Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tradeoff Question

This week I am working at a client’s home doing their ceiling painting. Most of you know I run my own business in the realm of home decoration and I wanted to take on this project as it helps me to spread the word abut how even in my profession we can be more environmentally responsible.

I wash only once (at the end of the day), wrap rollers and brushes when possible (for use again later), retain as many materials as possible and scrape as much paint as I can out of the tools before washing them. Not to mention I use the lowest available VOC / odor, water based, latex paints on the market and cloth drop cloths instead of paper.

Moving a drop around during the day may take a few extra minutes than taping down some paper to the floor but I’d rather be the painter who works an extra day than the one who leaves a job with a whole bag full of waste!

But I feel like there is an issue with the way I get there.

Many people have heard about the traffic nightmare that is Boston during rush hour. To give an example, I live just three or so miles north of the city and in the morning it would take me roughly 35 minutes to get through downtown. Yeah, it can be bad.

The job I am doing is on the other side of the city, south, in Dedham. There are two main ways for me to get there: straight through the city on 93 south or a bit around the way west then south from route 2 to 128 south. Mapquest indicates that going 93 or 128 is only 26 miles.

But going 93 means I sit in traffic inside a tunnel while 128 is a wide open road.

Now mapquest also has another route that would get me there in 15 miles. Judging by the routes I would take, at that hour of the day I estimate my commute would be in the neighborhood of 1-1/2 hours.

So what is the best solution when the shortest miles means longer time in the car?


ginger said...

that wouldn't be a better solution because more time in the car means more emissions and more fuel're fine. the only way this can improve is if you hit the big time and get your self an electric car, which would be AWESOME!

Almost Precious said...

Yes, just because a route is shorter doesn't mean it is faster or more fuel efficient. One has to factor in things like traffic, and stop lights which can certainly slow things down. The longer an engine runs the more fuel it comsumes and the more carbon monoxide it produces.