Sunday, September 2, 2007

To Fly or Not to Fly . . .

The irony is not lost on me that the first official entry for Righteous (re)Style is being written in the Fort Lauderdale airport as I finish up a week’s vacation here. As someone who plans to write about ways individuals can reduce their environmental impacts on the world, I start this blog lifting my foot out of a large - very sandy - - carbon footprint. So, let’s see, according to, on this trip, my roundtrip flight (BWI-FLL) was approximately 1,853 miles and emitted approximately 834 lbs of carbon.

I guess I could have driven to one of the Delaware beaches to vacation (only 166 lbs. of carbon roundtrip Washington, DCLewes, DE). Or I could have forsaken a vacation at all, I suppose. But, relaxation is so important to human well-being. And so is a good tan. (Okay, so maybe not necessarily a good tan . . .) Relaxation lets us self-reflect, which potentially allows us to identify ways that we can live a more conscious life – emotionally, environmentally, spiritually. Everyone gets caught up in the daily rigmarole of their busy lives (esp. in an urban environment where everyone and everything seems to scream “go go go go!”) Being in the ocean lets me stop, breathe, feel part of the natural world like I never do anywhere else.

In any case, we compensated by making other changes to our trip that reduced our impact. We stayed in a location that was within walking distance of a supermarket and other necessary stores. We rented a condo with a kitchen so that we could cook our own food. Although hardly anyone does not have a car in Fort Lauderdale, we rented a car for only two days, to visit a few sites my mother wanted to see. Other than that, we spent most of each day on the beach (usually 10AM to 5PM – yes, we pretended it was our JOB) using absolutely no electricity at all. Florida is just like that. Warm ocean and not much else to do.

Lastly, I decided to offset my trip – which was a much more complicated matter than I ever thought it would be. But that experience is for a future post.

So, there you go. Welcome to Righteous (re)Style. Stay awhile. Breathe. Relax. Get a nice tan (but please use at least an SPF of 30!).


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