Now that I've finished the draft of my book, we're finally on holiday. What we used to do, before the No Impact project, was fly to France to stay with friends.
But the long haul flight made enough carbon emissions to equal the average American's entire year of driving, and we had to rent a car, too.
No Impact meant no travel at all, but this summer, now that the project proper is over, we wanted to try a vacation we could get to by train and which wouldn't require a car once we got there. We rented a house just outside the village of Greenport, NY, near the tip of the North Fork of Long Island.
I thought you might like to see some pictures:
What's important about the house, from an energy point of view, is that it is shaded by trees almost all day long. It never gets hot. Why can't we design all buildings to be kept naturally cool and not require air conditioning?
We get around by bike. Michelle throws groceries--from the local-food farm stands--or outing supplies in the back of the rickshaw. Isabella, these days, prefers to ride in the childseat on the back of my two-wheeler.
We're getting plenty of exercise and we really get to experience the place instead of just driving through it. A 30-minute bike ride gets us here:
As for the jet skis, motor boats and other gas-guzzling toys you usually find at the beach, I have to admit to spending my day indulging in two toys that provide endless entertainment.
This one automatically returns a ball no matter where I throw it:
And this other toy makes swimming, hanging out in the yard, and biking way more fun:
The good news is that neither of these toys becomes more expensive as gas prices rise!
Who says the good life requires cars and planes?
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.