It was four years ago today, on Earth Day 2008, that I decided to go vegetarian. I’d like to say I did it for the environment but I was like most people – I recycled and used products that were environmentally friendly but I wasn’t aware of the impact of my food choices. I learned all of that later after discovering how easy it was to be vegetarian. I originally went vegetarian for the animals, for my fiancee at the time, and because I no longer had a good reason not to.
I wish I could say I went vegan on Earth Day 2009 but I didn’t go vegan until September 01 2009 after watching Mercy For Animals Undercover Investigation at Hy-Line Hatchery.
My Earth Day 2012 resolution is to park my car and take public transportation, or walk, 95% of the time. San Francisco is the birthplace of Earth Day and the greenest city in the US. San Francisco banned plastic grocery bags and almost half of all residents bike, walk or take public transportation on a daily basis. [2013 update I met the goal and now take public transportation or walk 99% of the time.]
In operation since 1912 the San Francisco Muni (SFMTA) is one of the oldest transit systems in the world. It’s the seventh largest in the US and serves more than 200 million customers a year. The Muni fleet is very unique and includes: historic streetcars, biodiesel and electric hybrid buses and electric trolley coaches, light rail vehicles, paratransit cabs and vans and of course cable cars. Cable cars were invented in San Francisco in 1873 to handle the steep hills. I ride electric buses, streetcars and cable cars on a regular basis. On the rare occasions that I leave San Francisco to go to another part of the Bay Area I take BART or the ferry.
As automobile use rose in the 1940’s and 1950’s most cities dismantled streetcar systems in favor of gas buses but San Francisco kept its electric infrastructure. In the 1980’s and 1990’s Muni started acquiring abandoned historic streetcars from all over the world to be restored for modern day commuter use. Currently operating in SF are streetcars from: San Francisco, Louisville, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Mexico City, Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto and Milan with many others currently being restored.
What’s your Earth Day Resolution?