Monday, May 5, 2014

Don't Circle, Park and Walk [#CTWW]

Parking lots. Parking garages. As soon as I leave my house and arrive at my next destination(s), a parking spot is on my mind. Even when visiting friends, I often think, "do I park in the driveway or on the street?" At a store or mall, I can choose between the closest spot to the door, the closest spot to the shopping cart return or even the garage. Throw a baby into the mix, and a new decision has to be made every time.

This week's challenge:

This week, park in the first available parking space and then walk the rest of the way. The goal is to use very little fuel once we enter the parking area. It's a small thing with a big impact. And ... it's great exercise!

My standard parking practice is "pull through." If the parking lot is not too busy, I try to look for a spot where I could pull through. I do not have to back out. Plus, pulling forward out of a parking spot is easier than backing out. 

When this opportunity is not available, I usually opt for the spot closest to the door or to the shopping cart return (especially if I have the baby with me, which is most of the time). 

This week, I have been more mindful about where I park. I was presented with a couple opportunities. 

First, a Whole Foods Market shopping trip at 9:00 AM on Sunday morning. Empty parking lot. I felt weird parking in the first available spot, which would be at the end of the parking lot, and walking to the front door. I opted to pull through a parking spot. Fail! As I walked to the front door of the store, I asked myself, "Would it really matter if I parked at the end of an empty parking lot?" No, it would only take 1 minute extra to walk the parking lot. 

Second, a visit to the library to pick up a few books. I entered the parking lot from the side entrance and parked in the first spot. It was a little bit closer than if I entered from the back of the parking lot, but I decided that walking for an extra 20 seconds was not going to make a impact on my time.

When I stopped to think about it, taking the first spot in a parking lot instead of circling around to find the closest one did not have a big impact on my time. It did have an impact on my wallet. Less fuel translates to less money I have to pay for filling up the car. Success!

>> What your eco-friendly parking strategies??

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