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Home » Travel and Transport

Could you go carless for the environment?

Submitted by on Thursday, 21 April 2011 Loading Add to favourites  6 Comments

use-public-transport-to-reduce-carbon-footprintFor day 36 of our carbon fast we were thrown way outside MY comfort zone!

The suggestion read “Consider giving up your car. The General Manager of Boston’s MBTA just gave up his and now uses a ZipCar when he needs an automobile.”

Well good for him, I commend him, I really do, but this is NOT for me.

A Zipcar is not an easy thing to find in the villages of England and the bus service isn’t exactly brilliant. It’s a scary thought though, to realise how dependent I am on this old lump of steel.

I can’t shop without it. How totally NON independent is that?

Sure I grow some food, but not enough to eat 365 days a year. it’s a sobering thought to realise just how reliant I am on my vehicle and now I’m going to direct you to an excellent post which says it all.

Over on Eco Crap, Argentum Vulgaris sold his car 19 years ago and he hasn’t looked back.

He tells me that my reliance on my car is all in my head and that I don’t need one. He then goes on to say that this challenge isn’t a challenge to be green, it’s a challenge in survival. This terrifies me, I have to admit.

What about you – are you carless?

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6 Comments »

  • This is a tough one for me. We are a two car family. We could go down to no cars because our mass transit is good enough that my dh could get to work when he’s not telecommuting. I could get to a lot of our activities and errands carless, if I got a bike trailer for the kids. I would be floored if my husband were even willing to consider getting rid of one or both cars, though. And I have to admit, I like having my car to take off for the many adventures within an hour’s drive. I don’t know if I’m ready to give that luxury (and that is what this is, a luxury) of having two cars.

  • When we first moved to Germany 10 years ago, we lived without a car. It was a tough 2 years and a big change for us since we were coming from the US where everything is really only accessible by car (unless you live in some place like NYCity.)

    Of course in Germany it’s pretty standard that you walk to the market but we didn’t really have time to go shopping every other day as many people do. So bringing home a week’s worth of groceries by yourself was interesting.

    We were definitely far happier once we had our own car — even if we were still commuting by train to work. It was just an element of freedom that we needed to truly be happy.

  • Preseli Mags says:

    I hate being beholden to the car but then we live in a remote rural area. Sometimes we walk the school run to the village – a four mile round trip for me – but it’s just a token effort. Bicycles might be possible once my children are old enough to manage the very steep hills at the moment ‘cycling’ is largely a strenuous walk pushing a bike! I keep eyeing the ponies in the field and wondering if one of them could be harnessed…!

  • Mrs Green says:

    @Zoie @ Touchstonez: Hi Zoie, I hear you – I’m happy to have one car, but I really want that car!
    @Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead: I think that element of freedom is certainly something we’ve gotten used to in the West; rightly or wrongly
    @Preseli Mags: Oh LMG would LOVE to ride to school! She tells me when she grows up she is not going to have a car, she’s opting for a pony and trap LOL!

  • Seonaid says:

    @Mrs Green: My daughter is also convinced that the future lies in horses.

    The car is the thing that calls me out, every time. Absolutely unsustainable the way we use it, costs a fortune, and (what sounds like good, but turns out to be bad) keeps me able to commit to things that I would otherwise say “no” to, (“Can we meet on that tomorrow?”)

    It *feels* like freedom, but somehow it also feels like another obligation, and one that I don’t know how to pass up. I’ll read that post you linked to and see what his take on it is… although I find that the opinions of single men about how to live life often have little bearing on my life as a parent of three small(ish) kids.

    You’re right, though… when it comes down to a question of survival, I’m snurfed.

  • Mrs Green says:

    @Seonaid: Loving your thoughts; thank you for sharing. Of course survival probably comes down to community living again, where cars are not necessary – it all feels so far removed from our lifestyle though, doesn’t it? Maybe our girls are right – it’s time for horses and land 😉