On Valentine’s Day, you express your love by sending flowers, by showing kindness and consideration, and by reflecting on who you love and why.
You do that on Car Free Day, too. Though in this case, the object of your love is your community, and instead of delivering roses, you don’t drive your car, or you share the ride.
OK, maybe that’s a stretch. But not a big one. Air pollution generated by cars is one of the leading causes of poor air quality and a major contributor to asthma, heart disease and climate change.
Driving also wastes a lot of time. According to Clean Air Partners, people lose 70+ hours a year sitting in traffic jams! Not to mention all that time we spend driving to and from work when we could be sharing a ride with friends and family or relaxing at home with those we love instead.
Going car free is just about the best way to show your love for the planet – and for yourself, your family and your neighbors, too. You can drive less, save some money, and make life better for pretty much everyone you love.
When is Car Free Day?
Car Free Day is September 22, and just like Valentine’s Day, it’s celebrated around the world, with more than 40 countries and 1,500 cities all committed to encouraging commuters to try something new and go car free or share the ride.
Clean Air Partners, our air quality organization partner, is encouraging you to drive less and has pulled together a terrific list of ways you can celebrate the day.
Making a change has never been this easy. Their ideas for alternative transportation options across the D.C. region can likely be applied to wherever you live, as well.
How to Celebrate Car Free Day
Take the Pledge – Join hundreds of other residents of the D.C. area in pledging to go car free. Taking the pledge automatically enters you into drawings for lots of great prizes, including gift cars to use at supermarkets, on the subway, at restaurants, and even a one-year gym membership.
Bike to Work – You’ll avoid traffic headaches and parking will be a breeze! Plus, you won’t need to buy gas. Here in the greater metro Washington D.C. area, you can put your bike on the subway, then bike from the metro to your job, or take one of the many bike paths available in northern Virginia, d.C. and Maryland.
Walk – If you walked to your destination two days a week, you personally would help remove 1,600 pounds of pollution in just one year. Plus, it’s good for your health. Burn calories, not gas! Use MapMyWalk to find your route.
Rideshare – Instead of driving your own vehicle, carpool with friends and co-workers. You’ll improve air quality, get to know people in your community better, and still do your part for climate change. If four people share a ride instead of each one driving a car, you’ve reduced your environmental impact by 75 percent! Use Commuter Connections to find a ride.
Take the Bus – Eliminating one car per household and utilizing public transportation can save families $10,000 per year. Use Car Free Day to figure out the nearest bus stop and the route that will get you to your job without much fuss.
Ride a Train – Urban and suburban areas often benefit from commuter trains that offer a great alternative to driving. Is Car Free Day the day you finally buy a train ticket instead of gasoline or a road toll?
Telework – Save time and hassle getting to work by staying home. Plus, work in your pj’s all day if you want to.
Tell the World – Whatever you do, don’t keep it to yourself! Pledge to go Car Free on #CarFreeDay and encourage your community to show some love to their community. Use your social media and the hashtag #CarFreeDay to brag about your good deeds to your friends, family, and colleagues on Twitter and Facebook.