In the city, I rarely drive my car, but here at the lake house we have to drive everywhere. I am currently reading, Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are The Keys to Sustainability, by David Owen. It talks about how the carbon output for the average city-dweller is significantly less than for those who live elsewhere, mainly because in the city we drive so infrequently and walk to everything. I love this quote from the book:
"City dwellers who fantasize about living in the country usually picture themselves hiking, kayaking, gathering eggs from their own chickens, and engaging in other robust outdoor activities, but what you actually do when you move out of the city is move into a car, because public transit is non-existent and most daily destinations are too widely separated to make walking or bicycling plausible as forms of transportation." (p. 5)
While we definitely do a lot of hiking and kayaking here in the country, I don't like that I have to drive 12 miles to the nearest bookstore compared to walking a half-mile to one in the city. I can feel my carbon footprint creeping upward, and have a greater appreciation for my pedestrian city life.