Just Say No

I’m just going to come out and say it – I like a Sunday drive as much as the next person, but I don’t think it’s something anyone should be doing on a regular basis. It’s bad enough that so many people take a private car to work every single weekday and that our lifestyles rely on goods being hauled around the country by trucks. At least those sorts of driving are for utilitarian reasons, though. Do we really need to be further increasing carbon emissions during our leisure time?

Look, I get it. It’s really, really fun to put your car’s fancy settings to the test on winding, coastal cliff-sides and forest-lined mountain roads cutting through swathes of national park. It’s nice as all get-out. But so are lots of things, like downing an entire packet of Flim-Flams alongside a $200 flask of single malt, and sleeping in ‘til midday on a daily basis despite having a 9-5 job. There are some things that are simply best resisted in the spirit of longer term outcomes. 

I say this as someone with a keen interest in cars. When I was a kid, I even used to dream of becoming a mechanic. Within Moorabbin, I’ll readily acknowledge, there’s a distinct lack of driving to be had that’s free of stop-and-start commuter traffic. I completely understand the compulsion to get out on the open road for some recreational pedal to the metal. When I get talking to the car suspension specialists at the local garage, I remember my inner car nerd, and feel distinctly unfulfilled by the driving I’m able to do around these parts.

And yet, I resist. It’s pretty simple. There are numerous things I could be doing of a weekend that are much healthier for both the environment and my body, like catching a train out to the bush and going for a long walk. I know, it’s not the same. Eating a balanced meal is not the same as eating a whole packet of Flim-Flams. It’s not worse; it’s just different.