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Old February 25 2014, 01:24 AM   #16
teacake
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Re: Sustainable Living

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
^ Do you live in a city where there's decent mass transit? If I did, I'd sell my car.

Not necessarily for environmental reasons, but simply because if I lived in a huge city like New York, Boston, Chicago, etc., all of which have the full range of mass transit options, I would never need a car.
Yes I have excellent transit. Train 5 minutes walk away, buses readily available, gazillions of trams. All of them are connected, you buy your tickets by time used and zone but can hop on and off any of them. I can get anywhere on public transit.
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Old February 25 2014, 01:25 AM   #17
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Re: Sustainable Living

^ You're lucky.
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Old February 25 2014, 01:30 AM   #18
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Re: Sustainable Living

Yeah I am lucky and I tell people this ad nauseum because complaining bitterly about the public transport is normal here. People have no idea how lucky they are too have such a huge relatively efficient, clean network.
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Old February 25 2014, 01:33 AM   #19
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Sustainable Living

And here's how pathetic I am: I actually enjoy riding on public transit, even if I have no destination in mind. The first time I learned how to ride the subway in New York, I did nothing for the rest of the day but ride around on it. I'd just ride for awhile and then get off at some random stop, take a look around, then get back on and ride some more. I am absolutely obsessed with trains and mass transit in general.
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Old February 25 2014, 01:37 AM   #20
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Re: Sustainable Living

That is not even remotely pathetic MLB. Lots of people enjoy public transport. I love trains, in fact what I really like doing is eating on trains which no one has ever understood I love to buy some japanese pancake or maybe a hamburger and a drink and wait until the train starts and eat on the train. Yes we have comfortable pleasant trains with upholstery etc.. I have a fair few blog photos of food I have eaten on the train.

I don't like buses but trams are awesome, I'm sure if you visited Melbourne you would love just pottering around on trams for hours.
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Old February 25 2014, 01:43 AM   #21
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Re: Sustainable Living

teacake wrote: View Post
That is not even remotely pathetic MLB. Lots of people enjoy public transport.
thanks for understanding.

I especially love it when a city's airport is reachable by mass transit. Saves money on cab fare, for somebody as baseball obsessed as myself. Plus when you're at home and you want to go on a trip, you don't have to pester your relatives for a ride. Especially when your flight leaves at like 4 AM.

I also collect payment cards from every city I visit where they have mass transit. That's kind of a hobby of mine as well. Some people have little black books filled with dates...mine is filled with Metrocards, Charlie Cards, etc. Geeks-R-Us.

I love trains, in fact what I really like doing is eating on trains which no one has ever understood
If you tried that in Washington, DC, it'd get you arrested....

I'm sure if you visited Melbourne you would love just pottering around on trams for hours.
If you have trains, I'm there! (And other reasons....)

Although...pottering? Why would I want to make clay figures? Seems that this would cause a scene.
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Old February 25 2014, 01:44 AM   #22
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Re: Sustainable Living

teacake wrote: View Post
I have no car. I am the WINNER!!!!

(after Miss Chicken.. okay I am the second winner. yeah.)
Me either! And the added benefit of walking, biking, and taking the train (with all the walking and stairs involved) everywhere is killer calf muscles and a decent waistline!

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
And here's how pathetic I am: I actually enjoy riding on public transit, even if I have no destination in mind. The first time I learned how to ride the subway in New York, I did nothing for the rest of the day but ride around on it. I'd just ride for awhile and then get off at some random stop, take a look around, then get back on and ride some more. I am absolutely obsessed with trains and mass transit in general.
I actually recall a study which found that people who take public transport are less stressed and enjoy their commutes more than drivers, and really, it's not hard to see why. For all the gripes I have with the trains, I have time to myself in the to read, to listen to music, to nap even.
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Old February 25 2014, 01:49 AM   #23
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Re: Sustainable Living

^ I like surrendering that element of control, that's one reason. The train takes me where IT wants, not necessarily where I want (although, with very few exceptions*, I rarely get lost on public transit). I find it immensely gratifying when I don't have to worry about my car - about driving it in an unfamiliar area, about how to store and maintain it, etc. (It is mind-blowingly expensive in a large city to simply own, store and insure a car, let alone actually drive one.) I'm sure there's some psychological reason for this, but I like letting the train take me wherever it's going, and I don't have to worry about it.

I know one thing - I do not enjoy driving, not at all. I don't like driving much at all. It's a chore to me, nothing more. Some people do love it, and I don't begrudge them that enjoyment. But I have never liked to drive, and I wish I didn't have to. But what can you do.

*there was this one time when I had just visited the transit museum in Brooklyn Heights, and I accidentally got on the train that was going further into Brooklyn. So like a dumbass, I expected that if I just walked across to the other side of the platform, I'd be heading back into Manhattan. Well somehow I still found myself heading deeper into Brooklyn. There were many double-facepalms done before I found my way back. To this day I don't understand how this happened...
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Old February 25 2014, 01:57 AM   #24
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Re: Sustainable Living

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
teacake wrote: View Post
That is not even remotely pathetic MLB. Lots of people enjoy public transport.
thanks for understanding.

I especially love it when a city's airport is reachable by mass transit. Saves money on cab fare, for somebody as baseball obsessed as myself. Plus when you're at home and you want to go on a trip, you don't have to pester your relatives for a ride. Especially when your flight leaves at like 4 AM.
Unfortunately we don't have that (though I have learned a bus does go there, just doesn't stop at terminals which probably means you would be dragging your luggage for miles). Apparently the car park industry has strong armed against it or somesuch, can't have people getting out of paying hundreds of dollars to park for a few days at the airport. I am going to research the bus though because I like going to airports and would have gone and had lunch at the airport and just plane watched a zillion times by now if I could easily get there. Sydney has a train station right under the airport!

I also collect payment cards from every city I visit where they have mass transit. That's kind of a hobby of mine as well. Some people have little black books filled with dates...mine is filled with Metrocards, Charlie Cards, etc. Geeks-R-Us.
We have the Myki system here, a plastic smartcard you top up, so it doesn't have station stamps and times and other interesting things. They all look the same. We used to have paper tickets a couple years ago.

I love trains, in fact what I really like doing is eating on trains which no one has ever understood
If you tried that in Washington, DC, it'd get you arrested....
That's.. just gobsmacking.. here we have food huts on the platforms of busy stations where you can buy potato cakes and other fried goodness and get coffee etc. Why would there be a law against eating?

I'm sure if you visited Melbourne you would love just pottering around on trams for hours.
If you have trains, I'm there! (And other reasons....)

Although...pottering? Why would I want to make clay figures? Seems that this would cause a scene.
heh.. probably not, I have seen all kinds of stuff on trams. In fact a couple weeks ago there was a classical opera singer accompanied by keyboard on the tram as part of a mobile art initiative and it was glorious.
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Old February 25 2014, 01:59 AM   #25
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Re: Sustainable Living

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
I actually recall a study which found that people who take public transport are less stressed and enjoy their commutes more than drivers, and really, it's not hard to see why. For all the gripes I have with the trains, I have time to myself in the to read, to listen to music, to nap even.
When I worked in Manhattan for a year, I took the LIRR into Penn Station, and the subway to 18th st. It took roughly an hour or so to get from my house to the book store, but it was great to have that time to myself. I wrote most of my novel on those trains!
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Old February 25 2014, 01:59 AM   #26
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Re: Sustainable Living

teacake wrote: View Post
I have seen all kinds of stuff on trams. In fact a couple weeks ago there was a classical opera singer accompanied by keyboard on the tram as part of a mobile art initiative and it was glorious.
I've been on trains where a full mariachi band spontaneously formed itself. That was glorious as well.

About the eating thing: I have no idea why DC's like that. In all other cities I've been to, they don't really care if you eat on a train.
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Old February 25 2014, 02:07 AM   #27
teacake
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Re: Sustainable Living

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
^ I like surrendering that element of control, that's one reason. The train takes me where IT wants, not necessarily where I want (although, with very few exceptions*, I rarely get lost on public transit). I find it immensely gratifying when I don't have to worry about my car - about driving it in an unfamiliar area, about how to store and maintain it, etc. (It is mind-blowingly expensive in a large city to simply own, store and insure a car, let alone actually drive one.) I'm sure there's some psychological reason for this, but I like letting the train take me wherever it's going, and I don't have to worry about it.
I like being an observer, a spectator on life. Trains are great for that, you are passively there being taken somewhere, you don't have to do anything.

The weird thing is I take the trains all the time, I should be totally bored or jaded or disgusted with them by now but it still feels like an adventure. Every single trip. This is decades of taking them. Now I know I'm geared that way, a tendency to feel like a lot of mundane things are an adventure, but this makes me very fond of public transport.

I know one thing - I do not enjoy driving, not at all. I don't like driving much at all. It's a chore to me, nothing more. Some people do love it, and I don't begrudge them that enjoyment. But I have never liked to drive, and I wish I didn't have to. But what can you do.
I can drive. I have driven. I absolutely dislike it and I'm not good at it. Early on in my learning to drive and trying to get it together to be an adult with car and license it occurred to me why? I don't like this, I can get around without it, who says I need to do it? So, car free.
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Old February 25 2014, 08:15 AM   #28
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Re: Sustainable Living

You can save energy when cooking:
- heat water in a water cooker - they need far less energy than an oven.
- always use the right size of pans and pots. If they are smaller than the cooking field you waste lots of energy. If they are too big, the food won't cook evenly.
- cover your pots and saucepans with lids. They keep the heat in and the cooking time will get significally shorter.
- use a pressure cooker: the cooking time gets shortened to about 50%
- if you use an electric oven or a ceramic cooking field, switch them off when your food is 80-90% done. The fields will remain hot for quite some time and finish the cooking without using electricity.

- an old trick from wartimes: Cook stuff only for a few minutes till it's piping hot all through and then take it off the oven, wrap the pot in blankets and put it into the bed or in a box filled with straw. The feathers or straw will keep the heat in the pot and the food cooks slowly in moderate heat with no energy use at all. (and if you use your bed to cook, you'll have a wearm bed in addition. A nice extra in winter =)
The device is described here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haybox
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Old February 25 2014, 03:07 PM   #29
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Re: Sustainable Living

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Is that from a 'look at me, i'm saving the world' standpoint, or an attempt to legitmately save money? Having a hard time seeing where the $60k sedan makes sense from a cost standpoint. What kind of gas-powered car are you comparing it to, to get a sense of price difference?

Even if you picture a generic sedan at, say, $40k (seems pretty generous), that's $20k to make up with electric vs gas savings. Even at $4/gal, that's 5000 gallons of fuel you need to save to break even. say you've got a 16 gallon tank, that's 312.5 fill-ups. Fill up once a week (probably a little too frequently, unless you drive a lot, week and a half is probably closer to right), and you break even at 6 years on gasoline. Not counting at all that you're paying for electricity to charge the car, although those costs will be much lower than gas, it's not zero.

Not sure many people keep a car 6 years (which is stupid, you absolutely should enjoy a couple years without payments instead of rolling it forward constantly), and if you don't already fill up every single week, the break even point goes up to like 7.5 years pretty quickly.

And, of course, using electricity is cleaner at the car point, but the electricity is MADE somewhere, and that sure ain't clean. Majority i believe are coal-burning plants, although some nuclear, natural gas or hydro plants around as well. So demand there goes up, and just shifts the fossil fuel usage away from the end consumer. Makes it easier to improve later, but not exactly saving the planet. Out of sight, out of mind doesn't count...

definitely a cool looking car, though, and a step in the right direction. The 'quick charge' is really what stops this from being a no-brainer tomorrow. I can get in my gas car and drive until the wheels fall off, with only 2 minute stops for more gas. Having to take a break every 200 miles to let it sit 30-45 minutes is an issue. hot-swappable batteries may need to be part of that solution. Even if it's a 10 minute charge to get you to 30% or whatever, do you want to sit in THAT line at the gas station? Limited number of fill ports means you'd be there an hour most of the time...
TRUTH… Sadly people always forget about where their power comes from. In my area it's Coal. So the fact of the matter is you are doing yourself or the world any favors buy owning a battery powered car. In fact you are most likely making a bigger problem. Hybrids are worse yet. Just take a look at Nickel refining. super toxic. Solar power? same thing, super toxic to make.
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