September 22nd is World Carfree Day! Folks all over the world are pledging to ditch their cars and use bikes, transit, and their own two feet to get around.
Fuel and emissions from cars are major culprits in climate change. Cars are harming our oceans. They stress us out and cost us money in gas, maintenance, and parking. Tomorrow is a great opportunity to see what it’s like to get around without a gas guzzler.
It’s easy to get in on the action! You can join more than 1000 attendees worldwide on Facebook. Instead of hopping in the car for your daily commute tomorrow morning, just walk, bike, or take public transit to your destination.
Up Next: Tips for Going Car Free
Car Free Tips
It’s not always easy to go without a car. Some towns have better transit options than others, and some have a stronger bike culture. With a bit of research and planning, though, a car free day is totally doable. Heck, you might enjoy it so much you’ll want to go car free on a more regular basis!
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Combine transportation. Is the train station or bus stop far from your home or work? Is your commute too far to accomplish on a bike? Combine the two! Many transit systems let you take your bike with you, so you can ride to the train or bus, take transit to get close to your destination, then bike the rest of the way.
- Freshen up. A lot of folks complain that walking or biking leaves them too sweaty when they get to work. This is easy to overcome with just a bit of planning! Pack a change of shirt and some deodorant in your bag, so you can pop into the restroom when you get in. You might aim to get to work 10 or 15 minutes early, so you have time to change tops, splash some water on your face, and reapply deodorant before hitting the office.
- Find a buddy. Just like having a workout buddy, a car free buddy can help strengthen your resolve. You don’t even have to commute together; just knowing that someone else is with you in spirit can go a long way when you’re trying something new.
- Plan your transit route. Google Transit is a great tool for finding bus and train routes in your area. You can even specify when you want to arrive at your destination! If Google Transit isn’t available for your area, you can also call your local transit authority for help mapping your route.
- Map it out. If you’re planning to walk or bike, take a look at some maps to find roads where you’ll be most comfortable. Often, there are neighborhood roads parallel to major ones that are more pleasant, especially on a bike.
- Plan for weather. Unless there’s a severe storm, weather doesn’t have to stand in the way of a car free commute! If it’s raining a bit, grab a slicker or umbrella and choose water resistant boots. If you’re wearing long pants, roll them up or tuck them in so you don’t have to deal with soggy pant bottoms when you get to work.
Did you miss World Carfree Day? It’s never too late to get in on the action. Pick a day that works for you and experience 24 hours of car free life!
Do you have any tips for carfree commuting? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!
Image Credit: Bike Commuting. Creative Commons photo by Bike Portland