A few years ago when I was working at a summer camp in Israel teaching English the other volunteers and I created a lesson plan around the popular song, “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” One brilliant, wildly advanced camper came up to us shortly after the program and said confidently, “These are feet.” It was simple and matter-of-fact, but quite possibly one of the deepest statements I have ever heard come from a non-native speaking 2nd grader. Though at the time it was simply a declaration of a newly acquired vocabulary word, the statement accurately reflects a green change I made to my life that is so simple, yet so incredibly deep. I looked down at my feet today and, while laughing hysterically to myself… alone… on the sidewalk, thought, “These are feet. They are meant to walk. And take me places. They were not placed below my legs to step on a gas pedal or tap melodically to music while I sit on a bus. These are feet. Use them to walk.”
Today I continued walking. I successfully did not use a car or bus at all during the day. For safety reasons a friend came to pick me up from a night meeting I had in a building a couple of miles from my apartment, but other than that, I planned ahead and walked everywhere. I took a 15 minute walk to hang out with my girlfriends in one building, another 15 minute walk to a class, a 20 minute walk to a meeting after class, a 30 minute walk home from the meeting, a 45 minute walk to another meeting, and then a 2 minute walk to the curb to wave down my friend to pick me up. Impressed? I was. It was the most lovely day too. I listened to music, smiled at some sexy boys running past me on the sidewalk, and enjoyed the cool breeze blowing through my recently cut hair. I just appreciated the fact that I was commuting by foot. I took in my surroundings and took time to relax between my busy schedule. Today was the encouragement I needed in my green changes. It was a low-impact day with a high productivity rate. Now on to tomorrow’s challenge: giving up chewing gum. Wish me luck!