Green living is not just a trend these days, certain behaviours are even becoming expected. One of the biggest contributors to your individual carbon footprint is the use of a petrol and gas fuel cars. The damage vehicles on the roads cause to the environment is considerable.
According to the National Geographic most of a car’s environmental impact is due to the consumption of fuel and the emissions caused by the process, and in America, vehicles are the biggest air quality compromisers – producing one third of the air pollution in the entire nation.
There’s no need to continue on the environmental damage vehicles are causing. The more interesting question is what can be done about it? Technology surrounding this issue is constantly evolving. We have electric and hybrid cars, solar power technology and better public transport than ever before in history.
How Much Do You Use Your Car?
In order to know what steps you need to take to go car free, it’s important to know how much you rely on your car in everyday life. Asking yourself questions like:
How many times a week do I use my car?
What is the purpose of my travel? – Work, leisure etc
Is there public transport that can easily replace the routes I take using my car?
The truth is, most of the places we go to every day aren’t that far away, and are really easy to get to by other means.
How Much Do You Spend On Your Car?
Do a budget where you track your spending on your car. Owning, driving and maintaining a car is an extremely costly commitment. Most of the time people will have a car loan, as well as being required to pay registration, insurance and fuel costs. This is not to mention the time you spend on all of these activities – you know what they say… time is money!
Make Your Commute Car Free
Taking the information, you gathered when assessing your car use, see if there is any way to get to where you need to go without your car. The chance is, there’s going to be some sort of public transport that will solve this issue very quickly. Often, public transport can be more efficient than driving anyway!
Incorporating exercise into your daily activities, like riding a bike to work or walking your children to school, can also be one of the best (and most addictive) to disrupt and change your car-focused daily routine.
Put Your Research into Practice!
If any of these solutions are feeling overwhelming or impossible, remember that with organisation you can achieve a surprising amount of things. Often, using a car is the most convenient option in the morning on the way to work, or when ducking out quickly to grab groceries.
This leads many of us to believe that cars are necessary and that we don’t have time to get things done throughout the day without one. But if you never give yourself the option to drive a car, you will naturally organise your day differently. You’ll leave the house half an hour early to ride your bike to work and get some much needed fresh air before a long day. Maybe, buying your groceries at the local markets where you walk to on a Saturday morning. The list of solutions goes on and on.
If You Can’t Commit, Go Half Way
Understandably, it’s not easy to commit to eliminating using a car completely from your daily life. Luckily, there are options for eco-friendly commuters who still need to use a car. Electric and Hybrid vehicles produce considerably less carbon emissions when compared to regular cars. And they’re not just expensive, high-tech machines anymore. They’re all around you and are becoming more and more affordable.
Many cities even have electric vehicle public sharing schemes much like widespread bicycle systems. The ability to unplug a car just once a week may solve your needs for a vehicle – eliminating the need for an expensive car loan and the long list of additional cost.