The decision to move to a no-car commute is one that can have many benefits. Research from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicates that nearly 30 percent of carbon emissions come from vehicles, primarily cars. The American Automobile Association (AAA) says that owning a car can cost an average of $8,500 each year.
You know you want to make the decision, but how? Here are five ways to create a no-car commute!
1. Start by scaling back
Before you take the plunge into a no-car lifestyle, try it out by using other methods of transportation in addition to your vehicle. You can figure out your best option and once you’re ready, ditch the car completely.
2. Try sharing rides
While you aren’t necessarily free of your vehicle, you are cutting back on expenses and carbon emissions. Even chipping in for gas can be less expensive than traveling on your own every day.
3. Ride your bike
This is one of the most popular options, but it might not be as easy as just jumping on your bike and switching your commute style. The first step is to determine the best route. Sites like Google Maps can help you determine the most effective roads for a bike, but the timing might be off. Test it before you try it to make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to get to work.
Safety is another consideration when it comes to riding your bike to work. Using Google Maps suggestions and your own knowledge, try to select the route with bike lanes. Make sure to wear a helmet, have lights and reflectors on your bike, and wear bright colors, especially if your morning and/or evening commute occurs in the dark.
4. Take a walk
Even though this is the slowest option, it can be the most rewarding. One study found it’s less stressful than other methods of commuting, even in the colder months. To make your walk effective, make sure you have good shoes for the various elements.
5. Navigate public transportation
If you want to get rid of your car without braving the outdoors, you can try public transportation. It will take some planning and testing to see how long the commute will take, but it can be a good time to read, prepare for or decompress from work, or listen to your favorite podcast.
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