Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Good-bye Mazda 3...Hello Public Transit

When I was 6 months pregnant with our twins (2001), Jim and I decided that we needed two cars. Being a stay at home mom for the first time, it made sense and was essential. We bought a Honda Odyssey minivan and Jim drove our already aging 1990 Acura Integra to work every day while I drove our brand new van everywhere with the twins in tow.

Flash forward to April 2007. Jim finally ditches our 17 year old Acura and buys a 3 year old Mazda 3. Jim takes care of this car as he did with every other car he ever owed. He washes it regularly, waxes it, and buys new wheels and tires for it. In the meantime, talk of rising gas prices has become more common, Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" is the hot topic, and Jim finds himself home sick one day in April 2008 and watches a movie called "Who Killed the Electric Car?". Suddenly the Canadiens hockey games have become somewhat less important and Jim is reading in the evenings after the kids have finally gone to bed....and he's not falling asleep!!! I love to read and would often stay up late curled up on the couch with a good novel, now I had company! But they are not novels, Jim is reading books like "The Zero Carbon Car" by William H. Kemp and "Build Your Own Electric Vehicle" by Bob Brant. By the end of May Jim has his mind and his heart set on building an electric car and he's managed to get the kids excited about it too (an easy feat considering how crazy they are about cars or anything on wheels). I ask Jim one day in May 2008 how he plans to fund this project and he simply replies..."I'm going to sell the Mazda". I wasn't sure that I heard him correctly so I rephrased the question and got the same response. Well, I must say I was somewhat excited about the electric car idea until that moment when I realized that we'd actually have to "share" our minivan after 6 and a half years. Suddenly I wasn't so sure about this project and how long it could take. Nonetheless I think I've been quite supportive. For Father's Day I got Jim a journal so that he could keep track of all his notes and details about the car he will build. On August 1st 2008 Jim sold the Mazda 3 that he bought 15 months ago.

The environment and the future world our children will live in has become such a common topic in our home over the past year or so, we are doing things differently, thinking of ways to consume less, recycling as usual, composting and planning a vegetable garden in our backyard next summer. The electric car project fits right in with how we are thinking. We were both in such a different frame of mind a year ago. Sometimes you just have to rethink the things that seemed so important at one point in your life. Jim has been taking the bus and metro to work this past week and will continue to do so until the electric car project is completed. It feels good to think that we have one less tank of gas to fill from here on.


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