Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Small Changes, Big Results

I had the pleasure of attending a zoo conference in Houston last week. And, yes, of course I took the bus to the airport! The conference had many amazing sessions including one on communicating about climate change. Check out Monterrey Bay Aquarium’s video.

I felt encouraged that our zoo is working to make a positive difference in support of the environment and all of its inhabitants. I’m proud of everything we are doing to reduce our impact and hope that I am somehow able to persuade others to do their part as individuals as well. This year, I’m focusing on alternative transportation. If everyone in our employee base took alternative transportation for one month we would offset our carbon output by approximately 80 metric tons! Even if we all just did it for one day, it would be a savings of more than 2 metric tons of carbon. Together, this makes a big difference. (These were figured using averages from the federal highway administration.)

I had a beautiful ride in this morning. It’s gotten much cooler and I have been leaving a bit before sunrise. It’s nice to see the sun coming up and get some exercise before I get into work. For me this is just good time management. You have to commute anyway – might as well turn it into a workout! I’ll ride to the 72X (or 58X, depending on which one comes first) and then take that to the Ward Road Park and Ride on the way home today. This takes out some of the tough hills on the way home, which is helpful to save some energy for my volleyball matches tonight.
I love the bike/bus combo. It is truly liberating. I can get anywhere in this city with my bike and the bus. Here’s a summary of some of the more creative ways I’ve been traveling using my bus pass and bike together.

  1. Bike to the Museum and catch the DD (quit snickering) and take it to the Broomfield Park and Ride. Bike to the Sports Oasis for volleyball. To get home: take the 76 bus to Wadsworth and 32nd. Get off and take my bike through Crown Hill Park home. Must have headlight for this ride.
  2. Walk to Colorado Blvd. and take the 40 south just past I25. Get picked up by volleyball friend and carpool to game at The Island in Aurora, then home.
  3. Take 32 bus to Highlands and bum a ride from my friend Angie to volleyball at the Sports Oasis.
  4. It’s raining and I’ve missed my bus. Beg friend Trish who lives in my neighborhood to carpool home from zoo. (Thank you, Trish!)
  5. Bike with my friend George downtown to catch the 28. The 28 already has one bike on it, so we decide to take the 38. The 38 is horrendously crowded. Hop off and take the 72X to Ward Road Park and Ride and ride home from there. Waved at 38 bus driver. Technically we beat him to the stop by about 5 seconds (this is the same bus we were on and the bus driver was laughing at us).
  6. Ride bike to friend’s house where Dan and I are going to dinner. Carpool home.

Our wild ride team has been working hard to reduce their impact as well. We hope to help others learn more about the many options available to employees to get to work responsibly. Carpooling, bussing with our free eco pass, biking or walking or any combination of the above can really make a difference to support what we do at the zoo – secure a better world for animals through human understanding.