If this is your first time reading this blog I recommend you start with the first one .
** Disclaimer – I’m probably a lot crazier than most people as I tend to walk/bike all over the place and distances don’t really phase me. As such, many things I find common and easy to do could very likely be tough and inconvenient for others. This is clearly not a “how to” for going car-less but rather “how I” manage to do it .**
It’s been 6 weeks since my car free life and I figure it’s time I took a look to see how successful or unsuccessful I’ve been in remaining with the car free attitude.
How I’ve failed! Well it’s not all doom and gloom but I’m not going to pussy foot around it. There have been times where I copped out and drove when I knew I didn’t have to. One such example is grocery shopping. With two people in the house now food is going faster and at first I was literally shopping every two days. I eventually got tired of spending that extra 90 minutes to get groceries and we started doing the big once a week shopping which, of course, requires a car. As well we have been going out for dinner or movie or other entertainment and when you have a car it allows you to do so many more activities in one evening that we haven’t walked or used the bus yet for such outings. We just drive! I’ve even caught myself pushing my time limits by doing chores at home then realizing “aw, no time to walk, guess I’ll just drive”. I then use the fact that I made myself late as an ok excuse to drive. Even just seeing the car in the driveway has that tiny voice in your head whispering to put the warm clothes away and just jump in the car, turn the key and drive. Arg! It’s like being on a diet and walking into an all you can eat pizza buffet. It’s unbearably hard to stick to my guns. But the sun does rise on this nightmare.
How I’ve succeeded! Like I said it’s not all doom and gloom. I still walk to work every day and do walk to my friend’s homes. My girlfriend and I walk to get-togethers and parties. It definitely makes enjoying a few after hour beverages easier as neither of us have to be the designated driver. We’ve even succeeded in having more friends walk to our house because we manage to walk to theirs. They see how easy it is and now make the effort themselves. I’ve recently increased the amount I go cross-country skiing which unfortunately requires a car to get to Kamview but every night I car pool with someone.
As the weather fluctuates from warm to cold I do find it challenging to dress appropriately. Some days I’m stuck with full winter gear (ie. snow pants) in the morning only to be greeted by 0 C in the afternoon for the walk home. One of the biggest benefits I’ve found walking everywhere is my energy seems higher and my mind is more ready to focus. The few times I’ve had to drive to work for presentations (I have a lot of gear to carry and can’t manage it on a bus), I find myself a bit lethargic and wish I had that blast of fresh air in the morning to get my blood moving.
With my successes and failures laid out I definitely know I can step it up and stop taking the car when I really don’t need to. I sometimes feel guilty driving and that just tells me that I know better and should have walked/bussed. As we get nearer to spring I really can’t wait to break out the bike which almost makes the car obsolete. Until next time!
Oh, and to add a friendly request; please refrain from hitting those big puddles by the sidewalk with your car, it’s not fun being soaked by salty water :)
Page last updated on Wednesday, March 02, 2011