The Plan is to minimize my carbon emissions for one year. To begin with, I will refrain from flying, driving, heating or cooling my home, and purchasing items that require shipping, etc. However, the Carbon Sabbath is not about inventing a strict rubric and jumping through hoops I’ve created. Rather, it is an attempt to become more mindful of how my personal behavior affects the earth and those around me. While I intend to stick to this period of rest whenever possible, I will suspend my fast from flying or driving in the event of family emergency or personal injury.
Alongside this mission, I hope to cycle around the United States to initiate dialogue about the relationship between neighbor love (agape/caritas) and ecology. I will visit churches around the country and share thoughts with the people I meet.
miles per day: 60-70 (Max so far: 93mi, twice– once in Nebraska, once in Virginia)
rest days: Sunday (no riding; limited technology); Wednesday or Thursday (no riding)
bike: Surly Long Haul Trucker named Thaddeus; Ortleib Rollover Classic Panniers; one Tacoma Papoose guitar; one baritone ukulele tuned like a mandola/viola; 3 water bottles
diet: primarily plant based
Route in broad strokes: LA to Seattle to DC to Jacksonville to LA
This journey is closely related to the role that the United States plays as a world leader. Because the United States is a key player in world diplomacy, we have the potential to influence the behavior of the world on the individual, national, and international levels. However, because U.S. per capita carbon emissions are among the highest in the world, our credibility as leaders in the environmental movement is limited. I have personally witnessed this fact hinder international discussion on potential multi-national agreements related to ecology.
Until we as a nation of individuals change our personal behavior, we will continue to be a stumbling block to the world. Please help me remove the log from our own eyes so that we can help others do the same.