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The G Word

The G team blog on all things green

The revolution that rubs off on you


Credit: iStockphoto

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When I started working with people who commuted on bikes in Sydney traffic, I thought they were slightly loopy. Admirably green and fit, but kind of suicidal at the same time.

And yet, shortly, I'll be changing into my yoga pants and old T-shirt and joining those freewheeling crazies riding home from a hard day at the office. How did it come to this?

This time last year I decided not to re-register my old banger of a car. I can't say that it was purely an environmental decision.

The cost of the repairs needed to make my car pink slip-worthy and the prospect of ever increasing petrol prices played a part. I was also curious to see if I could survive without a car - after all, I live just five minutes away from a train station.

But the idea of going car-free may not have crossed my mind had I not been working on a green magazine, surrounded by cycling and Prius-driving colleagues.

I became a member of GoGet car share service and have found that, even though I use it less than once a month, it's great to know that I have a back-up transport option.

The small amount I pay to use the GoGet cars and buy a weekly train ticket pales into insignificance against what I used to fork out for car rego, petrol, servicing and way too many parking fines.

My only gripe was how short trips (up to the local shops or library) became a forty minute walking expedition instead of a ten minute drive each way. It's not far enough to justify hiring a GoGet car, or even catching the bus for that matter, but it was a bit of a time-waster.

So, six weeks ago I bought a bike secondhand from Sara Phillips, editor of G. (As some of you may know, she recently upgraded to a splendidly stylish new steed).

I knew I was getting a good deal: it's a great beginners bike - sturdy and comfortable, if not the speediest. Perfect for those short local trips and the commute to work. And the clincher was that Sara offered to ride home with me (all the way across the Harbour Bridge in the opposite direction to where she lives).

Six weeks on, I'm converted!

It just goes to show how things can rub off on you without you even noticing the changes.

Kate Arneman
Senior Sub-editor and Reviews Editor
G Magazine