Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Going carless

Since we'll be going away for a while, and our lease expired yesterday, we have decided to go carless until we leave at the end of November. It seemed like a logical decision from many perspectives, but I should note, it's only an idea we can entertain because we live in a city and can take advantage of buses, cabs, vrtucar for errands, and car rentals for weekend getaways.

Environmentally, I'm happy to contribute less to the carbon crisis, and get more exercise at the same time.
Financially, it's a no-brainer: we're going to save a lot of money on car insurance, lease payments, maintenance, and gas. And because Mark and I commute by bus and bike, the amount we pay to have the car sit in the driveway the majority of the time is rather absurd.

It will take a lot more organization — getting groceries as needed, rather than waiting until we're in dire need of a big trip to the grocery store. I'll also have to make sure my tires aren't flat before I'm already running late for work and can't just jump in the car and go, like last week! I think another challenge will be accepting and/or asking for rides. Many wonderful friends have said we can go on joint grocery trips, etc, but I am fiercely stubbornly independent, and think it might be difficult to take people up on their offers. Also, I'm curious to see how I fare on my own.

We've said we'll get a car next year when we're back, but part of me wonders if we'll unexpectedly prefer not having one, like the situation with our TV. We got rid of cable/satellite over 3 years ago, and thought I'd miss it, but I don't.

All of this logical talk aside, I felt an unexpected amount of sadness saying goodbye to the car yesterday, and a surprising amount of panic without the hunk of carbon-emitting convenience sitting in the driveway.

But! Perks so far: smaller keychain, no more car to wash, and no car blocking my bike exit.

Feels weird though... 

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