LJWorld.com weblogs Eco-challenge
Carless commuter discovers hazards of two-legged travel
_Editor's note: Over the next couple of weeks, reporter Christine Metz is undertaking an eco-challenge of her own design. In a quest to live a greener lifestyle, she has set out to go one week without a car, spend a month eating only locally grown food and track how much waste a person produces in a single week. Follow along as she blogs about the highs and lows of the average car-driving, coffee-drinking, trash-dumping girl trying to go green._The commute to the office was supposed to be the easy part.At least that is what I told my friends and co-workers as I was prepping for the challenge of going one week without once starting the car.It was my social life - not work - that was going to involve the temptation to drive. I scoured bus routes, community carpool message boards and even the Amtrak schedule to find a way to get from Lawrence to Kansas City for a Sunday afternoon volleyball game. And I had plotted an across-town bike route so I could attend a Tuesday evening jewelry party.But the 10-block walk to work I had down. I'd done it countless times, high heels and all. It was going to be a breeze. That was before 7 a.m.As I woke to the rumblings of thunder, I realized I might have been a tad overconfident.Yet my optimism remained mostly intact when I peeked outside to see an overcast sky but no rain. I decided to leave the raincoat at home and grabbed the umbrella just in case.Halfway between my house and the office, the clouds broke loose. When I hit Watson Park, I was wet around the edges. My legs had gotten the worst of it. They were soaked from an unsuspecting sprinkler at the corner of Louisiana and Seventh streets.Downtown, as I was heading toward much-needed coffee at La Prima Tazza, the wind flipped my umbrella upside down and the rain turned from a steady stream to a downpour. I cursed myself for putting "walking to work" and "breeze" in the same sentence. By the time I reached the News Center, I was questioning why I would want to give up my car in the first place. I hadn't even walked in the door, and already my enthusiasm for a week sans car and another month of eco-challenges had, shall we say, dampened.Perhaps tomorrow I'll bring the raincoat.