Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Choose Wisely

If you need to transport yourself to the grocery store to pick up some milk which is a mile away, what is the best tool for the job?

You could use yourself as a vehicle and walk there. It would take you about 15-20 minutes each way. But there would be fringe positive benefits like getting some fresh air, putting some pressure on those muscles, and getting the heart rate up. The cost is nearly free.

You could ride a bike. That bike would have originally cost you maybe $500, but after that each ride is practically free (maybe some money on maintenance and a chance of a blown tire). You would get to the store safely and get in some exercise, all in 5 minutes

You could drive a car. You could get to the store in 3 minutes but depending on traffic it could be slower than the bike. Probably by the time you park, you'd be slower than the bike. The car was originally very very expensive. The cost per mile (gas,tires,oil, maintenance) would be maybe 25 cents. So the roundtrip would cost a ballpark estimate of 50c. Not really that much for a one off. But this could add up if multiple trips are done each week. We'll ignore the environmental impact for now but its worth mentioning that this option has one.

So what's the answer? Now depending on the weather, the answer still might be a car for you. But I think its a bit sad to see that this is assumed to be the default and other options aren't considered at all. Its good to remember that we have options and each option we have has its trade-offs. I'm sure there are people out there that are like "yea I know I considered all of these options and it just makes sense for me to drive..". That's cool. But others out there might look at it and think "Wow, I can't believe that I could be getting exercise and saving myself a ton of money,  why didn't I consider my options sooner?".