My go-to tips for living life without a car and THRIVING because of it! The positive & negatives of choosing this green lifestyle and everything you need to know about making your car-less experience easier.
After a lot of questions from you all about this topic, I thought it would be time to address it. If you don’t know, I do not own a car. Not to say I’ve never owned a car (I’ve had my own since I turned 16), however last year around this time actually, I decided to sell off my car and live car-less for the foreseeable future.
Some people thought I was crazy or that it would only be a temporary thing, but a year later I am still going strong and am honestly HAPPIER without it. Here are just a few good things about no longer being a car owner…
+money saved from gas, upkeep, parking, and monthly insurance costs
+living more “green” and being a more conscious, eco-friendly consumer
+less time wasted looking for parking
+”green commuting” is good for YOU and the environment
+learning to minimize because you can only take with you what you can carry when you leave the house
Some of you asked me to share the downsides as well, but as you can see below, there aren’t many that I can think of…
The (few) minuses…
-winter commuting gets a bit tricky and inconvenient depending on where you live
-you can’t always leave for or get to where you want to go on your own schedule
As you can tell I love the decision I made to sell my car and if any of you out there are considering or are skeptical that it’s possible for you, I want to share a few insights and tips I have that made this lifestyle possible for me.
LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION
In the area of the city where I live almost everything I could need is within walking distance. There are grocery stores, eateries, post offices, physician’s offices, movie theaters, my gym, and so much more. I am super lucky to live in a place that is incredibly walkable. If I was living somewhere further out, like the suburbs or a rural area, I am not sure how feasible it would be for me to not own a car. Not saying that it isn’t doable, but it would definitely be a lot more challenging and more of a challenge.
Get used to long walking commutes
Living car-less requires getting ready to fit in long walking commutes into your day. Typically, I am willing to walk as long as 2 hours in order to get somewhere I need to go. Longer than that, I typically ask a friend/family member for a ride or opt to use a rideshare service (see below). The good part about long walking commutes is that it kills two birds with one stone! You get your workout/exercise in for the day without having to hit the gym. Also, you get to enjoy nice weather (when the conditions are right), work on your tan, and get other things done while commuting. Unlike when driving, I can text, have conference, calls, send emails, and even write while I am headed to my next destination! It certainly keeps me more productive all day.
Rideshare services are KEY
Buffalo was a little late to the game when it comes to having services like UBER and Lyft, but luckily, about a month and a half after I sold my car last year, the city finally approved them in our area. Obviously rideshare services still cost money, but they are SO much cheaper and more convenient than a taxi (or even public transportation sometimes!). I’ll admit I don’t use rideshare services very often, but they definitely help when I need to get somewhere quick, far away, or at an odd time of day! I always use them for getting to and from the airport. I typically use UBER over Lyft as I’ve had better experiences with that service. Feel free to use code ralphp767ue for a free ride with UBER.
Invest in a high quality bike
Another one of my favorite ways to commute is by bike! Biking extends the distance I am able to travel to get places and keeps my rideshare use lower than in bad weather or the winter months. They key is to invest in a high quality bike and to take really good care of it. I get 2-3 tune ups a year on my bike, never leave it out in the rain, and pump up the tires often. A good bike is an investment…yes. But it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than a car in terms of maintenance. Plus, it’s another fun and easy way to sneak movement into your day!
Be ready to adapt and go with the flow
Not having a car means not being able to come and go as you please at the drop of a hat. You have to structure your day differently, etch out more time for longer commutes or delays, and work with other people’s schedules. For example, I now do my grocery shopping on the days my mom does hers. This means I have use of her car if I need it (but I have to admit, most times we just end up walking together anyways!). I also schedule important appointments or meetings for later in the afternoon/evening when I know my family or my friends will be more likely to be able to pick me up or take me places. (Note: I NEVER expect a family member or friend to give me a ride, and I hardly ever even ask for them to do so…I usually end up only using them as an option if they offer or I know our schedules align)
Utilize online retailers for large purchases
Buying a new refrigerator? Replacing that old TV in your apartment? Or just doing an extra-large grocery restock? Opt for an online retailer instead of buying in-store. This is pretty much common sense, but since you don’t have a car, big purchases would be nearly impossible to pick up and transport on your own. I rely a lot on online purchased nowadays for large purchases and even simple things like toiletries. Saves me room in my backpack and bags when I go to the store and also keeps me from having to bother others to help me transport something home!
Well that’s the gist of it friends! Everything you need to know about how I lead a CARfree 😉 lifestyle. If you have any questions or if something wasn’t clear, please feel free to leave a comment below!
Do you own a car?
Have you ever considered living life without a vehicle?
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