06 July 2008

Generous Journal: Learning to drive

Learning to drive is something I've avoided for a few years now. I took some lessons before I started uni but didn't enjoy it at all. I stopped lessons because I just didn't have time once I started uni, then when I graduated I couldn't really afford lessons, then I moved to Leeds and, while I complain about public transport here it's actually pretty good so I had no need to learn to drive. That and hubby drives, and I was perfectly happy to be chauffered when required! 

As I became more eco-conscious, I resisted learning to drive on an ethical level - why learn to pollute the planet when public transport is greener and isn't that bad? But it's got to the stage now where I feel I really should learn. I still won't be driving much, but I don't like getting public transport at night so could do with an alternative to begging a lift off hubby when I go out, plus we visit my family in Lincolnshire a lot (don't get train because the journey is hellish) so I feel I ought to share the journey so hubby doesn't get tired driving the whole way. Plus there's the fact that we may start a family sometime and then it may be easier if we both drive, and might in the distant future move away from Leeds to somewhere without decent public transport, so driving will become more of a necessity. So, I've started lessons.

Here are a few ways I'm trying to keep learning to drive ethical:

* Supporting local trade. Instead of going for Bill Plant, BSM or a similar franchise, I'm using a local, independent instructor. This means I'm supporting a small business, and also means she's not travelling far to get to and from my house, thus saving emissions.

* Practising with hubby. I'm on his insurance and if I combine practising with a journey we'd make anyway with him driving, then I'm not producing more emissions, and it'll help me ...

* Learn quickly. As far I'm concerned driving lessons are essentially a waste of petrol as you're not going anywhere you need to go, just going in circles, often not very efficiently either. So I'm doing my best to learn fast so I need fewer lessons and can reserve my efforts for functional journeys.

I can't really think of any other way of making learning to drive generous, but it's a necessary evil, so the sooner I get it over with the better!

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