The following is the first entry in a series of short personal weekly accounts on how each member of the C4C team is reducing their impact on the environment.
TMS Ruge and his bike "Missitude"
One of the perks of working at Connect4Climate is the presence of mind that I have about how I impact the environment around me. When I moved from Texas to DC last year, I immediately appreciated howcompact the city was, and the widely used public transit system that gave me the ability to get anywhere in the city without thinking about where the nearest gas station was. It was very liberating not to have a car. The longer I am here working at C4C, the more stories I get to hear about how climate change is affecting people around the world.
I quickly realized that if we are truly going to make an impact as a people, we can’t wait for grand policies or governments to do it. Change has to start with us. I think the whole C4C team feels this way.
Personally, I started thinking about what more I could do to reduce my carbon footprint and not add to the degradation of the planet. Even though I was enjoying the benefits of mass transit for my daily commute, I really wanted to contribute even more.
So I’ve taken advantage of Washington’s bike lanes and bought myself a bicycle. The commute to and from work also allows me to get a daily workout in. I also feel better knowing that my daily commute does not have an adverse affect on the environment and I feel healthier for starting out my day with some exercise. Not only that, but I also calculated the savings. By reducing my reliance on public transport,I will be saving nearly $1000 a year. That’s a huge savings on top of all the other benefits.
But all of that wouldn’t be possible without a smartly planned city that made it possible to safely commute to work. I can only wish that it becomes a global norm and more of us embrace the benefits of public and manual(? Or carbon-free?) transport.
I am enjoying this lifestyle change and I am continually inspired to try to minimize my impact on the planet. I look forward to seeing similar personal stories from around the world shared in photos, videos, and music videos in our current Voices4Climate global competition.
Lead Social Media Strategist