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The Green Life: Trendsetter

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January 08, 2007

Trendsetter

Chris Balish,
broadcast journalist
and car-free convert

When Chris Balish put his SUV up for sale, he wasn't trying to change his life. He just wanted to save money on gas. But when a buyer materialized before he got a new car, Balish turned to public transit and biking--and found himself less stressed, in better shape, and getting out of debt. His temporary solution became a new lifestyle, then fodder for a book, How to Live Well Without Owning a Car. Read an excerpt at livecarfree.com.

Q: What's the best benefit of not having a car?

A: Saving about 800 bucks a month. Anything you lose as far as freedom of mobility you gain in freedom of cash flow.

Q: How have you managed to stay car free in Los Angeles?

A: I found a community with good transit that's close to amenities. Riding the bus or train can take longer, but it's productive time to read and work.

Q: What do you think keeps people tied to their cars?

A: When you rely on an automobile, you don't even notice other forms of transportation like bike paths and transit hubs. Half the battle is just opening your eyes.

(Photograph by Candice Kelsey)

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