Irene and Ken Kraegel believe actions speak louder than words.
“That’s especially true when it comes to parenting: Children do what we do — not what we say,” said Irene Kraegel, a counselor at Calvin College. “So part of our parenting strategy with our son is modeling for him the qualities that we think are important.”
That’s where The Rapid comes in.
As a way to do their part in reducing carbon emissions and helping the environment, the Kraegels choose to own only one vehicle and instead ride The Rapid whenever possible.
Irene takes the bus several times a week from their home in Grand Rapids to her job at Calvin College. Along with the environmental benefits, public transportation is a great way to feel connected to the community.
“Being in a car is a solitary experience. But when I’m on the bus, it broadens my horizons a little bit and enriches my life by being around other people,” she said.
On The Rapid, she’s discovered a community of like-minded people who value many of the same things she does. And that’s translated into some new friendships.
When she’s not chatting with other riders, Irene likes to read a book or listen to music. And just relax. Walking to and from her bus stop is also a welcome break in her busy day.
In their spare time, the Kraegels love taking their son downtown on the bus to visit the library or a museum. It’s one of the many ways they teach him about being good environmental stewards.
Even when it’s not easy.
“It’s harder to live right than to talk about living right. And living as simply as possible is not something we do perfectly,” Irene said.
“But we notice that our son has started coming up with his own ideas for environmental stewardship. That’s really fun to watch,” she said.
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