Cars can be a useful way to get around; sometimes there’s just no substitute for them. But your horizons don’t have to be defined by whether you have a car. You have a great many ways to get where you’re going without having to drive yourself, by yourself.
Rediscover the joy of riding a bike to the park with your family. Walk to meet a friend at a coffee shop. Take the Rapid downtown to the ball game. Did you know that the average car trip is 2 miles or less? When we get comfortable with biking, walking or taking transit, we combine exercise with transportation while contributing to a cleaner, quieter city environment.
Maybe start by setting a small goal. Like the popular ‘Meatless Mondays’ and ‘Internet Sabbaths’—make up an excuse to run an errand without a car. Leaving it parked one day a week will reduce your work week vehicle miles traveled by 20 percent. Since transportation accounts for 28 percent of our carbon emissions here in Northeast Ohio, that one simple act can have a big impact.
What to consider:
- Driving less—move to a place closer to your destinations (see Home>Location), switch to other modes (see biking, transit, walking), and combine trips.
- What kind of car—choose the car with the highest fuel efficiency you can afford, whether its a hybrid, electric vehicle or standard engine.
- How to drive—drive with your gas mileage in mind. Avoid jackrabbit starts and sudden acceleration. Good driving habits can save you a lot of money.
- How to maintain your car—Getting regular tune ups, of course, keeps your car running at its optimum, but even keeping tires at the right pressure can improve your gas mileage.
With car sharing, you can rent a vehicle for as little as a half-hour. Cars are self-service and parked close to where you live. Here’s the best part: when you carshare, the price includes gas, insurance, and maintenance and you only pay for the time you use.
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