Friday Fun: The Benefits of Car Free Day
Today is the first day of fall. It’s also World Car Free Day! Taking the initiative to leave your car at home for one day may not be something everyone can easily do. But for those of us who have alternative travel options, it’s a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Walking to work or taking a bike ride is a great way to give yourself new perspective. There are many benefits to leaving your car at home for a day. Here are just a few that will make going car free totally worthwhile.
1) You reduce the amount of carbon emission released into the air– By driving a single occupancy car all by your lonesome, there is a lot of waste involved. You are operating a vehicle that requires the same amount of gas to transport one person as it would to transport a car full of people. Sounds like a waste, right? Leaving your car behind can really benefit the environment, even if it’s just for one day.
2) Cycling or walking is a much more pleasant experience than driving.– Of course this isn’t applicable to all commuters. For those of us who live a long distance from our workplace, walking simply isn’t feasible. But for those of us who are a reasonable distance, you’ll find that getting outdoors is rejuvenating. It’s a much more pleasant experience to be outdoors rather than stuck in traffic and actually results in increased feelings of happiness. Think about it. No more dealing with bumper to bumper jams or having to deal with rude drivers cutting you off. All that is virtually eliminated. Give it a shot!
3) You’re getting much needed exercise.– Walking or cycling is a great, low impact way to burn some calories. It helps strengthen your muscles and increases immunity, mental focus and clarity. There are benefits that extend way beyond the physical too.
4) The local economy improves.– According to Icebike.org, “After nearly 50 years of centralizing automobiles in urban centers, city planners are now designing “complete streets” that include protected bike lanes.” Icebike.org also notes, “after the completion of a protected bike lane on 9th Avenue in New York, local retailers experienced a 49 percent increase in sales compared to other streets in Manhattan that were averaging only 3 percent.” That’s a good enough reason to go car free for us!
5) Changing up your routine gives new perspective.– You drive the same old rout every single day. Wouldn’t it be nice to switch things up? By taking the bus or the metro, you get a fresh new perspective on your morning commute. You also gain valuable time to do whatever you wish. Commuting is a great time to read a book, do some writing, plan a trip or learn a new language. There’s a lot you can accomplish on one commute to work.