Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wasted Energy in the Name of Exercise

I can’t help dwelling on the energy I wasted today.

I spent my hard earned money to buy organic calories at Whole Foods only to throw it all away on the elliptical machine at the YMCA. I spent $1.49 for each apple ! They were good apples, but I remember when apples were only 50 cents. It is not hard to remember back that far, because it was only last year. The gasoline that my Volvo used for the 6 mile round trip to the gym also cost about a buck fifty, however, my Volvo used 18,000 calories for the trip ( 3000 calories per mile ) ! If I made the same trip by walking or running, it would have only taken 600 calories for the entire trip. If I rode my bike, I would have only used 210 calories, about the same amount of calories as two apples. My Volvo used the equivalent of about 180 apples to get me to the gym and back. The readout on the elliptical machine informed me that I burned 500 calories.

What a waste !
I could have used those 500 calories to :

Do a couple of errands by foot.
Do all of my errands by bicycle
Get to a job and back
Plant a veggie garden

Here is the math :

500 calories = 5 apples
5 organic apples at Whole Foods costs $7.45
Being that 35 calories on a bicycle can get me one mile, 500 calories can get me about 15 miles on a bicycle, enough to get me to work and back ( when I had a job ) and do all my other errands.
15 miles in my Volvo in the city uses just under a gallon of fuel, or about $3
A gym membership costs me about $2 a day.

Putting this all together, I wasted $12.45 today and caused unnecessary damage. If I wasted this amount 5 days a week for a full year, I would waste $3237 dollars.

The fossil fuels took millions of years to produce the 18,000 calories it took my volvo for the short trip to the gym. The apples took just one growing season. If I were to drive to the gym 5 days a week, it would use up 4,680,000 calories, or about 46,800 apples. That doesn't include all my other driving.

I and my Volvo, together, wasted 18,500 calories today in the name of exercise. I am trying to figure out how I got duped into thinking this made any sense.


elam said...

apples are pure sugar anyway trevor who needs to eat apples when sugar is so much cheaper. eat a bag of sugar and go work on the dome.
i'm just kidding but seriously how am i going to sleep on your couch?

trevor.reichman said...