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Saturday 11 February 2012

One Million Kilometers

Road Across Reed Lake
Road Across Reed Lake - Click for larger

That's how many I figure we have driven so far in our lives. If you calculate mileage for the average vehicle we've driven, it costs about $10 for every 100 kilometers for gas. So let's do the math... that's $100,000 spent in gas. I have spent another $100,000 or so for the purchase of the vehicles. Add in the service, insurance and upkeep and we are probably looking at $250,000 so far. How about the cost of flying, ferries, train rides etc?Old Truck
Old Truck - Click for larger

It costs a lot to travel. Time, money and wear and tear on your body add up over the years.

We make our decisions about how we travel based on costs and practicality. Could we afford an RV or a truck camper? RV at Summit Lake
RV at Summit Lake - Click for larger

Yes we probably could. Would we be more comfortable with something like this? Of course we would. But it would triple the fuel used. All this weighs heavy on my mind. I don’t know a better way to do what I do: making photographic images of Canada. We drive and camp in a van sacrificing a bit of comfort for the sake of gas mileage. But is that enough? I love to visit the wild out of the way places we find in Canada. I wonder though at the impact we are having on the earth. My images, so I’m told, encourage and inspire people to travel.Highway 60
Highway 60 - Click for larger

But do my images inspire them to preserve and protect the environment? We all want to have our cake and eat it too. I hope someday soon there will be a solar powered 4X4 pickup truck capable of hauling a camper while rolling down the highway at 120 kph. Until then we will need to make the best choices we can.Muncho Lake Campsite
Muncho Lake Campsite - Click for larger

So what else can we do? My vegan friends tell me that reducing the amount of meat I eat will reduce my negative effect on the environment much more than driving less. But after giving up meat for a few years I found myself craving steak. I don’t want to eliminate meat altogether again but certainly could cut back.Cattle
Cattle - Click for larger

We have made changes at home. Our new high efficiency furnace uses much less natural gas and with a tankless water heater we only heat water when we need it. New widows in the basement and second floor have also improved the energy efficiency of our house. Abandoned House
Abandoned House - Click for larger

Maybe we should go back to travelling by bike. I could get a trailer to carry the camera gear although it might be tough on mountain roads.Nanjing, China Street
Nanjing, China Street - Click for larger

We will continue to travel and work. It’s what we do. At the same time, we need to find new more efficient ways to get to where we need to go.

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