How to Live Car-Free

Most people are interested in ways to reduce their carbon footprint. That interest has lots of people looking at their cars in a new light. Maybe you’ve already switched to a hybrid or electric car and maybe you’re already trying to drive less and walk or take the bus more. If you’re considering taking the step of getting rid of your car completely, or at least radically reducing how much you use it, here are some ideas about where to start and how to be successful. 


Location is everything. Not everyone has the option of living car-free, because of where they live. It’s a lot easier to find alternate transportation services Brooklyn NY than a small town in the middle of Kansas. So look at where you live and think about where you need to go on a regular basis. Then you can start building a list of options. 


There are three basic options for you if you don’t have your own car. You can get a ride, either through friends, taxis or ride-sharing. You may be able to take public transportation like the bus, subway or trains. You can also walk or bike. 


To really minimize your carbon footprint, start walking and biking more. You don’t have to immediately jump into the deep end; you can start with short walks, to the corner store or the bus stop, and then build up your physical endurance. It’s good for you and good for the planet!

Learning to drive, getting your license and buying your first car are all quintessentially American rites of passage. Traditions like the family road trip and at-home car repair are baked into American culture. None of that cultural fondness will change the fact that cars are very costly, not just in terms of personal costs for maintenance and gas, but environmental costs for the whole planet. New traditions can be built, but you only have one planet.

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