Thursday, February 28, 2008

Deanna: A Dilemna...What to do When You're Sick

From Deanna Akre Matzen, Earth Ministry's Operations Manager

I was doing well until I got sick last Thursday. I apparently got the bug going around that hits you with it's tail on the way out. Luckily, I started getting sick on the day I work from home, so I just rested. By Monday, I thought I was on the mend, so I took the bus to work. Tuesday I woke up feeling like I had caught a second bug or that the first had sent in a surge of troops to take me down. So I stayed home that day and rested. By Wednesday I was feeling better but far from 100%. I decided to go to work for a few hours at least, but I just didn't think I should or could walk the mile to the bus. I had to drive.

I really didn't want to break my Lenten fast, but the options were not appetizing. I got winded just carrying the laundry up two flights of stairs in my house. Walking 2 miles round trip to work seemed more like a death march. And Wednesday was the first day it had rained since Ash Wednesday (at least on a day I had to go to work).

The least I could do was to find ways to minimize my impact. I had heard that turning off your car's engine if stopped for 30 seconds or more helps reduce carbon emissions. In fact, some studies show that it's even worth shutting off your engine for 10 seconds of idling. According to, "For every two minutes a car is idling, it uses about the same amount of fuel it takes to go about one mile." So the first thing I did to mitigate driving to work was to turn off my engine at stoplights or any other time I was idling my car. The next mitigation effort was to at least run some errands along the way. This saved me making several individual trips later, out and back.

I'm bummed that I was not able to bus this week. I guess I'll have to bike next week to make up for my carbon use or find some way to avoid driving over the weekend to make up for it. Meanwhile, I'm making my list of errands to run on the way home.

Carbon Saved: 58.8 lbs


Anonymous said...

One of the traditional rules of Lent was that you could break a fast if you were ill. Probably that old standard should still apply.

Deanna said...

I had no idea! Thank you, I feel so much better now. :) I suppose we should all brush up on those traditional rules of Lent. I was only exposed to Lent as a teenager, so my knowledge of the rules is quite thin. I only learned this last year that you can take Sundays off!