Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Streetsblog.net

The Hidden Benefits of Schlepping Groceries

If you don't have a car, then you're probably familiar with the fine art that is grocery shopping on bike or foot -- what to buy, what to pass on (jumbo bags of toilet paper, for example). Well, isn't it nice to know that gasoline savings aren't the only reward for your troubles?

false

Today Rob Pitingolo at Extraordinary Observations points to an Apartment Therapy article on the health benefits of "schlepping." But it's not just the lifting and walking (or cycling) that help you say fit, says Pitingolo, a car-free Washingtonian:

There are plenty of people who will argue until they're blue in the face that grocery shopping without a car is an unacceptable burden in life. I wouldn't take it that far, but I would agree that it's less convenient and more challenging to do than if you have access to a car.

I don't have a car, so when I do it, it means I have to make strategic shopping choices. I don't buy whole watermelons or 12-packs of Pepsi because those things are really heavy and bulky and difficult to transport without a car. To some people this is a great tragedy.

What would life be without sugary soda and 15 pound melons? To me, it's a blessing in disguise. Schlepping means I keep fresher food in the house, because I'm not tempted to "stock up" on junk that keeps indefinitely in the pantry. It means I have less waste because I don't overbuy.

No, this isn't for everybody, and I've heard dozens upon dozens of reasons why it's impossible for many people and many families. But that's not the point. The point is that sometimes when you look past what seems obvious, and you move beyond seeking out convenience at any cost, what you find might not be quite as bad as you might think. It could even be a blessing in disguise.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Pedestrian Observations wonders about the feasibility of a Los Angeles-to-Las Vegas high speed rail line. The Kansas Cyclist says that the state will allow drivers charged with DUI to operate motorized bicycles. And Reno Rambler reports that southern Utah is stepping up its efforts to welcome cyclists.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Monday’s Headlines Bring Another Setback

The Biden administration's new rule requiring states to report their greenhouse gas emissions from transportation was dealt another blow when the Senate voted to repeal it.

April 15, 2024

Friday’s Headlines Are Still Unsafe

Traffic deaths are declining for those ensconced in thousands of pounds of steel. For the rest of us, not so much.

April 12, 2024

Measure HLA Is Now Officially Law for L.A. City

Check the city maps to find what bus, bike, and walk improvements are coming to streets in your neighborhood.

April 12, 2024

Talking Headways Podcast: Women’s Transportation Seminar

Sara Stickler of WTS International on women’s expertise in transportation and opportunities for mentorship, leadership and education.

April 11, 2024

Don’t Call Thursday’s Headlines a Comeback

Transit ridership isn't all the way back yet, but it continues to climb after collapsing during COVID. Unfortunately, the financial effects of the pandemic on transit agencies still linger.

April 11, 2024
See all posts