Stacey Schlosser moved into Morristown recently and shares some thoughts about getting around town on foot and leaving the car behind. Stacey is the owner of Glassworks on South Street.
Less gas, more health.
It has been one month and I have yet to fill my gas tank. No, I did not buy a Prius or a hybrid of any kind. I bought a house in town, a short walk to work and nearly everything else. Being able to walk to work has completely changed my temperament as I no longer begin the day fighting the traffic and screaming at the thoughtless and careless drivers around me. I don’t have to have my blood pressure sky rocket because the lights are so ill timed or the guy in front of me did something so outrageously stupid or dangerous. I simply put on what the weather calls for and in 3 minutes I am at the studio. I am relaxed from my short stroll and have had a chance to inhale some fresh air.
Last week when my husband and I walked the 15 minutes to our synagogue we were able to engage with each other thoughtfully. We could look at the houses in our new neighborhood more closely. We could have a conversation that would not have had the time and attention needed if we had driven the ¾ of a mile. And we got some exercise and fresh air so we were ready to sit and listen and be at peace for the religious service.
There are some things I need to do outside of Morristown and I must take the car out. Or must I? We have a narrow driveway, barely one car wide and a two car garage that currently can only hold one car. So using the car is inconvenient. The back door house lock only works from the inside, and the garage door is manual, (I have not had that since 1975.) Yet, I find that those inconveniences make me more thoughtful about choosing to go out at all, do I really need to go to route 10 for a Costco trip, Target, Home Depot, Bed and Bath, Harmon ? Or can I buy what I need in town or do I really need it at all?
So mostly, I actually take the car out for good reason. I make a weekly trip to the recycling center as I recycle everything possible at Glassworks and at home. I made a long trip to Somerville for a final class for my Educating for Sustainability Certification, and I drove the car to Westchester so we would avoid driving all the way to Massachusetts. Those are all good reasons that make the impact of my car worthwhile. A trip to Route 10…not so much.
Walking everywhere, (I am not a winter bike rider) has also helped my pants to be a bit less tight, I spontaneously run into friends on the street, I have become more friendly with several store owners and I take notice of small details I could not see from my car window. With 100% honesty, I can say there have been absolutely no down sides to walking even as we have been having the most brutally cold winter. Bundle up and meet me outside for a walk.