Sometime today, I will celebrate Earth Day by driving my SUV to this gas station and filling the tank with regular unleaded. This morning, however, I filled up a styrofoam cup of coffee and rode my office bike there first.
As you can see from the photograph, the excellent Profile Design bottle cage is being utilized for its intended purpose of transporting coffee in a disposable, environmentally horrid cup and OH-EM-GEE! Gas starts at $4.21 (and nine-tenths) a gallon.
I've always thought of Earth Day as the Valentine's Day for the planet. I don't need a date on a calendar - put there by some marketing department - to tell my wife I love her, buy her flowers, or take her out to dinner. Just like I don't need Earth Day to tell me when I should turn of my lights, recycle, or head to a Toyota dealership to check out a SmugMobile (or maybe the model is called 'Prius').
I can see that Earth Day is nice for others and it genuinely raises awareness about environmental issues, but I personally treat it like any other day. I'm not going to insist people bike instead of using their cars, because I've long ago accepted some people don't or can't ride bikes to where they need to go and don't respond well to be lectured at. So I'm just going to ride my bike and show as many people as possible how much fun it is. I'm going to stop at every red light, use hand signals, and generally refrain from riding obnoxiously or adopting a greener-than-thou attitude. I'm not a psychologist, but that approach might lure more people to the bike shop than traditional finger-wagging.
However, when people are in my office and ask, I'll tell them that for every mile I ride my office bike and don't use my beloved SUV I save about $0.16 or $0.17 cents and I'll leave it at that.
Also: the coffee cup in the photograph? It's not styrofoam; it's ceramic with a silicone top. Had you going there for a minute, didn't I?
(Follow me on Twitter at @michaelknorris)