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What Is Car-Free Living?
Car-free living is a choice to use a means other than driving a car for transportation. While car-free individuals may rent a car or carpool, they typically use other ways of getting things done. These include taking public transportation, biking, walking, working from home, eliminating or reducing errands, purchasing groceries on the internet or changing habits to eliminate the need for a car.
Why Do People Live Car-Free?
There are many reasons people are choosing to live without a car or to reduce their car dependency. These include:
- Environmental: Car-free individuals enjoy knowing that they’re reducing the amount of car exhaust placed into the air.
- Financial: Many people who have gone car-free believe it’s cheaper to live without a car while others enjoy not being surprised by unexpected car repairs. Car-free citizens pay for transportation in some form but do not pay a monthly car payment, car insurance or gasoline.
- Moral: Some car-free citizens believe it’s their responsibility to make sure the next generation can inhabit the earth without trouble. Living car-free is their way of leaving the earth unharmed.
- National: The amount of oil left in the world is limited and oil is a source of conflict among nations. Car-free individuals are doing their part by conserving what remains.
- Physical Fitness: Walking and cycling are popular modes of transportation for car-free people to stay fit without a gym membership.
- Safety: Katie Alvord’s book Divorce Your Car! cites compelling statistics on how often car accidents occur.
- Social: Car-free individuals may feel more connected to their communities by getting to know people as their stroll through town. The common feeling of “road rage” that motorists experience is not likely to be felt by a car-free individual.
- Spiritual: The cursing and one-fingered wave that happens from road rage can’t be good for spirituality. Those who have chosen a car-free lifestyle may experience the sound of birds singing or just silence, which can lend itself to reflection.