Whenever I visit a great city like San Francisco, or my favorite beach town, Sayulita, I have fantasies of giving up my car, for good. We are currently a two car family living in a suburb-y area, just outside of a small city. My husband drives about 10 miles each way to work. I work from home, but visit a satellite office and clients all week for appointments. I drop my daughter off at school, and pick her up every afternoon, during the school year. I can’t imagine our current life without a car, but now that I have given it serious consideration, I plan to drive less, right away.
I remember when I was 15 or 16 thinking of the freedom I would have when I could drive a car. Now, I think of the freedom I could have living with out a car! Imagine, no car payment, no car insurance, no maintenance and no filling your car up with money gas every week. Without a car, you don’t need a garage, or have to spend time finding a parking space. The chances of getting into a car accident without a car, are pretty slim. All that being said, I understand that the majority of the people in this country, including myself, have built their lives to include motor vehicles. We didn’t do it maliciously, but now it’s time to take accountability, and take steps to drive less.
Simple Changes for Driving Less
- Ride bikes – My husband is an avid cyclist. He races locally and occasionally rides his bike back and forth to work. I am going to encourage him to do it more often. We ride together for fun, but not usually to get from one place to the next. I am going to think about opportunities to utilize our bikes in place of our cars.
- Investigate public transportation – I’ve never thought that public transportation would be a viable option for me or my family based on where we live, but I might be missing something. I am going to do some research and see if something might work for us.
- Plan meals – Sometimes I go to the grocery store 4 or 5 times a week. I can cut this down to 1 visit just by planning meals better.
- Schedule appointments more efficiently – I work from home and sometimes have appointments five days a week. By slightly adjusting my schedule, I could have three days of appointments, and two days that I don’t have to leave the house for work.
- Stop shopping for stuff – This is easy for me, although that wasn’t always the case. I will not drive my car anywhere for the sport of shopping. If I need something, I will make a list and purchase what I need, but the frivolous spending is over.
- One day commitment – For the month of July, I am going to commit to not driving one day a week, and see if I can maintain this change ongoing.
Other bloggers have made me reconsider my need to drive everywhere. Check out what Everett Bogue of Far Beyond the Stars thinks about how you can actually help with the Gulf oil spill and why Tammy Strobel of Rowdy Kittens thinks we have a moral imperative to drive less.
Giving up your car, or driving less contributes to cleaner air and a heavier wallet. Consider these ideas and learn more about public transportation available in your area, usage based car insurance, zipcar and other car share options, and let me know what inspires you to drive less.