Zen and the art of the low carbon footprint

Welcome back to another strange night under the waxing moon! I went on a walk today, which is a thing most of us can still do as long as we stay a safe distance from other people. (I’ll admit, it’s kind of awesome for introverts.) Walking has always been my ideal method of transportation whenever possible, and if you haven’t discovered the joys of using your feet to get you places, now is the perfect time to make some lifestyle changes to bring you joy and reduce your carbon footprint! Yes, I’m kindly requesting that for health and sanity’s sake, you go for a walk.

Obviously we should all be chilling in the comfort of our homes as much as possible these days, but when you have to go somewhere, if it is at all feasible to walk there, maybe do it. It seems a little sketchy to hop in a ride share or on a bus right now. If you have the option of driving that’s obviously a major convenience, and sometimes it’s the only option. But if it’s not, maybe also consider walking. You’re sparing the air, it’s good for the soul to get a little fresh oxygen, and it’s important for our bodies to get a bit of exercise.

Even pre-pandemic, I have long appreciated walking as a method of getting places. It’s pretty much the most slow-motion way you can get from one destination to another, so you have the maximum amount of time to take in the scenery along the way. Walking allows me to notice local plant life, details in architecture, and other details I wouldn’t notice if I were in a car or even riding a bike. Also, can we talk about how going for a walk can have an insanely uplifting effect on mood? (I’m not just talking about going for a walk to smoke weed. Walks are mood-boosting with or without herbal enhancement.) There have been actual studies confirming that even a short walk can elevate your mood! I can attest to this personally; there have been so many times I’ve set off on a walk feeling stressed, and ended it feeling calmer and more capable. From an evolutionary perspective, the act of physically moving your body from one location to another might be subconsciously reassuring us that we have put distance between ourselves and our environmental stressors. I like to think it’s easier to walk off stress than a tiger.

If you fuel your walks with a plant-based diet, you will have successfully made two simple shifts that chill out your carbon footprint. With the whole world receiving a call to slow down right now, savoring a walk and a simple diet might just be the best thing you can do for yourself and the planet.

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