Monthly Archives: July 2008

What my pal said cuz she’s selling a scooter

We were sitting on the beach in the sun, I’d ridden my bike and was wearing some new shorts I got–loved ’em and got ’em just cuz. She said, “Well, as long as you’re out buying stuff, why not buy one of my Vespa scooters?”

Truth be told, I’d LOVE to be riding one of those cute little scooters around town in the summer–easy, cheap, cool and cute–who could ask for more? Some time ago, I had an old Vespa scooter, and then a Honda scooter. I loved them both, scooters are cool.

So my partner and I talked about it and thought: yeah, that’d be sweet to do our West Seattle errands on the scooter, or ride to the beach…

But then I looked at my bike. That’s what I use my bike for, and I LOVE my bike. Why would I switch? Plus, the bike adds the extra bonus of a little workout, and plus, it just runs on energy…no fossil fuels at all, ever. So why would I?

Time, my pal said. The Vespa would be sooo much faster and what if you had to do something in a hurry?

And then that got me to thinking about Slow Food, for some reason. I’ve written about Slow Food before, long time back…it’s a movement out of Italy started by one guy, Carlo Petrini, who was upset about the introduction of McDonald’s into the fine Italian culture and cuisine. From 65 members in 1986, the organization now has over 85,000 members worldwide and chapters in like 135 countries.

This summer an offshoot of the Slow Food movement, Slow Food Nation is having a festival in San Francisco, and really, I can’t imagine anywhere I’d like to go more than to a slow food fest in SF. That would be swell. Can’t do it, alas, but it would be swell.

Anyway, what’s the rush? I know, I have a job too. I have a tight schedule, and all those other things. And some stuff gets sluffed off the schedule just cuz there’s no time. But there’s also no feeling like escaping from your desk for 45 mins where no one can find you cuz you’re running errands on your bike. Clears your head, gets stuff done, and before you know it, you’re back.

Come on, it’s not THAT slow. A scooter, I decided, competes directly with my bike so even though that Vespa is doggone cute and would be so fun, we’ll likely stick with the bike. No reason not to, not really.

Plastic bottles: dumb stuff we do

Last Sunday I ran a 5K (Fred Hutch Shore Run) down along Lake Washington Blvd to Madison Park–gorgeous run, beautiful hot morning, a real summer event.  That area is one of the prettiest in Seattle, lots of character and lazy summer lakefront vistas.

Once over the finish line, I was directed to the predictable tables of food and sustenance.  Wasn’t much interested in the food (though the fresh fruit was good!), but I did want some water.  Talking Rain was there with lots of chilled bottles of water–bless them, I thought.  I downed one, and wanted another immediately–it was a pretty toasty morning for Seattle.

So I went back to the Talking Rain stand and before I picked up another, I said, “Where’s the recycling bin?”  The guys looks sort of sheepish and says, “I don’t think we have recycling.”

I’m dumbfounded as I look at the long table full of chilled bottles of water, and the boxes stacked behind him of more bottles, and I say, “Come again?  Seattle is one of the few cities that will recycle plastic bottles and you don’t have a recycling bin?”

“Uh, no.  I don’t think so.”

So I look all around the whole grounds for a recycling container and can’t find one.  That means everything produced and tossed away at that event would go straight into a Land Fill.  Thanks Fred Hutch, but even 3 garbage cans for recycling would have helped a lot.  And thanks Talking Rain–especially you, since these are your bottles going straight into a land fill.

Unacceptable.  Especially in a city that is fast becoming a leader in Green Thinking–from Mayor Nichols, who has banned bottled water from being sold in government buildings and who has initiated so many green projects, to its citizenry who pay a little more to include green energy in their electric service.

So, in the end, I toted my two bottles home and recycled them in our bins.  Better yet, next time I’ll stick my own water bottle in the freezer the night before and ask my partner to hold it for me at the end of the race.

Little things maybe, but they add up.