Tag Archives: low-car diet

A diet this bus chick can get behind

I’m not big on diets (other than this one, that is), but I am a big fan of Zipcar’s Low-Car Diet, a program where “members from 12 Zipcar cities [come] together to take on the challenge of one month of low-car livin’.”

Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to writing about it while it was actually going on. The official program ended today, so instead of introducing you to the Seattle participants as I intended, I’ll just give you the recap.

This year’s dieters did lose a few extra pounds, but that’s the least of their accomplishments. Here are some of the more noteworthy:

1175 public transit trips
1207 trips on foot
708 trips by bike

All of the particpants recorded their experiences (through blog entries, tweets, photos, and videos). Check out this page to see what they thought of it.

October inspiration

It’s been a slow month (and a half) for blogging. The move, which I intend to write about at some point, (mostly from a “selecting a home for a car-free family” perspective) and which is still in progress (at least, the getting settled part) took a lot out of me. That, plus a couple of consuming projects, extreme technical difficulties, and seemingly endless weekend events had me shifting most of my alt-transpo energies to Twitter.

For the time being, I have returned to writing full sentences, and I’d like to use them to tell you about:

A mad, mad man

The New York Times recently published a piece about Vincent Kartheiser, aka Pete Campbell from Mad Men. Apparently, Mr. Kartheiser, who lives in Los Angeles, has been car-free for three years. Unlike a lot of high-profile non-drivers, Vincent prefers to get around on PT.

“It’s wonderful,” he said. “Instead of driving and being stressed out about traffic, you can work your scene, you can do your exercises or whatever on the bus. Everyone’s got their own deal.”


“I like that my life slows down when I go places,” he said. “I have all these interactions with the human race and I can watch people living their life and not just in their car.”

And the best quote of the article?

“They’ve done a study and they’ve found that people under 30 no longer view cars as status symbols or even positive things,” Mr. Kartheiser said. “They look at them as pollutants.”

Talk about progress!

A diet I can actually get behind

On September 15th, Zipcar kicked off its second annual Low Car Diet. Participants in 12 cities have agreed not to use their cars for one month (through October 15th) in exchange for transit passes, Zipcar driving credit, miscellaneous SWAG, and a chance to think differently about how they get around.

I had the pleasure of meeting the Seattle participants at the kickoff, and I’ve been keeping up with their progress (speaking of Twitter) ever since. So far, I’m impressed by the creativity and enthusiasm they’ve brought to the month-long challenge. Here’s hoping that they follow in the footsteps of 61% of last year’s dieters and decide to make a permanent switch.

Citizen activism in Queens

Streetfilms has a cool new film about the Jackson Heights neighborhood, which has succeeded in reclaiming some of its public space.

It’s just another reminder that individuals, when they channel their energy into action, can make a difference.