Many of you may know that Robby and I moved out to WA without a car. In December I had the car shipped out but we have continued to live car free 99.9% of the time. I only use it when I don't have time to walk, ride, or bus it which is rare. From my perspective here are the things that I felt I missed out on when I drove everywhere.
1. Extra cash in the pockets. I bought 1/2 a tank of gas when the car first got here in December. As of today I still have 1/4 a tank. The cheapest gas around here is $3.64. So by not driving we save a load of money.
2. Nature. Eventhough we live in a city every morning on the way to work I hear the birds sing, feel the cool breeze on my face, breath in fresh air (unless I am stuck behind a car), and of course I get to feel the rain on my face. One is able to see subtle changes that happen (like flowers) when they are moving slower and out in the environment. You hear more sounds and you are more aware of what is truly around you.
3. Community. When you are in a car you are trapped behind the windows in your own little world never acknowledging each other. By walking or riding my bike I actually get to make eye contact with people along the route. At a stop light I even get a share a "good morning" with others on their bike if they happen to be at the light at the same time. Sharing a ride on the bus makes one more aware of differences and this brings you to a new level of respect and understanding for others. I have always had an understanding and respect for the "mentally challenged" population. After being a rider of public transportation I have learned that they depend on this service. I have learned that by living in a community that offers this service it helps the "mentally" and "economically" challenged citizens make ends meet. They may not mentally beable to drive a car or even afford one. Public transportation helps them by giving them a way to get from A to B. Kudos to cities who offer this service for everyone! (Got off subject sort of, but public transportation gives one more of a sense of community.)
4. Sense of adventure / Exercise. Everyday I feel like I have accomplished something. I got the blood in my body flowing. Now my muscles and brain are oxygenated. I am ready to go. All of this leads to a healthier body and mind. Luckily I get to move around at work and don't have sit all the time but I am sitting alot more than I use to. I find today that to many people have grown accustom to the walk 10 feet to the car, sit for 10 - 30 minutes, walk 100 feet to the office, sit for 8 hours, walk 100 feet back to the car, sit for 10 - 30 minutes, walk 10 feet to the couch and collapse of exhusation from work, sit and watch TV for 3 hours, lay down and sleep for 6-8 hours. Don't neglect your body!!!!!!!!! I use to feel this way until I started making exercise a part of my daily routine. Now I have more energy than I have ever had! I can make it the whole day with out zonking out and I think alot clearer. Don't forget to work your body everyday! If you start exercising now it will be alot easier as you get older. I will be doing some kind of exercise everyday until the day I die.
Well, that is enough of what I think. Do you think you could live car free? or even reduce the amount of time you spend in a car each week?
I love living 99.9% car free!