About the author: Jonathan Shradar is EPA’s Press Secretary.
Of all the days they can pick for bike to work day, they pick one that it is raining. Of course, for two weeks I have been telling my office that I was riding in and they should join me, so I had to follow through.
Giving an impassioned speech during a staff meeting, I even mentioned the three E’s of cycling; protecting the environment, getting some exercise, and benefiting your personal economy. But when it came time to raise your hand if you were riding in… I was still the only one.
It appeared as if I would be riding “alone” if I made the journey, but my word has to be worth more than an excuse to get out of a wet ride to work, so I saddled up and headed to the office.
I live about four miles from work, if that, so my commute is not long anyway but the bike is much faster than taking the bus and depending on how well I obey traffic signals, a bit faster than driving. And this morning in the rain I made pretty good time.
But I didn’t just save time, I got to enjoy the beautiful city I live in. I rode by the Capitol reminding me that the things we do can impact the whole nation and the world. I rode by museums making me think of our role in history and how we will be remembered. And I rode by the IRS reminding me to pay my taxes. Okay so maybe it wasn’t all that great.
The key is that I took a step. I rode my bike to work for one day. I have no idea how much carbon I saved by not driving for ten minutes but one ride will lead to others. That is how change is started anyway, by one act.
What step are you willing to take to do your part? Maybe it is the first ride into work, or is it changing light bulbs. Whatever it is if we are going to truly protect the environment we need individuals to be responsible and change the way we live, one pedal at a time perhaps.