Thursday, June 29, 2006

Your Own Private Car Free Day

The car. Yeah – back to that….

But before I do…. For those of you out there who think you can eat all the meat in the world because you don’t drive a car or who think that you can drive like maniacs because you don’t eat meat…don’t think that gives you an automatic GHG emission-free card. It doesn’t work that way. If you don’t drive, that’s great. I still encourage you to cut down on your meat and go organic. Quality before quantity.

TO Do This Week

Several months ago I suggested to all you drivers to choose a day a week when you park your vehicle. Consider it your car-free day. Have you tried doing that? It’s difficult isn’t it?

It took several years for Jane to finally commit to selling her car and become a member of AutoShare, Toronto’s pay as you go car service. On paper, AutoShare looks great (and it is) – no more insurance to pay or terrible surprises at the mechanic’s. But boy-oh-boy was it difficult for her to part with her car, even after deciding to do so. It was only after her car broke down and would cost a fortune to repair that she finally let it go.

For some of you, reducing your car use is easy. For many, it feels impossible. It’s so convenient. It’s your independence. What will it take to cut down on driving? What tactic do you respond best to? Guilt or empowerment or a little bit of both? For your convenience and reading pleasure, I’ve broken them down accordingly. Ignore the tactic that works least for you or read both if you like to be whipped and then stroked.

Guilt Tactic
Selfish selfish selfish you. For the sheer convenience of driving your car you are committing several tonnes of GHG to the atmosphere a year.

Your children, nieces and nephews, friends’ children, grandchildren, future grandchildren and all their friends will bear the brunt of a warming planet no thanks to you.

What are you going to say to them when they ask What did you do when you found out about global warming? Oh, well I drove my car seven days a week. Shameful.

Empowering Tactic
You are so amazing doing your bit one step at a time. Good for you! If you drive your car six times a week and reduce it to five, you have just cut down you vehicle’s GHG emissions by 17%. That’s fantastic.

So how are you going to get around on that car-free day? If you take transit you don’t have to stress about traffic. Instead you can listen to your favourite music, read, ace the cross word puzzle or whatever you like to do.

You can ride your bike, plan a carpool or arrange with your employer a work-at-home day.

Think of your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews and their friends who will regard you as someone who learned about global warming and did something about it. They'll think of you as a hero just by riding transit.

This week – choose your car free day. Good luck! Oh – and tell us how you fare by making a comment to this blog.

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In the News

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Anonymous said...

i dont drive a car any more but i very much enjoyed reading ur article on car free days -i hope others will have a twing of conscience and abandon their earth destroying vehicles also

Anonymous said...