You’ve got kids, a dog, groceries to buy, practices to get to, grandparents to visit. You might be thinking there is no way you can live without a car, right? Still, you want to make choices that support green living. If you live in an urban centre, though, living as a family without a minivan or wagon might not be as hard as you think. Here is a list of things to consider when you’re thinking about ditching the gas guzzler:
1. How accessible is public transit in your neighborhood? Can it get you where you need to go? These days, many buses lower to accommodate strollers. Children under 6 often ride for free – additional savings when you’re also not paying for insurance, maintenance and gas.
2. Can you walk to your grocery store? Storing groceries is just what those handy hampers under strollers are for. Alternatively, your kids will love a ride in a wagon and won’t mind being tucked in among the brocolli on your way home. You could also consider an organic grocery delivery service in your area which will save you time and money.
3. Look for a car sharing program in your city. Pay a low monthly fee from $10-$30, make your booking, and you will have a car available for those times you really need it with none of the other costs (including gas).
4. Consider taking the train for longer trips. If Grandma’s desperate to see the kids, taking the train is a stress free, and green way to travel over long distances. Your kids will love the sense of adventure and the freedom to move about the compartment, and you’ll love watching the scenery and not having to keep your eyes on the road.
5. Consider if you want to commute and get in shape at the same time. If so, cycle! There are many bike gear options out there for families who use cycling as their main transportation mode. If your kids are older, they can ride their own bikes, 5-8 year olds can help you power your bike through a trail-a-bike attachment, and younger kids can enjoy the passing scenery in the back of a bike trailer (helmets for all, please!).
One thing’s for sure, going green without a car will certainly help you live life more creatively – you never know where car-free living will take you.