Dear Annie: My husband is passionate about doing what we can as individual citizens to combat climate change. He believes the largest impact any one person can have is decreasing their driving. So, to do his part, he has started using the public transit system as much as possible.
Our city’s public transit is far from perfect and transforms what would be a 20-minute drive into a two-hour train/bus/bike trip. This has dramatically increased the amount of time he spends commuting.
I want to support his desire to be more eco-friendly, and I agree with his argument that using public transit more often will help increase ridership and, eventually, with luck, increase and improve service. But right now, it is taking a very long time. We have a small child, pets and a household to run. Every time he spends four hours to do something that could be completed in less than one, I feel so frustrated that he is choosing public transit and climate consciousness over his family, leaving me with more work to do.
How can I honor his desires and passions while also trying to strike a balance where I am not shouldering the extra work? – Frustrated With Public Transit
Dear Frustrated: Props to your husband for his noble goal. When his humanitarian spirit starts affecting his personal relationships, however, it might be time for a compromise.
There are many ways to lead an eco-friendly life, and driving less is certainly one of them. Why not create a list of sustainable practices that do fit into your lifestyle? For example, you could start composting or stop using disposable plastic food containers.
On days where public transit is too much for you – for example, when you have a pet and a baby in tow – remind him that your household is doing its part in other ways. Then you can protect your time and still greenlight his green lifestyle.
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