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Thursday, April 10, 2008
Ray and Anna's Economic Stimulus Package
It seems these days that the economy is big news. Despite the fact that overall most of us are better off than ever before, and some of us have way more than we need, there are still reasons to worry. The government, wall street, all kinds of people are trying to avoid a recession, and I am pleased to tell you that this summer Ray and I will be doing our part, too. In mid-May I will be giving up my job so that someone else can become employed as a barista and gelato scooper. Ray will be taking a sabbatical from his job. He will train an intern in all kinds of useful and marketable skills to take his place until the fall. That's two less people on the unemployment count!
Not only are we providing jobs, but we will also be spreading money all the way across the country. From Washington to Maine we will be buying food, paying for lodging (sometimes), and probably supporting many a struggling bike shop. We also hope to frequent farm stands or farmer's markets whenever we can, thus spending money in local communities, buying directly from producers, and supporting small organic farms (hopefully). Since we won't be speeding along major high ways, hopefully we will be able to check out various local spots rather than annoying large chains. We won't be feasting on asphalt, but I like the idea.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand. The third component of our economic plan deals with the very serious matter of fossil fuel consumption. Fuel prices just keep rising. Well, we're going to make sure that everyone else gets a little more gas this summer. Once we arrive at Anacortes, we will won't be (directly) using fossil fuels to power our travels. You all can have our share, and we'll let you in on a little secret: just stop driving and you won't have to pay for gas!
So, there you have it folks, our three part plan to help the economy. One side note about the fossil fuel part, it really makes me think about how much everything is connected and how hard it is to avoid using oil. Obviously not driving does a lot, but we will be flying out to Seattle which isn't so great for the environment. We can offset the carbon emissions from our flight, but what about clothing, panniers, bike parts and other things which use materials derived from fossil fuels? Its overwhelming to consider all of this. Worthwhile to think about, but we did not decide to take this trip as any sort of statement, just an adventure. So, as usual, I guess, we will do what we can, trying to make small positive choices as we pedal along.