Monday, July 12, 2010

Ok, Fine, I'll Hug A Tree

I've always cared about the environment. Captain Planet taught me to recycle and I listened, damn it. However, I think I may have finally crossed the line into "Dirty Hippie" territory. I'll explain.

When I started working at Miramax, I started taking public transportation to work. It wasn't because I was trying to cut my carbon emissions, I was just tired of driving in LA traffic. Eventually, I started riding my bike to the train station in North Hollywood. Now that I'm working at Disney, I live less than 2 miles away from my office. There's literally no excuse for me to drive a car to work 90% of the time. So I don't. I ride my bike unless I have an offsite meeting or have to bring something large to work. People in LA look at me like I'm crazy. This city loves its cars to the point of cultism. Any mode of transportation that doesn't have an internal combustion engine is heaped with scorn and derision. But that's another blog post (oh yes, the angry bike rider post is coming...I'm sure you're thrilled). The point is, when you stand up at the Griffith Observatory and look out over the LA basin and you can only see about a mile in front of you through the brown haze that clings to the city, you can know that my commute is not contributing to that. I'm not trying to sound smug, but it's kind of hard not to feel a little better about myself.

Second, I bought myself a pair of blue suede shoes. I appreciate Elvis (though I'm not a HUGE fan), but this has nothing to do with that. Check them out, they're awesome:
As you can see with my blatant product placement, I got these from Simple Shoes. This is a company that makes eco-conscious, sustainable shoes. Larry David wears them, if that means anything to you. These are an early model, so they aren't the MOST hippie shoes they make, but they are made from what the company calls "eco-suede." I don't know exactly what that means, but I take their word for it. And the next pair of shoes I buy, when I replace the black Adidas I've had for about 5 years, will probably come from Simple, and they will be made of hemp. Deal with it.

Of course, while 90% of my transportation takes place using the bike and shoes and my own two legs, there are times in the sprawled out mess of a city I live in that I need a car. If you know me, you know that I hate cars. I think they're an outdated, inefficient technology that has long past the point of their utility. I just don't get the "mystique" of the American automobile. I can't comprehend standing around looking at cars or spending any money for an accessory that isn't necessary to make the vehicle get from point A to point B. All of that said, I LOVE my new Prius. Well, used Prius, but new to me:
It's not all about the gas mileage (which is FANTASTIC - I get 45 MPG without even trying), this car feels like the future. You know I love gadgets and technology, and this car feels like driving a gadget. I like to sit in it and pretend I'm piloting a Star Trek shuttlecraft (I'm not kidding). It doesn't hurt that since I can go 400 miles on one tank of gas, and that lasts me a LONG time. This car is really fun to drive, and that's hard to do for me. And yes, that's the picture from when I picked the car up...on the Disney Studios lot. That helps make it feel all the more magical.

So, let's tally it up - Doesn't drive much/prefers to bike, buys eco-certified shoes, drives a fuel efficient hybrid when he has to drive...let's add the fact that I go out of my way to recycle and I only buy sustainable fish and I think I can officially get my Tree Hugger card. Do I have to register somewhere like a sex offender? Is there an actual card, or is that just a hypothetical idea? I hope it's not a real card - printing is bad for the environment.


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