Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What color is your motorcycle?

I spent some time yesterday meeting with a group of library employees on campus who are concerned about "green" issues. We spent some time discussing some things that we could push for to make the libraries more environmentally friendly. We settled on a very small suggestion to make to our fellow librarians. The idea being that it is easy for each one of us to make a small change. However, it made me think about how many BIG changes we really need and how little difference our suggestion is going to make, which was kind of depressing. Yet, maybe the important thing is just to get people thinking about how their actions affect the world and maybe if they think about this small thing they will think about some bigger ones.

Which brings me to the idea of riding a motorcycle as an environmentally friendly action. Is it? It uses gas and oil. It puts out exhaust, which increases our greenhouse emissions and carbon footprint. Why not ride a bicycle instead? Well, I wouldn't ride a motorcycle somewhere that I could ride a bicycle. I've been on the back of a motorcycle to places like Berea, Danville, and Florence, KY. Two people on a motorcycle versus an automobile for out of town trips is saving a lot of gas, which is better for the environment. I've also spent most of my time on the back of a bike out on small roads in the Kentucky countryside, appreciating the rural landscape. I think people who know what lies outside Kentucky's suburban sprawl from riding a motorcycle appreciate it more and want to preserve the nature around us. And that seems pretty green to me.

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