Today, we welcome a guest post from Unclutterer reader Anjali Prasertong. Thank you, Anjali, for coming up with such a terrific post to share with our readers!
As gas prices creep ever higher, rush-hour traffic clogs the streets and glaciers melt into the sea, I’m zipping through town on my scooter, car- and guilt-free. At least once a week I’m approached by a stranger curious about my scooter; many people, it seems, are looking to escape their cars. For those looking to reduce clutter in their lives, riding a scooter or motorcycle makes a lot of sense.
Unclutter your space
With a scooter and its limited under-seat storage, not only am I unable to accumulate the kind of clutter that used to fill my car, I’m also prevented from bringing more clutter into my life. It’s impossible to walk into a store looking for a light bulb and walk out with three bags of stuff I “remembered” I needed — I simply can’t carry it home. With under-seat space at a premium, I think more critically about my purchases and inevitably end up buying less.
Unclutter your mind
One unexpected benefit of riding a scooter or motorcycle is the focus it requires. As a rider, you must constantly be on the defensive, aware of your surroundings and free from distractions. No radio, no iPod, no cell phone, no trying to read the directions while simultaneously eating a sandwich and applying mascara. I find that having to be completely focused on what I am doing is meditative, leaving me feeling refreshed at the end of my commute instead of worn out. (The significant amount of time I save by skipping to the head of long lines of traffic helps, too.)
Unclutter the environment
My scooter, the popular and affordable Buddy 125, gets a whopping 90 mpg. Larger motorcycles are less fuel efficient, but still get more miles per gallon than some hybrid cars. According to a study by Piaggio, the makers of the Vespa scooter, if Americans used scooters for just 10 percent of their total mileage, we could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 324 million pounds every day. You don’t have to quit driving cold-turkey in order to make a positive impact on the environment. Any time you choose to ride instead of drive, you’ll lighten the carbon load.
Plus, you’ll have more fun! During the sunny days of spring, there’s nothing I like better than hopping on my scooter for a jaunt around town — even just to run errands. Being out in the open rather than locked in my car makes me feel more connected with my surroundings, experiencing the world around me instead of observing it through a windshield.
If you do decide to give riding a try, make sure to take a safety course through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, and always wear a Department of Transportation-approved helmet. Happy riding!