Choose Walking

Choose walking. Choose to amble, saunter, or traipse. Choose to trot, trek, tramp, stroll, or shuffle, march, ramble wander, or roam. Choose pedestrianism.

If you have even the faintest love for our planet and understanding of our global ecological situation it is easy to believe in the merits of walking and not very much harder to talk about them.

Part of my daily commute to town.

The logic works like this: our global environment is in trouble (i.e. global warming and a dependency upon limited fuel resources, specifically oil), you care about the plight and future of our planet, therefor you should take action to protect and reduce the harm you incur upon it, reduction of personal CO2 emissions and fuel consumption will reduce harm, this can be accomplished through less reliance on personal vehicles, and therefor, you should chose to walk more often!*

Very few people would dispute this logic, and yet, while in the midst of the "green revolution" pedestrianism has not been embraced as either an individual action or a viable large-scale objective for town, city, and country wide planning.

Here's why walking as a solution has been largely overlooked:

  1. The scale of the problems walking addresses are very large and individual effects are essentially impossible to measure. This leads to, "if I can't change it, why bother" lines of reasoning.
  2. Walking isn't always convenient.

So, here's an alternative argument.

Choose to walk because it will improve your personal and interpersonal well-being.

Happiness is largely dependent on an individual's sense of connection to others. In the modern world technology has led to billions of time saving "conveniences" that expedite activities by removing an arguably critical, human element. The internet, social networks, auto-mated teller machines, auto-mated check-out aisles, television, streaming movie services, vending machines, and personal vehicles all transform multi-person transactions into individual experiences and remove the chance of human error. You get whatever you want quickly, efficiently, and without having to deal with another person, often times from the "comfort" of your very own home.

Great, right? Well, sometimes. Until you realize that you may be starved of interpersonal connectedness.

Walking and talking are two of the greatest joys given to us on this planet. Don't squander them.

Walking to work, lunch, the bank, wherever, forces you out of your car and into the public venue. Try walking for a week. After just days you'll no longer be a faceless figure seated behind the wheel of another automobile, but a full fledged community member. Even if you aren't talking to people immediately, you are quickly becoming a recognizable face within your neighborhood, and therefor, well on your way to building new relationships.

Bring back pedestrianism! Pedestrianism shouts, "I am a community member! I live, work, and play here. Take notice!"

Additionally, science has proven that spending 20 minutes or more outdoors daily increases happiness and sense of well being. It might seem strange, but many of us don't manage to put aside this time on a day-to-day basis. By choosing to walk you'll find that getting 20 minutes of time outside will be easily.

If you can't walk for the planet. Walk for yourself.

Vail, Colorado. where most of my walking goes down.

* Yes, this line of reasoning is not 100% complete, however the argument still stands. It has been reduced to increase readability.