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One Less Car On The Road

Updated on October 28, 2014

Could You Stop Driving Your Car?

A visible reminder of one person's commitment to One Less Car.
A visible reminder of one person's commitment to One Less Car. | Source

Who Me? Give Up My Car?

Have you ever thought about living without a car? If you live in New York City the answer is easy. Plenty of New York residents live car-less without feeling the sacrifice; but they live in walkable neighborhoods. Lots of big city residents have everything they need within a few blocks. If you live someplace else; it's understandable that you wouldn't give up your car without a fight.

Let's face it, Americans are addicted to that short drive to the corner store, even when it makes more sense to walk. We love the power of gunning our engines to grab that space in bumper-to-bumper highway traffic. We crave the smooth hum of rolling in the fast lane and the icy chill of air conditioning on a hot Summer day.

But what would happen if you became like the lady in this photo, that person responsible for one less car on the road? You would make do, of course. You would take taxis and buses and other forms of transportation.... and you would walk. In the midst of that simple lifestyle change, you might just reap a world of benefits.

National Walk @ Lunch Day

Walking To Save The Planet

The EPA puts it quite succinctly, “The burning of fuels releases carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere and contributes to climate change.”The Union of Concerned Scientists and other experts have determined that cars are responsible for a quarter of all US CO2 emissions. The dots are easy to connect.

It's not complicated. Every time you drive your car, you release harmful gasses into the air. Those gases contribute to ozone depletion. Ozone depletion reduces the earth's protection against ultraviolet rays; melting ice caps, rising sea levels and increased skin cancer are only the beginning of the resultant problems.

You Know This Already

If you haven't heard about climate change, you've probably been living under a rock. You already know climate change is a reality that's altering our lives this very moment.

Al Gore wasn't the first to talk about the environment and what each individual can do to help; but his award winning documentary, his book and his star-studded telethon had people scrambling to buy those twisty, low energy light bulbs and Hybrid cars.

Gore laid it out in plain every day language. Lots of things contribute to climate change. Your car is one of them.

Buses Are Ready to Take You There in Fine Hybrid Style

Mass transit is Hopping onto the Hybrid band wagon. With onboard systems that generate their own electrical energy to supplement diesel, they are doing their part to reduce fossil fuel consumption.
Mass transit is Hopping onto the Hybrid band wagon. With onboard systems that generate their own electrical energy to supplement diesel, they are doing their part to reduce fossil fuel consumption.

Walking To Save Your Life

So you're not convinced about the Global Warming, Climate Change thing. What about your health?

A Mayo Clinic article, 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity, states walking Improves mood, combats chronic disease, helps manage weight, boosts energy levels, promotes sleep, promotes fun; and regular exercise can even put a spark back into your sex life. Based on their study, walking is certainly worth the effort.

BlueCross BlueShield, a major health insurance carrier, sponsors National Walk@Lunch Day. They encourage walking to help control weight, improve muscle tone, reduce stress and help decrease the risks of heart attack and type-2 diabetes.

The National Library of Medicine Medline Plus website published an article entitled “The Longer you sit the shorter your life span.” Their study followed over 123,000 people for 14 years and found increased rates of mortality for men and women who sat for six or more hours a day versus those who kept active and spent less than 3 hours per day on their rears.

Will Yours be That One Less Car on the Road?

Probably not.

It's unlikely that you'll give up your car; but there are still a few things you can do to help reduce fuel consumption that releases CO2 into our atmosphere. If you reduce your electrical usage, it will reduce your utility company's consumption of fossil fuels.

If you can fit a new car into your budget, buy a Hybrid to minimize emissions when you do drive. Plug-in all electric cars are not yet massed produced, but save your money and buy one when they come on the market. You can also drive less and walk more. Or you can ride a bike.

According to Takepart.com/issues.green-living, New York City has a 20-year plan that calls for the addition of 1,800 bike-lane miles and 1 million new trees; and there's a town in Germany that has practically banned car usage. That's not too difficult a feat since 70 percent of the residents don’t own cars anyway; but it's the effort that counts.

These are big steps, but all you have to do is take a few little ones. Commute to work or drive, but park when you get home. And walk whenever you can, especially if you're only going to the corner store.

Your Thoughts?

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    • psycheskinner profile image

      psycheskinner 

      8 years ago

      Well, I did. I don't even own a car and I never drive.

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