Monday, May 14, 2007
The Fun Stuff
Here are some of the fun activities in a World Without Oil. For some of these, the equipment and supplies for them may be petroleum-based products, but you could stock up for a few years of fun, at least, and maybe by then replacements will be available. (Disclaimer: some of the activities suggested below are dangerous. Use common sense, wear protective gear when possible, and take lessons before trying the risky ones.)
My Top Ten
1. Martial arts. This gets my top recommendation. You can practice martial arts for free, any time, any place, with no equipment! And it can improve your health and reduce stress. (In the chaos of a World Without Oil, the self-defense aspect of martial arts might be useful, too -- but hopefully you will not need to use it.) Find out what is available in your area. Here's a guide to get you started.
2. Hacky sack. This is cheap, portable, fun to play solo or with a group, and hacky sacks can be made from sustainable materials.
3. Hiking, walking, and jogging.
4. Frisbee (including ultimate frisbee, frisbee golf, and freestyle). Flying discs are made from plastic, but they are inexpensive and can last for years. Stock up on a few.
5. Drawing (and other art using traditional materials). Check out Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain if you think you can't draw.
6. Skateboarding. The World Without Oil will be a skateboarder's paradise! Think of all those streets with no car traffic, and empty parking lots and parking structures that can be converted into skate parks.
7. Cycling and mountain biking, including BMX freestyle, trials, bicycle racing, etc.
8. Singing and music with acoustic instruments
More great options
11. Horseback riding.
12. Rock climbing. Most classic rock climbing routes are located far away from most people, but there are often opportunities for bouldering closer to home, or urban rock gyms.
15. Kite flying
25. Table Tennis
27. Golf. Maintaining the courses may become a problem, because of the resources used for irrigating, fertilizing, and mowing. Maybe golf will change to favor a more natural style course. You could also try "urban golf" using those practice wiffle-ball golf balls (or other improvised balls) and targets that you create. And don't forget miniature golf.
28. Street Hockey
29. Parkour. These skills can also be useful in making an escape from a dangerous situation.
30. Bird watching
31. Astronomy. Fewer city lights will make the skies darker again and improve sky watching.
33. Hang gliding
35. BASE jumping
36. Bungee jumping
39. Flower arranging
48. Sumo wrestling
52. Jousting (Who knows, maybe it could make a comeback. I'd like to see that.)
53. Bowling, if you set the pins by hand
54. Road Bowling. Oh yeah! This could be the next big one. Read about it then watch the video.
55. Soap box derby
56. Rock skipping
57. Board games
59. Video games. The Xbox 360 on the giant screen TV may not be an option, but it may be possible to use devices that use relatively little power, like the Nintendo DS, and recharge them from solar panels.
60. Dog and cat shows.
If You Live Near Snow
63. Cross-country skiing
64. Downhill skiing and snowboarding, if you hike up the hill instead of using a ski lift. I have hiked up and snowboarded down some runs at Mt. Hood, and it was worth the effort to have it all to myself.
66. Dogsledding. If you haven't tried it, you probably don't realize how amazingly fun dogsledding is. I can't wait to get a chance to do this again.
67. Ice skating
68. Ice Hockey
If You Live Near Water
79. Whitewater rafting (getting there and back with the gear may be a challenge, though)
84. Free diving
85. Building sand castles
With Limited Oil
86. Motorcycling. Some motorcycles and scooters can get 60-100mpg. And motorcyling is extremely fun. You may switch to a motorcycle or scooter to save gas, and then discover that you really love it, and you wish you had switched years ago! Let's face it, many ways of saving energy are not super fun. Nobody is going to say, "Whee! I turned the thermostat down!" or "Awesome! I'm taking shorter showers! High five!" But saving gas by riding a motorcycle or scooter is a blast.
However, if you have not ridden before, do not ride a motorcycle without proper training. Take a course such as those offered by Team Oregon or something similar in your area.
87. Driving. Yes, driving. You may drive only on rare special occasions, and find that there is so little traffic that driving is the most fun it has ever been! With car traffic continually diminishing over time, every drive you take could be the best drive you've ever had.
I hope this list has given you some inspiration. If you can think of other options, please leave a comment with your suggestions.