Miles not travelled

Endurance athletes are famous for keeping meticulous records of their training metrics e.g. miles and minutes logged, elevation gained, time spent in different training zones etc. etc. And with advent of apps like Strava, they are able to share this information with their brethren all over the world. Owing more to laziness and not being a terribly organized human, my record in keeping track of my training is somewhere between sporadic and non – existent. In a much different, but I would argue more important context, one metric that I have managed to keep a better track of recently is that of “miles not travelled”, loosely defined as the sum of distances I have walked, ridden or caught public transport from my home to places I need/want to go instead of succumbing to the societal norm of driving.

Photo Credit: David Marcu on Unspalsh

As I pointed out in a previous article, pollution from cars is a disaster for our and other people’s health, our wallet, and the environment. While I recognize that keeping my car in the driveway more often will not make any meaningful dent to global carbon emissions or local pollution levels, it does allow me to feel just that little bit better about myself, to save a little more money, and in context of walking or riding, allows me to gain the health and fitness benefits associated with these modes of transportation – not that I will be recording these “miles gained” on Strava or anything that resembles a training diary😁

Photo credit: David Marcu on Unsplash

While driving your car will for the most part get you to where you want to go more quickly and comfortably than other forms of transportation, where time or distance does not dictate its use, strap on your walking shoes, grab your bus pass and be ready to get all sanctimonious towards all those who have chosen convenience over public and environmental health.

P.S. Why not just calculate your carbon footprint I hear you ask? Simple, because it was a term invented by an advertising firm working for BP, one of the world’s greatest polluters.

P.S. (2) For a more articulate reasoning on why we must abandon cars, and quickly, please read this article by renowned environmental writer George Monbiot, published back in 2019.

*Feature image credit: Brian Erickson on Unsplash

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