Well, I bought a car. I really wanted a Yaris but it just wasn’t happening for me. In fact, my only hope of getting financed was through GM, which I really didn’t want to do because of how GM works to oppose higher fuel efficiency standards, but it’s what I had to do because we unfortunately live in a society in which cars are a necessity. — No Impact Man writes some great blogs on how we should develop towns and cities differently to make cars less necessary, see this one for some inspiration—
So I went with the Saturn Astra. It gets decent mileage, has good pick up, lots of room for me and the baby and the stroller and all the crap you carry around with a baby and maybe some camping stuff, and it has all the swanky OnStar crap I swore I’d never own because it was pointlessly frivolous and now I have it and am tempted to call it up and ask for directions to restaurants we don’t have in this state, like White Castle and Pasta House. But tell me honestly, did I get a mom car?
Mine is white, not silver. Its a mom car, isn’t it? When I got it, it didn’t look like a minivan, but in this picture it does. Its supposed to be hot in Europe, or something, its sold as the Opel Astra there. Just because I am a mom doesn’t mean I have to give it all up and start wearing mom jeans and driving a mom car.
<—– Mom Jeans
Anyway, its an okay car choice, I suppose. Not the greenest you could go, but probably the greenest I could go. Let me tell you, they tried really hard to sell me the VUE, Saturn’s SUV, but I wouldn’t have it. Not only would I feel totally hypocritical driving that car (I told the dealer “How can I drive this to a Green Party meeting?”), but what the hell is the point of an SUV that isn’t meant to go off road? Seriously. The “U” in SUV stands for utility. I have far less a problem with SUVs if they are used for their intended purpose. Hauling dirty, heavy stuff and going off road. SUVs meant to look pretty for soccer mom’s usage is really just a minivan. Even more so than my little Astra which only slightly resembles a minivan in pictures.
Remind me later to blog about how much it bugs me that we feel the need to have a tv in cars these days.
I am still going to get a bike and use that whenever I can instead of the car. That will make me feel a little better about buying something so big and expensive from a company that supports lousy fuel efficiency standards.
Another thing that makes me feel better (not 100% better, mind you, nothing will make me feel 100% better about purchasing a car, not even a fuel cell car) is the new urban farming project/CSA I’ve become involved in. Its called Sense of Colorado, and its a bunch of people around town growing large gardens in their back yards, and we all go help in them and pay 50 bucks a month and we get our share of the produce. Its the first year they’re doing it as an organized CSA, so its kind of a risk, but I think its going to work out well. Anyway, even if it doesn’t I love the concept of urban farming and am glad to support and learn about it. Our failures this year are fantastic learning opportunities, and hopefully the organization will grow and become stronger each year. There may be a story about it and a similar program which has been up and running for a while in Boulder in the Washington Post sometime here soon.
If we have a surplus of veggies after we divvy out the shares, then we are thinking about running a farmers market in Five Points. The people in Five Points cant afford to do some of the bigger farmers markets around town, like the one in Cherry Creek, Boulder or down town Littleton (check ’em out if you can, though), so we thought it might be nice to do a more reasonably priced one on that end of town. I like that idea also because I’ve been toying with the idea of selling low cost slings to low income moms (particularly single moms) who would not otherwise be able to afford any baby wearing apparatus – especially not fashionable ones. I would do this by selling slightly more expensive slings to women who can afford to buy slings. I’d charge cost of materials plus, say, $15 for the work for the women who can afford to buy slings, which is still a tremendous bargon compared to other slings. The main material for the sling is three yards of fabric, but fabric is sold in sheets twice as wide as is needed, so when I get the three yards, I can cut them in half long ways and have the material for two slings! I’ll use one half to make the full priced sling, and the other half to make another sling I’ll sell for, say, 10 bucks at the Five Points Farmers Market. Then the women who buy the full price slings can also know that a portion of their proceeds go to providing low cost slings to low income single mothers. I wouldn’t make much of a profit with this “business model” if you want to call it that. We’re talking around 5 dollars profit per two slings made. But profit is not the point. Sharing the tremendous benefits of baby wearing with the world is the point.
And coming together as a community is the point. Sharing food and getting in touch with where it comes from, rather than being removed and disassociated from what we put in our bodies. Sustaining our own community from within is the point, rather than depending on communities thousands of miles away to provide us with necessities like food and fuel is the point. And real, authentic relationships is the point.
I am excited about the opportunities this urban farming project presents for me to get to know new people, to get my hands in the dirt, and begin teaching my son where food comes from (because, like the commercials say, learning begins long before school). And I’m excited that it might give me a chance to do some community service type work too.
And maybe this will satisfy my urge to farm.