Lose the guilt associated with high consumption lifestyles by keeping it close to home this weekend. You'll find time to not only smell the flowers, but also to meet neighbourhood cats and dogs, chat with friendly locals, and turn over a new-and-healthy leaf. While saving money and the earth. What's to lose?
The weekend is the perfect opportunity to step out of the car and take to shanks' pony. That's old school slang for walking. Weekday commitments often demand complex transport arrangements. Indeed, whether for school or work, many of us still have a 5 days on/2 days off structure. Come Saturday, the chance to say no to jumping in the car beckons.
With it arises the opportunity to make the most of the space in which you live. Take a walk in the park, ride that long-ignored bike, try a new café. Borrow a friend's dog and meet other dog-walkers. People talk to each other through their dogs.
Challenge yourself to become more intimately acquainted with your suburb. If you're after a more adventurous walk, take a stroll directed by particular maxims. For example, use only right hand turns at each intersection and see where you end up. Or follow a creek line to its junction with a larger waterway, or headwater. Even if that starting point isn't apparent or is buried under streets.
Beyond transport, buy produce made as close to home as possible – such as within your state. Such information may not always be available on some perishables, but a quick look at a label on pre-packaged goods can enlighten. Seek entertainment nearby - watch a local cricket match or look around old churchyards and cemeteries. Go window shopping along a new strip of shops rather than going to a mega-shopping centre. Swim in your local pool. Check out the markets or wade through thrift shops.
The benefits of staying out of the car include reducing greenhouse emissions and improving waistlines. That's not all though. Knowledge is power and, by choosing to say yes to less, we all learn more about the spaces we live in. And if the geography of your suburb isn't that impressive, then jump on a bus or train and visit a friend's. Just don't drive there.