Today has been a long and amazing day to say the least! I enjoyed seeing so many people on bikes this morning at the Rosslyn pit stop. I hope everyone had great rides this morning and this afternoon. While the 30 day challenge is over – I will continue my effort to live as car-lite as possible. As I’ve said previously I’m very thankful for all who cheered us on over the last 30 days and just honored to have been selected to be a part of the challenge.
I’d like to leave you with a little bit of data I’ve collected over the last month.
I’ve spent $114.43 in money from my SmarTrip card and my bike. (The bike estimate comes from the Car-Free Diet Calculator). The same commutes if taken by car would have been $315.40. That’s a savings of $200! Okay that assumes I did not actually have a car – however I did – it just didn’t get driven (by me). So even if we consider only how much I spent on gas over the same period last year ($130) I still spent less! Gas was also about $2.22/gallon at that time. If you find gas for that price right now – will you let me know?? My gasoline log has been lonely. Actually nevermind. I don’t need it anymore. I found new data for a new log!
Here’s a link actually to see the spreadsheet I used to fill out my commute information – costs and time included.
Aside from the fatter wallet – I’ve also shaved off 7lbs while on the car-free diet. I only went to the gym once during the last 30 days and I didn’t change any food habits. So it’s clear that all that walking and biking has started to pay off. When I first started my bike time was easily 1h 10 mins to get to work. By the end of the challenge it was only an hour!
I think another important thing to consider is that even if commuting without a car takes you longer – you have to consider the quality of the time. If you’re on a bus or a metro train – you’re not driving. You are free to read, listen to your headphones, play games, text, update social networks, watch a video or have a conversation with a complete stranger! If you’re on your bike - well then you don’t have to goto the gym that day – unless you want to!
Finally – in the spirit of Earth Day, which was the day we kicked off this challenge, I have left a much smaller CO2 footprint behind. By car it would have been 501 lbs of CO2. I put out 88% less CO2 by taking the car-free diet.
So I’m no longer a car-free skeptic. I now know it’s possible (and much more so than I thought when I started) to get around just by taking a few steps to think and plan ahead. We have two vehicles currently. A 16 year old Civic and a 6 year old Escape. I feel very confident we can sell our Civic and just be a one-car family. Sure, I’ll use the car at times – but only when it makes most sense (i.e. visiting family, taking Chloe to places we can’t get to without walking). And if I’m using a car or if I’m using another means to get around – I’ll continue to try and combine trips to maximize the time!
I’ve created a calendar to share with you all that shows my commutes over the last 30 days: