How Do You Live Carless? There’s Only One Way to Find Out

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At the end of last year, due to unforeseen circumstances, we lost our car. It was one of those cases when you hire a Birminham car wreck attorney that you can trust. There’s no quicker way to figure out how to live without convenient transportation than to find yourself suddenly without it. We did not welcome the change willingly.

At the time, we were living in Clarksville, TN, a small military town about an hour away from Nashville. Public transportation there existed and was fairly reliable, but it started late in the morning and ended early in the evening. The buses also came only every hour or half hour, depending on the route. This severely limited our ability to get around, especially since my husband was in school at night and got out of class after the bus had already stopped running. Thankfully, I was working from home and my daughter’s preschool was within walking distance. Of course, walking anywhere with a 3-year-old in the dead of winter, whether it be for the purpose of camping or just an occasional saunter, is a challenge, but those daily walks are largely responsible for the 40+ pounds I’ve lost over the past several months.

I won’t lie to you — the first few weeks without a car were really difficult. We didn’t even have bikes, so we were truly unprepared to handle the situation. Tasks like grocery shopping had to be well coordinated so we didn’t wind up waiting an hour for the bus after we’d finished shopping or walking back to the house from the bus stop (about a half-mile walk) with too many heavy bags. And though snow days were just a minor nuisance when we had a car, they were a real problem when we had to walk. Personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles will successfully tackle your case if you find yourself without a vehicle after an accident.

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It took some time, but we eventually got used to our new car-free lifestyle and started embracing the change instead of resenting it. Sure, there were still times when we wished we could hop in our car and just go wherever, but taking the bus wasn’t so bad, and the walks were refreshing. I learned to put my daughter in a stroller instead of making her walk alongside me on our way to and from preschool, and a neighbor often gave us a ride, particularly on rainy days or when the temperature really dipped. I owe her a lot of gratitude, because she really was a blessing to us, and she’s one of the few friends I made during the 5 months or so we spend in Tennessee. We got into a routine and started enjoying the fact that we no longer had to worry about gas prices, car insurance or maintenance. But as much as car insurance sarnia is denigrated, it also sometimes would be the only thing you willl have to resort to, when you’re at your wits’ end. All it took was a shift in perspective. We also realized that we had probably cut our household carbon emissions by more than half simply by living without a car. But one cannot simply go on without a car, as it that is one invention which mankind has been bestowed upon, & which, mankind is grateful for. If one were to click here, it’d prove to be a testimony of how far we’ve come with an invention that was nothing more than a wheel.

But a carless lifestyle isn’t practical everywhere. Whether you’ll be able to do it depends greatly upon where you live and the size (and ages) of your family.

Now that we’re back in Georgia, we still don’t have a car of our own, but we do share a car with family members. This is essential for getting my husband to and from work and my daughter to and from preschool. We live outside the range of public transportation, and the nearest grocery store is about 12 miles away. Nothing is in walking distance, except my niece’s middle school and a bunch of cows and horses on the ranches that surround us. If we lived in Atlanta, or even near downtown Athens, Clarke County, we could easily swing it. We’d be close to shopping, restaurants, public transportation, schools and, if needed, rental cars or car-share programs.

But here in Athens, Jackson County (the city spans 2 counties), life demands transportation. For my husband, that means riding a bike when he needs to go to the corner store. With a 4-year-old in tow and a major road standing between us and any of the places we’d need to go, biking wouldn’t work for most circumstances. While car-free living was possible in Clarksville, I don’t see how it could work here. We will have to get a car. Whether you need a simple tow, are locked out of your car, stuck in a ditch, in a crash, or anything in between CANADIAN TOWING OTTAWA: $80 DEAL FOR TOW TRUCK IN OTTAWA may be a good solution.

That said, I’ve been doing a lot of research about sustainability, emissions, fuel efficiency, etc., and I’ll present my some of the greenest cars I’ve found and some of my other findings here in the Transportation & Travel category. (Anyone heard of the Chevy Volt? 🙂 )

So what about you? Are any of you living without a car? If so, where do you live (major city, pedestrian- or bike-friendly town, etc.)? Are you single or do you have a family? How do you make it work for you? I’d love to hear everyone’s stories!

By jennae

Hi! I'm Jennae Petersen and I'm the eco diva who had the bright idea to share my journey toward green living with the blogosphere. Some of you may know me as the founder of Green Your Decor, my blog about eco-friendly home decor, as a Walmart Mom, from Twitter or from my organic cotton t-shirt line Differently Clothing. Stick around for a while!

3 comments

  1. We are currently living with ONE car (not carless yet) and that’s even a challenge at times. Even though we live in Berkeley, we’re in the hills and the bus only run 1/2 hour to ever hour and they have proved very unreliable. When I was working, driving took 15 minutes, but taking the bus, BART (our subway) and a shuttle afterwords took over an house each way. I have been stranded by the bus not showing up more than once.

    Though I don’t think he wants to give up the car (part of his hobby), our goal is to move to a more walkable neighborhood so that we wont need it ALL THE TIME. Because of the MS, I’m not able to ride a bike and I’ve fallen way too many times on the bus to want to rely on it all the time.

    I’d love to know what others are doing as well!
    .-= Carla | Green and Chic´s last blog ..Link Love – Cleaning Day =-.

  2. @Carla It’s unfortunate that public transportation is so unreliable in so many places. Thankfully, it was fairly reliable in Clarksville. I can only remember a couple of times when the bus was very late. But the knowledge that the bus is unreliable makes it that much harder to wrap your mind around living without a car. Living in a walkable neighborhood is a huge part of living sustainably, and that’s our goal for when we eventually move into our own home.
    .-= Jennae´s last blog ..Literally Re-Cycled: Spoke Mirror from CB2 =-.

  3. Your story is really inspiring. We currently have two cars though they are older and long since paid for thankfully. My husband works in another city about 30 minutes drive and we plan to replace it with a hybrid car when his current car costs more to repair than its worth. Must start saving!! We do live in a walkable neighborhood and mostly my car sits in the driveway – the stumbling block is that my kids attend a school that’s not walkable (our choice). It will be a few years before my kids switch to the neighborhood school. You’ve inspired me to think about what we’d do if we had to make one car and the school commute work for our family. Sometimes things happen and it forces a person to think outside the box and it’s not a bad thing!
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Hike =-.

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