Thursday, 9 June 2011

It's those little choices in everyday life that make you who you are...

May I just take a moment to express my current emotions:


Yep. I have defeated the mighty Deadlines-of-Hell warrior and I have overcome the Law Examination originating from Satan's breath. I am now free of the majority of SPEP work. And all I have left to do is a 20 000 word dissertation. Easy. I'll get back to you in 3 months time about that when I shall be once again bricking it. But until then...

I have a very exciting weekend coming up. My cousin is getting married this weekend - so many congratulations to her! I shall be heading up to Edinburgh to celebrate this wonderful occasion. 'What's this got to do with being green??' I hear you environment fanatics ask (ha). Well Sirs and Madams, this trip will mark a momentous occasion - other than wedding related fun of course - I am taking the train to Edinburgh!!

'What?? Why's that momentous? That's stupid.'

Well... it's because of a choice I made a few months ago. I was offered a free plane ticket to Edinburgh. No hassle. No fee. But I had happened to have gone through a very interesting week at university, and had been in deep contemplation about my green identity. I had also happened to have looked into the possibility of taking the train to travel up north; and I was surprised to find that, other than an excess of 4 hours on travel time, the train ticket was cheaper than a plane ticket! A decision therefore needed to be made: Make life easier and take the plane? Or actually take into account what I have been learning and working towards for the last year and take the train?

My choice was however also affected by the rather abrupt situation in which I was forced to make my decision. I was very surprised - and quite upset - to find a frosty reception when I proposed to my darling parents (who would have kindly provided the plane ticket) that I may take the train. They could not seem to comprehend the idea that I would want to willingly take the train. "The cost is of no importance." But I just kept on thinking... it's not only about financial cost. Yeah that's right, taking the plane is a massive cost on the Earth's expenses. Everyone knows that. But also quite importantly, it would have been a burden on my sense of self. You don't set up a blog on being green, you don't devote your career to sustainability, and you don't claim to be something, and then just go and blow it all away because its simply EASIER to take a plane! Hell if there's anything my wise parents have taught me over the years is that the easy path is not necessarily the best.

But I made my choice. And I made it despite certain setbacks. I am happy, nay... I am PROUD to say that I chose to take the train. It means so little in the grand scheme of things - I mean if I'd managed to get my parents to take the train, then that would be an achievement! But that little decision that I made feels like it has cemented my position in the world as someone who would consider themselves somewhat environmental. I don't just chat about this business - I act on it. Kermit ain't no hypocrite. I cannot deny that there are still so many more decisions that I can make to improve my environmental behaviour, but by explicitly choosing to take the train, I have essentially exclaimed that I am willing to work on it and keep making those decisions.

It's like that old saying: Those little choices you make are what make you yourself. Haha noooo I totally just made that up, but sounds about right doesn't it??

Now, any ideas on how best to keep myself amused during the 5 hour trip?