A quick introduction is probably in order. That’s me on the right. Pleased to meet you.
My name is Chris Baskind. I live on the Coast — but probably not the first two which jump to mind. Home is Pensacola, Florida, almost within view of the Gulf of Mexico.
For most of my professional life, I was a radio guy. This means I dragged my poor family from city to city doing station startups and turnarounds, playing DJ, and generally making an industry nuisance of myself. It was a lot of fun, but by the time we dropped anchor in Florida, we’d had enough of the gypsy life. When my job shifted from Pensacola to Mobile, Alabama, I chose to do a 140 mile daily commute, rather than move again. This went on for seven years. I am a recovering carbon criminal.
Radio treated me very well, but the past decade or so hasn’t been so good for radio. As my time behind a microphone came to an end, I was pretty clueless about what was supposed to happen next. I’d been a blogger for several years, and had an idea for a new environmentally themed site. In 2007, there were very few places you could turn for quality information on greener living. So I launched Lighter Footstep.
The timing was good. It wasn’t long before I was doing guest appearances on NPR, and my work started to turn up on Reuters, Slate.com, USA Today, and a bunch of other places. After a while, I quit calling myself unemployed and began telling people that I was a writer. Not that there’s always much difference, but it decreased the number of family suggestions that I go find a job involving an apron or paper hat.
Web development and bicycles
The life of an environmental writer isn’t usually one of limitless riches, so I learned to launch and maintain my own websites. After a while, I was building sites for other people.
In June of 2009, I decided it would be interesting to see if some average schmuck in a city with no particular mass transit of bicycle infrastructure could get along without a car for 30 days. My month-long experiment has been rolling along more-or-less smoothly ever since. I finally gave away my car. I don’t miss the repair bills, insurance, and hassle.