giganta-mobile, my bad). If we cannot deem to take the time to be decent to neighbors, fellow students, etc, how are we to find the capacity within ourselves to be decent to the world, which many regard as a fairly inanimate object?


And grumpy. Sorry about that. I will be adorable later.


  1. I totally love the "stick-it-to-them"-ness of having a tiny car that fits into the stall between and makes them look like assholes. I do this with my Yaris all the time.

    Part of the reason I bought a smaller car (my Matrix was still a good, serviceable vehicle) was to minimize my environmental impact when commuting 60 kms daily to and from work. If there was a suburban train to my job (as there is in many larger urban centres) I'd take it in a heartbeat. I feel guilty every time I hit the highway. And yes, I can afford a nice car. Yes, I can afford to fill my tank more often because the job I choose to drive to pays me well. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't give it up. If I lived in Vancouver/Montreal/Toronto or any big city elsewhere, I'd probably keep my car for emergencies and take a subway/train everywhere I needed to.

    PS - You're adorable, even when you're grumpy.

  2. That's right. You're adorable.
    Why did you not tell me earlier of your scrumptuous ramblings?


  3. Hmmm. I don't know who this is, so I'm not sure why I didn't tell you! But I'm sorry!