I for one walk everywhere. Also my husband does. And I mean everywhere. I wake up and I walk to the office 25min every morning. Then I take a short stroll after lunch. Then I go home the same way as I arrived in the office. I also walk to the shops close by and further away. And then to the yoga class 10-15min. Some other days I go to the dance class- another 25min. And come back the same way- on foot. I walk to theater, to concert, to conference, to other events. Even to the coach that takes me to the airport (yes, I still fly sometimes...).
My calculation is pretty simple- if it takes up to 35min, I always walk. If more than that- I still question myself before taking a public transport. Maybe I can still walk if I'm in not big time pressure.
But weekends- oh, those are lovely. I love walking. Then I can do long walks to the park, in the park and back. Or go wherever I want. I can just put on my shoes and go.
But most of the people apparently do not walk. Almost at all. Like last weekend- we wisited a nice family in smaller town. If we didn't come, they still probably would not know the nice walkways near the woods. Or that the shopping centre is in the walking (walkable) distance. They would still take a cab. But now there can be a Green Bonus Point added on green carpet for showing them they actually can walk. And mostly because- they found it a lovely activity and thanked us for it! I think they just may have forgotten it.
Also this weekend- there were visitors on London patch of green carpet. We walked about 5h- to Camden market, discovering it slowly, then back through the Regents park where tulips and trees were blossoming so beautifully. We just strolled through the park, taking pictures, smelling the green spring. And I so loved the surprise in their eyes that they realized that they have actually walked all that thay and that it was great feeling! Especially one of them that goes everywhere by a car. Another Green Bonus Point!
So often we do not really have to go by car or take a public transport even, we can walk. But we just never think of it! I think it is the time we do. That we leave that bit of fuel in our car for the time we really need it and put on the walking shoes instead. That we do not update our travelcard so often and leave it for the longer transits.
Benefits? Here are some..
- Save the "direct money"! (best motivation for most of the people)- less spent on fuel or tickets, I can't even say how much I've saved just walking everywhere! If it helps you- Don't buy travelcard but pay as you go, and every time you think of taking a bus for a short ride, think of that 1.3 gbp you save yourself!
- Improve your body and maybe save on the gym pass! Walking will keep you fit. It is wonderfyl for pregnancy and especially early stages where you might not be allowed to do anything else.
- Improve your health and endurance! Walking usually leads to more rythmic breathing and better heart rate. Fresh air, ability to adapt and enjoy any weather will benefit you. Remember two things- we're not made of sugar, so feel free to walk in rain as well! And other- there is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.
- Improve your emotional state and relieve the stress! You will find it so easy just to "walk off" the bad day or an argument. I sometimes also meditate on my way, pray, chant mantras (rythmic steps are great help) or talk to my bump-baby.
- Learn new things- open your eyes when walk and look around you!
- Have a great time with company, go somewhere with friends and arrive there on foot, not underground!
All in total- it "saves" your health, wellbeing and also money. And something else, much bigger than every one of us- it saves the planet by not using its resources. The more people will walk, the less fuel will be used. As simple as that.
Yeah, I don't want to be unfair and not mention any disadvantages. There are few, if you see it that way:
- Time- yes, walking might take a bit longer.
- Clothing- yes, you will need good walking shoes, not pointy superhigh-heels.
- Personal care- yes, you will need a good deodorant if you haven't dressed appropriately or sweat a lot when active.
- Taking things with you- like an umbrella, extra scarf or anything else you might need.
Here on green carpet, however, these things are regarded as great opportunities to be more aware of environment and myself and to step towards slow living. I do it, because I respect myself and the planet.
So my pledge on green carpet is to continue walking and introduce others to it!