Being Green for Less Brown

October 24th

bus survival pouch

One of my closest girlfriends is now living back in Seattle and is taking public transport to work. To applaud her green behavior and to celebrate her recent birthday, I put together a bus survival kit.

Bus survival kit supplies

Now that the weather is cooling off, and I’ll soon have more time on my hands, I’m hoping to start riding my bike to work at least one day a week. It is 19 miles (mostly through questionable areas of town) from my house to work. I’m thinking I’ll go on a test ride one weekend before making the commitment. Between working from home one day a week and riding in one day a week, I hope to help ease the brown cloud that blankets the Valley come winter. If the weather is dreary, or if it is just too dark to get on the roadbike, I am going to start taking the bus.
Changing this behavior initially is going to be hard; it is just so comfortable to drive in to work in my own car, with the stereo blasting and the sunroof open. (Not to mention, as far as I know, the express bus doesn’t swing through the bagel shop before hitting the highway.)
But it is selfish and I’ve got to support current public transport to encourage improvements. Plus, I am not a nice person behind the wheel. I suffer from more than a touch of road rage and removing this stress from my life will benefit all East Valley commuters. Then there is the commuting time to knit, read, journal…

~K

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CAOK, Domestic Art, Good to Great, Journal
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33 Responses

  1. I love the hand sanitizer – that is a must for bus riders!

  2. Yup. Gotta love that extra knitting time. Public transport is not an option for me, but it is only a 15 minute drive, anyway.

  3. you are such an awesome friend!!! and that heather ross fabric is perfect for the occasion!

  4. That is a great little bus kit, what a great idea. That pink fabric is one of my favs.
    Sometimes I wish I could hop on a bus or train and let someone else do the driving, but it’s really not an option. Dh has to go to downtown Chicago several times a year for continuing ed (he has an appraisal license) and he really enjoys taking the train. (Of course he has to drive 30 mins north before he can even catch the commuter line, but it’s better than nothing)

  5. Is that Dr. Pepper flavour lip balm I spy?! Sometimes I wish I lived on the other side of the pond (quite often actually!)

  6. Angie Uyeda October 24, 2007

    Are you sure you don’t want to relocate to Portland? There are non-profits aplenty! Yesterday I took the lightrail from work to class! Farmers markets twice a week! Food for thought….

  7. Good for you. We just got a bus system in our town and I am trying to figure it out so that I can use it a little more. I think it will be fun once I get it down.

  8. Aw, that is so nice of you! If only the state could provide everybody with a goodie bag like that if you commit to riding the bus, buy a bus pass, hehe.

    And an hour of knitting time a day is quite substantial.

  9. Our city has a bus, but I have yet to figure out how to get from point A (home) to point B (work) without changing routes at point C and D. Plus there’s the whole “drop off/pick up the kids” thing. And carpooling with carseats – children must be 8 years old or 80 lbs to be out of a booster seat – just isn’t as easy as it was back in the day. I’ll have to be content with consolidating trips for the time being. I miss living in London and taking the bus/underground. I got a lot of reading done – not to mention fascinating people watching.

    Good for you, my dear! And good luck!

  10. Good for you! I think I may try riding the bus to work someday.. we shall see. I think it’s about a 20 minute drive, and according to the website, it’s a bit more than an hour on the bus, but I think I’ll try it sometime this week. Seems like I can get some knitting done that way.

  11. What a clever idea! Cute pouch!!

    I take the bus/subway to work in Boston and it’s not so bad! That’s when I do all my reading and end-of-the-day decompressing. 🙂

    Welcome to the world of public transportation!

  12. Impressive! I’m sure she’ll use every last bit of that travel bag. I put a lot of the same things together back when I was commuting and I imagine I’d start using that cute bag to carry my knitting right away.

    *Applauding the bike riding to work*

  13. I wish I could ride public transport into work, think of the time I could be knitting!! Be careful out there, people are such crazy drivers! Cute tote!

  14. Oh, good for you. Met up with some of Ace’s family this weekend and learned that one of his cousins rides his bike to work and back every single day of the year, rain or shine. He and his wife sold one of their two cars, so there’s no copping out, either. Now I feel like I have no excuse at all.

    If you can ride once a week to work, so can I. Um…starting next month.

  15. You are a great friend Kelli! Also I was reading below (I’m a few days behind) about in the next 28 years.. I do believe we’ll see you on Oprah one day! I can’t wait.

  16. here’s your travel kits for both the bus and bike in phoenix:
    bus: (this is assuming they let you on b/c you have all of your own teeth)
    one PINT of hand sanitizer, pepper spray, doctor’s gown (including the paper booties), taser, and sanitary wipes or lysol spray.
    bike: helmet, extra helmet, bullet proof vest, shin guards, big stick (like the cops carry), brass knuckles, mouth guard.
    kelli, the bus is disgusting, expensive, and the route you have to take uses more gas than your car b/c it’s so indirect (remember this conversation?). BUT, it’s safer than freaking riding your bike down there. hello? you work down by where the fair happens. have you ever been to a town where the fair is in the GOOD part? no. it’s not that great to be by yourself in a car down there. it will be dark and not safe, especially in the morning. i know you want to save the planet, but seriously, wait for lightrail. clean, fast, electric and less than a year away.

  17. What a lovely present and very thoughtful, I’m sure she will use it all.
    I too would like to support public transport and the bus stop is right near my house but my job doesn’t permit this. I need my car. As the weather has warmed up here, I have started walking and even a “little” jog. Hope I can keep this up, god knows I need the exercise.

  18. The bus survival kit is so clever and cute, too! It makes a fabulous gift and I’m positive your friend will love it.

    Good for you about biking or riding public transportation to work!

  19. That’s such a great idea, the survival kit. If I didn’t live in the Boondocks I’d love to commute to work/school etc as well. Maybe one day.

  20. Does your bus co. offer a bike & ride option? Maybe split the difference?

    Great kit, love the vw bus on it!

  21. If the distance is daunting you could bike to work, take the bus home, then take the bus back the next day and bike home.

    I used to live in a questionable part of town (SE DC) and biked to work everyday. I found biking to be a totally acceptable way to avoid trouble because if people were on foot, frankly, they couldn’t really be bothered with me. Same for those in a car. Granted, the drivers were a problem because DC isn’t really a biking city.

    I congratulate your desire to become greener. Every little bit helps.

  22. It’s 15 years I take the bus at least twice a day, and I hate it when it’s raining (wet umbrellas dropping water on your feet) and it’s full of students (big bags badly hurting you all over your body). But it’s also time spending doing such nice things, such as reading, or listening to music. One of my newest friend, is a girl I met on the bus, so taking a bus ride is good for socializing, too.

  23. Road rage??? You??? Naaaahhhhh, I don’t believe it!

    Questionable part of town..better have your pepper spray on hand… you never know…

    What a practical bag to have with the goodies…

    Kudos to you and your friend for your contributions in saving Mother Earth!

  24. That survival kit is great!

    You know – I did the bus thing for years in LA and I found that it made me a much calmer person. I didn’t get road rage, I could read & listen to music and it didn’t really take any longer than if I drove behind the bus in my own car – it was a lot cheaper.

    Does AZ have any programs/incentives for taking public transportation? I was able to get a free bus pass through the state of CA & my work because I didn’t drive.

  25. you go girl! i live in the sf sans car, but sometimes i get public transit rage. prob less frequently than road rage. in any case, i applaud you!

  26. Good for you for looking for alternatives. I ride light rail and bus, have done for years. TH and I have shared a car between us for 10+ years. At first we just couldn’t afford a second car, then later, we realized there was no real need for one. It sometimes is a royal pain, and sometimes takes some creative scheduling, but the upside is it has given me some extra problem-solving skills! It breaks my heart that we may have to buy another car to get me to work now that we’ve moved. I’m still trying to figure out other options (Scooter? Bike? Roller blades? Electric car? Light rail/bus and some combination of the aforementioned? I’m experimenting).

    [Some friendly comments: What, exactly, makes an area questionable? S— can happen anywhere, to anyone. If there is a reason to be scared, then OK (ie. a rapist known to frequent certain blocks). In reality, some of the kindest, most big-hearted people I’ve ever met have been in the most questionable parts of town, and from the most questionable of backgrounds. Also, I’ve lived in those parts of town pretty much 2/3 of my life, so I guess I’m a little tired of people dissing my ‘hood, yo. Anyhoo. Do what you need to do, to stay safe – just be educated about it, and stay savvy.]

  27. Hellooo

    I’m a lurker on your blog and want to to comment just to say good for you for switching to biking/public transportation! I also suffer from road rage (and normally have really low blood pressure) and switched to the MBTA and Commuter Rail and while yes, sometimes it’s not the most pleasant situation, it’s sooooo much better than driving (Plus I’ve gone 20 days without visiting the gas station and still have over a half a tank. BONUS). Plus you’re crafty and you can get a ton done on buses and trains – I made all my coworkers’ holiday gifts last year on the bus I think. I’m going to try and take a hint from you – while the weather is nice and bike to my local commuter rail station though, that sounds lovely.

    As long as you’re safe, it’s awesome that you’re coming up with some new ways to get to work 🙂

  28. Is it weird that I like the smell of hand sanitizer? I live in LA where we loathe public transportation. Kudos to you!

  29. I love that kit!! So, here is a question, (and maybe someone else already suggested it?) but what if you road the bus partway and the bike partway? Maybe get on a bus while it’s still too dark and get off halfway there and ride the rest of the way. I’m sure you know this, but Chris said there is a website that will help you plan a bike route for commuting.. I don’t know what it is though..hehe. you’d have to ask him..

  30. You’re friend will love it!
    You are so sweet:)

  31. Lovin’ the bus fabric!!

  32. what a great idea and gift. love the fabric.

  33. Thanks for blogging about this! I now walk to work and I love it. When I move back to the US I plan to try riding to work as well.
    It’s so important that people do what they can for the environment; and it’s good for your health (unless the questionable neighborhoods are bad for your health – be safe!).

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