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The Green Life: Have a Car-Free Day

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October 03, 2012

Have a Car-Free Day

No Cars, No ProblemsHave you ever thought about what it would be like if we all lived a car-free or a car-light lifestyle? Stanford University estimates that you could keep approximately 19 pounds of CO2 emissions out of the air for each gallon of gas that goes unused. That's right folks, it might be time to ditch that car and strap on those walking shoes for your urban adventuring. Where will you go and how will you get there? We'll leave the planning and plotting up to you, but here are some suggestions to get you moving.

Three ways to get around:

1.) Hoof it. No, we don't mean riding on horseback (although you could...). Grab a pair of your most comfortable shoes and walk. This may be the most labor-intensive way of getting around, but it's also the cheapest and there are really no additional requirement. Going for a hike would be a great way to explore this option, hook up with your closest Sierra Outings Chapter for a list of upcoming hiking adventures near you or head to a festival or farmers' market.

2.) Bike, board, skate, or scoot. Channel the good ol' days of wheeled transport before getting your driver's license. Not only is this a fun way to get around, it's faster than walking and can be more adventurous, too.  Bike NYC has a great bike-friendly event listing. Don't own a bike? Rent one for the day! Larger cities such as Washington D.C. sometimes offer discounted bike rentals, so search your local  bike rental shop for some deals.

3.) Go public (transportation that is). Maybe you already have plans to go out this weekend, but you can still support the car-free cause by taking a bus, train, streetcar, or any other form of public transportation near you. Instead of spending money on gas, you can buy yourself a treat with that money you will be saving. Plan your trip today through your local Department of Transportation. Besides the obvious benefits to the environment, public transportation is always an adventure. You meet interesting people, take routes you've never driven, and get to kick back and not stress over traffic. What could be better?

Though supporting the car-free cause for a day is a fantastic start, cutting back on car usage or swearing them off all together for a car-free life is even better. This year, Massachusetts is doing a week-long push for car-less mobility. Start the movement near you; challenge your friends to a a week, month, or even a year sans automobile. Whatever route you choose, know that Mother Earth thanks you for reducing your carbon footprint.

--Jess Krager / photo by iStockphoto

Read More:

Spout: Wake Up and Watch the Picnic

Green Transportation Solutions: Clean Cars

Everyday Environmental Superheroes: Can You Spot One?

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