Monday, September 20, 2010

Going Car-Light

When we first met, neither my boyfriend nor I had a working car, not that I knew that right away. My boyfriend picked a restaurant near the train station for our first date; I assumed he just liked Mexican food. I drove to the restaurant in my mom's car, and he walked from the train.

At the restaurant, I was ... well me, which means that my eco-nuttiness slipped out in some way. I mean, I don't go around being like, "Hello my name is Ruchi and I don't use toilet paper*," but I also don't tend to hide the fact that I like to be green. My boyfriend, perhaps emboldened by my environmentalist talk, mentioned that the last time he had driven to work had been, irony of ironies, Earth Day two years ago. Since then, his car had sat in the garage, unloved and unused. It no longer started, and probably needed a few repairs.

My boyfriend likes to joke that I am one of the few women on the planet who would have viewed this state of affairs as a plus. After all, this story is really a story of a guy who was too lazy to fix his car, so he decided to just keep it in the garage for two years and take the train. It's not like he was making a political statement.

But, of course, I, because I am an eco-romantic thought this was a great story. Plus, I am lazy too. And when you break it down, a lot of my habits such as not shopping and wearing my clothes multiple times before washing, are as much green as lazy. Yes it's greener to wear my glasses instead of disposable contacts, it's also lazy.

So, hell, if people are going to cut down on carbon emissions out of laziness, I'll take it!

But as we started dating, things got complicated. At the time I lived in a place with almost no access to public transit, so, I would have to borrow my mom's car to see my boyfriend, or get her to drop me off to the train. When we went skiing, it was now two people bumming rides, instead of just one. As Charles can no doubt attest, being car-free is difficult if you spend much time in the South Bay as we did.

So, finally, after a couple months of aggravation, my boyfriend got his car fixed. And now we use it to visit friends, my mom, drive to Tahoe, and generally make our lives a little easier. It's not ideal, but between two people, we probably have to get gas every two weeks, which is less gas than I was using in LA, even once I started taking public transport to work.

So, while we're no longer completely car free, we are fairly proud to be a one-car household, and hope to stay that way for a good, long time.

*I do use 100% recycled toilet paper now.


Robj98168 said...

Hand on to him Ruchi. I like lazy guys who don't fix cars. He gets a thumb up from me!

Rosa said...

Lazy totally equals green. It's mostly just not doing stuff - not going shopping, not watering the lawn, not driving the car...