Getting Here the Green Way

Green Spotlight:  Notes From Nancy Grant

The usual advice for wise energy use includes saving gas by planning your driving route carefully to avoid backtracking.  But what if you’d like to leave your car or truck out of your errand-running loop altogether? Here are three good ideas:

Shank’s mare – This old-fashioned country term means using your own two legs for travel. Whether you’re starting from home or your workplace, just put on comfy shoes and it’s right foot, left foot all the way to the co-op. If you’re new to walking outdoors, you’ll find it’s quite different from a treadmill–traffic and signals to watch for, people to chat with, birds to watch–but you can estimate that each half mile will take ten to fifteen minutes. The return trip may take a bit longer because you’ll have the added weight of whatever you bought. A child’s wagon or other wheeled contraption to pull along can be a big help.

Bicycle – Whether your human powered two-wheeler has one gear or twenty, when you arrive at the co-op you’ll find a sturdy bike rack near the front door where you can park it safely. Before you leave, take a minute to balance your load of shopping bags in your front handlebar basket or pannier baskets over the rear wheel; small bungee cords or carabineer clips will help keep your packages in place as you pedal.

Bus –The co-op is on MVTA’s bus route #442. Help planning your public transportation travel route is just a click away at or

Bonus tip: In the store, look for the display of reusable thermal bags to carry your purchases home. Available in two sizes and costing less than a single gallon of gas, they’ll keep your hot items toasty or your frozen items icy cold.

Energy journalist and blogger Nancy S. Grant is a member of the Cooperative Communicators Association.

Click here to read the Valley Natural Foods Green Report 2010.

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