I have successfully persuaded Emily from Living Lightly in a Wavering World to do my work guest blog for me while I’m away on holiday. Emily is a gardener, a minimalist, a fellow childfree blogger, and a survivor of life without a washing machine or fridge. And she’s not at all obnoxious about being a deeper shade of green than you are! All great reasons to follow her blog. Here’s her advice on car-sharing — something I could definitely learn more about.
When it comes to reducing our impact on our planet, every small action helps. But, sorry folks, small actions just aren’t enough. Humans have already caused significant, irreversible damage to the Earth. Unless every one of us starts making significant lifestyle changes, we will soon be experiencing devastating planetary changes.
One of the easiest, most significant lifestyle changes that you can make is to share a car. My boyfriend and I have been sharing a VW Jetta (gets 32 mpg) for two years and it has seldom been an inconvenience. We made the one car switch for two reasons: to save money and to reduce our carbon emissions. In order to accommodate a one car lifestyle, I choose to commute by foot or bicycle and my boyfriend often works from home. When we do travel, we usually travel together or we make arrangements with one another to use the car. The money that we used to spend on insurance, registration, maintenance, and gas has now been cut in half — important savings during this economic recession.
Although sharing a car is not socially acceptable in America, I feel good knowing that I have lowered my carbon emissions and have reduced my dependency on oil. Although my neighbors think that my boyfriend and I are “weird” and “poor” because we have one car, the endorphins that I get from bicycling and walking give me the confidence to stand up to their ignorance. Some people pity us and think that sharing a car compromises our lifestyle; however our travel plans are seldom hindered. I actually prefer to travel by bike; it’s way more fun than driving. (And we all could use a little more fun in our lives.)
A one car lifestyle IS POSSIBLE! How can you make the switch?
- Decide that the fate of our planet is more important than your need to drive a car
- Carpool with neighbors or other household members
- Ride a bike or walk
- Create a schedule for the car, so that everyone has to opportunity to use it
- Choose public transportation
- Instead of driving your kids to school, have them ride the school bus or ride their bikes (teenagers included)
- Work from home
- Live closer to school, work, stores, recreation, etc.
- Decide that the money saved from sharing a car is “worth it”
- Live in an urban area instead of a suburban area
- Decide that car sharing is the cool, new “green trend”
- Think ahead when using your car to run errands; stock up on groceries and other items to prevent having to drive frequently
- Support others in their efforts to reduce their car usage
Now go check out Emily’s blog for some more inspiration and straight talk about what you can do to stop destroying the planet!