American Dream or Environmental Nightmare?

My family is originally from Uzbekistan. We moved to America about thirteen years ago, after the Soviet Union broke down. Coming to America form Uzbekistan is a fifteen hour plane ride. There are several reasons my family moved to America; my whole family had moved to Israel and my mom did not want to stay in my country alone without anyone. Also at the time I was severally sick and my country did not have the medicine to cure me.

When my family finally moved to American, we moved into my uncle’s house, from my father’s side of the family. They had kicked us out because they did not want to deal with an extra six people to care for. Our first real apartment was on 42nd Street and 16th avenue. Although we did have a car, we did not really commute in it. My siblings and I walked to school every day because we did not live so far away from the school. My parents also walked to work, the only time we drove around was when we went to the city as a family and that would be only twice a moth or less.

Later on we moved to an apartment on 17th avenue and 67th street. My sister and I still walked to school because it was near us but my brothers and my parents start using the car. My mother remained to walk to work and home but she would sometimes get a ride from my father. As my brothers got older they start using the car more than my parents, especially when they would go out with their friends. Then we moved again, because we wanted to experience the “American Dream”.

Now we bought a house and live really far from everyone. Our daily commute most of the time does not involve walking. At this time we live in Bergen Beach/ Mill Basin. My parents bought another car so they can both drive to work. I take two busses to school, the B41 to the B9. I try to walk home after I get off the B9 coming from school. One of my brothers takes the bus to his job which is in Manhattan. My other brother Ariel gets dropped off to his college by my parents. We use the car so much now that we have to fill it up with gasoline every two day, for each car. Both cars can hold up to 15 gallons of gasoline, which means that we use about 90 gallons of fuel a week.

Since coming to America my family has migrated further and further away from our jobs and schools. This ultimately harms our environment. As much as we love our house sometimes we regret for moving so far. Because we live so far we do not walk to where we need to and that impacts on our health. We use so much gasoline a week, which is bad for the environment and expensive for us.