After Ethan was born, we bought a jogging stroller. I had high hopes of actually jogging with it, but we've found we mostly use it for walks to the park and around the neighborhood. I had been wanting a pedometer to measure my walks since the speedometer/odometer that came with our fancy stroller measures in kilometers (only!), and I'm not 100% sure it works. It is nice to know I'm strolling at 10 km/hr, but it's not really useful information.
I had a pleasant surprise, then, when my sister-in-law and brother gave me what must be the Godfather of all pedometers, if it can even be classified as a pedometer. I think it's actually a high-tech training device for athletes. You know, ultra long distance runners, bikers who regularly traverse states, etc. Not one to be intimidated by looking silly in front of triathletes, I charged the thing up, popped it on my wrist and took a walk... to the grocery store, exactly 1.06 miles from home. This brings me to the point of my post, which is actually about being socially responsible, and my hidden desire to live in a community where people walk to work, to school, to the bank and grocery store. We lived in New York City for a while, and walked just about everywhere. Except Harlem and the Bronx Zoo.
I started thinking about how many places I can walk in our neighborhood; it's not exactly Manhattan, but it is conducive to walking. Within a mile, I can count a grocery store, our bank, our pharmacy, our pediatrician, our dentist :), a mom-and-pop gourmet coffee shop, a massage parlor, a passel of expensive boutiques, salons and antique stores, a pastry shop, a park with playground, a church or two... even Matt's favorite Chinese place. Within a couple of miles, we've got a library, a post office, my doctor, both hospitals, a bunch of fast food, barbershops, dollar stores, more antique places, a couple of schools. It's incredible. I'm thinking about going without my car for a week. Except for walking to work (not crazy about that idea at 5 in the morning or at 7:30 p.m. after a 12-hr shift), I think I could pretty much get where I need to go by foot. And this is good, because I don't recycle anything except for aluminum cans, and I do throw away a lot of plastic bags and diapers.
I wonder if the extra gas money saved would make up for shopping at the expensive grocery store? Maybe. The real question is, will I save more money by not being able to get to the mall, or will I end up shopping at the boutiques? Good thing Stein Mart is close.