Car Free Day is September 22, 2017!

At eMERGE, our mission is to transition Guelph to 100% Renewable Energy. Reducing Guelph’s dependance on fossil fuels is the first step in making this a possibility! We are celebrating Car Free Day this year, and making the pledge to leave the car in the garage all day. We hope that you will too!

In order to make this day a little easier, we interviewed two of our followers who live a car-free lifestyle everyday (even through the winter). These interviews will give you an inside look on how to go car-free, year round!

 

Introducing: Jordan

How long have you lived car free?

Two years.

 

What inspired you to ditch your car or remain car-free?

Car ownership is needlessly expensive and aggravating and riding a bike is FUN and EASY.

 

How do you get around? (around town and longer road trips) How do you do this in a Canadian winter?

In town you’ll find me on a bike for 99% of trips. Even in the winter. The cold is not an impediment to riding a bike for short distances, and I could count the number of winter days on one hand where the roads/trails are actually impassable on an appropriate bike. It helps that I live/shop/play all in the downtown area… but it was a conscious choice to “set up my life” that way.

For longer trips or when my own legs can’t get me where I need to go, I take advantage of car-sharing (shout-out to Community CarShare), car rentals, carpooling, city and regional busses, taxis/ridesharing, etc. The money saved from not owning a car easily covers these costs.

 

How has living car free benefited you and others?

-More money in my pocket to spend (which also benefits our local economy)

-One less car on the road (decreased congestion, safer streets, lower emissions)

-Improved health/wellness from biking/walking (my employer also benefits as I rarely take a sick-day and show up fully-awake).

-Guilt-free eating to replace calories burned on the bike

-Riding bikes is addictive and so it’s also turned into a wonderfully rewarding recreational hobby.

 

Introducing: Kevin

How long have you lived car free?

Our family in Brampton has been free of car ownership for about 5 years.

 

What inspired you to ditch your car or remain car-free?

We started moving away from car ownership when my spouse and I sat down to discuss “the cost of going to work”. At the time, we realized that it cost less for me to take GO Transit to work than to pay for parking. We were able to shift priorities around, and sell the 2 cars we owned. It allowed my spouse to stay home with our kids, giving her the time and energy to be a more engaged parent, and us to forgo daycare costs.

 

How do you get around? (around town and longer road trips) How do you do this

in a Canadian winter?

It’s complete re-democratized how we get around. If we need to go somewhere together, we can cycle if it’s nearby, or take a cab or transit if it’s further away. My oldest child is old enough to take transit on her own now, and she knows how to get around Brampton better than her friends.

For a few years, we owned a cargo bike to help us move the kids when they were smaller, and for larger loads. Now, the kids are old enough now to carry small loads on their bikes, so they help with groceries!

 

How has living car free benefited you and others?

Not having a car has brought us closer together. I’m able to have a conversation with my kids while seated on transit or peddling to our destination.

We’ll probably get another cargo bike in a year or so. 🙂

 

eMERGE thanks Jordan and Kevin for their time, responses and for helping us make car-free day a little easier for the Guelph Community!