This month’s Golden Transfer goes to my good friend Char (yes, the same Char who hipped me to the life-size pictures at Greenfest and to the height-adjustable heels) and her husband John, an Eastside couple committed to reducing their car use.
In 2006, Char and John moved from two vehicles to one. They didn’t need cars to commute, and they usually spent their weekends together, so it made sense to share. Even when the car was available, Char would ride the bus “just because”–to head downtown or even to visit friends. (She’s visited me on the bus more than once.)
Earlier this month, Char and John decided to take their car-lite lifestyle to the next level. They turned in the vehicle they were leasing and committed to living without a car for eight weeks. At the end of the trial period, they will decide whether to remain car-free indefinitely or purchase a used car with cash. (Guess which outcome I’m hoping for?)
Car-free life on the Eastside has its challenges (to make errands easier, they’re considering using a grocery delivery service and buying a bike), but, like car-free life anywhere, it also has many benefits. Char gives these reasons for dumping her two tons of extra baggage:
For me it’s a combination of motivators:
1. Minimize my carbon footprint
2. Decrease demand for fossil fuels
3. Save more money and simplify my lifestyle
4. Increase my overall physical fitness level
5. Enjoy the social benefits of riding public transportation
I couldn’t have said it better.
Thank you, Char and John, for your efforts. Even if you decide to return to car ownership, you will do so with a clearer understanding of your choice, and (I hope) a few lasting behavior changes. In the meantime, I’ll see you on the bus!