Car-Free Day is Sunday, September 22. It is estimated over one billion cars are traveling the world’s roads today. We know cars aren’t the best thing for our environment. To put things in perspective, cars release approximately 333 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually, which is 20 percent of the world’s total.
Emissions of air pollution and greenhouse gases are the driving cause of global warming. All these fuel emissions leave a huge carbon footprint on our very own planet. Impacting us even more directly, it is estimated 30,000 people may be killed by car emission annually in the United States alone.
If these numbers don’t concern you, they definitely should! On Car-Free Day, we can make a big difference. Keep reading for six different ways you can participate in Car-Free Day 2019 to reduce your carbon footprint and hopefully inspire life-long change.
Walk it Out
The simplest way to ditch your car for the day is to walk places! Run errands as you’re running or walk to your favorite lunch spot. This allows your mind to catch a break while you catch some exercise!
(Working From) Home is Where Your Wifi Connects Automatically
Reduce your carbon dioxide emissions on the Car-Free Day holiday by putting in a “Work From Home” request. Don’t forget to mention you’ll be more productive knowing you’re helping to save the planet!
Great Minds Ride a Bike
Biking to and fro wherever you need to go on Car-Free Day is a healthy, fun, environmentally clean and friendly way to participate. If you don’t have a bike, you can check Bike Share to find available bikes to use near you at a reasonable price. If there aren’t any bikes close to you, you can check local bike shops for a one-day rental. Not to mention, you always have free parking as long as you have a bike lock!
Buses, Subways, and Trains Oh My!
Many cities have bus, subway or train systems for commuters. Download your area’s public transit app to find the best route that is available for you. Take advantage of these programs for the day and get to know those in your community, or just people watch!
Cut the Fuel: Carpool
You can go “car-lite” by carpooling with some coworkers who live near you. You may even learn more about those who sit beside you every day on the commute. No one in the office lives close enough to you? No problem! Visit Commuter Connections to find ride-sharing opportunities. The CarpoolNow app also provides easy connections for your carpooling needs.
Life’s a Hoot When Riding a Scoot!
As cities across the globe continue to grow, so does the need for greater mobility. Scooter sharing is a great way to reduce car usage, traffic, and congestion while letting your inner child come out to play. Whether you use a kick scooter or an electric one, they’ll get you where you need to go.
You Reap What You Sow
Automobiles may contribute to CO2 emissions, but they make our lives easier in many ways, which is why it can be difficult to opt-out. The key to inspiring change is to make alternatives more attractive in the short-term. For example, TerraCycle® offers free lunch tickets for employees who carpool or use public transport. Another incentive that could be beneficial for workplaces to implement is offering bus or train tickets to employees willing to leave their car in the driveway for the day.
Going car-free for the day (and days to come) will be a breeze by implementing one (or more) of these ways! If you enjoy the feeling of the impact you made while participating, you can continue the car-free life. Whether you ride this change once a week, month, or year, little steps like this made by many leads to a large impact.