Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Car Lite Successes

Our gasoline consumption is now down to 20% of the American average (or a little less).

We've been really successful lately, using our bikes to get around town and turning down some of the opportunities that have come our way that require a lot of driving.

It is now completely possible for us to bike any errand in Our Town.  I can't quite get to the botanical park by bicycle; well, I can, but that is exercise enough and once there I would have no desire to walk the trails.  We simply haven't been going that often.

I've bike to home play dates and our weekly park day, and I am committed to continuing as long as we can.  When home play dates are too far for biking we are carpooling.  I drive on those days, so haven't yet determined how to figure the mileage.  I don't think that it is worth giving up play dates that aren't within biking distance, because other group members still have to drive, and we are a community and I think that sharing the miles is the right thing to do.

We've said no to family gatherings, even when they sounded fun.  We have to choose the most important ones and let the others slide.  We aren't visiting the grandparents quite as often. Luckily, my father-in-law was able to take the train to come visit us.  On his end he was able to bike to and from the station; we however had to drive 24 miles round trip to pick him up and return him to the station.  He felt badly about that and intends to investigate taking the bus from the station to Our Town.

We're combining errands that we use the car for, attempting to eek every bit we can from the miles we do drive.  Procrastination is a big key as well; we can't have the attitude that we can pop over for whatever we want or need whenever we want or need it.  We save errands for the weekend.  Whether driving or biking, we try to think of everything we can do in that area.

Even last minute trips can have usefulness squeezed out of them.  A friend asked us to pop over last weekend to help move a piano.  The need was immediate, so biking wasn't an option.  We drove, but we made sure to stop at the Mexican market for tortillas on our way home.

And yes, we've listed the trailer for sale!

We've talked about going car-free.  I know it takes small steps, so we'll start with a car free week pretty soon.  Having this as a possible goal helps whenever we are making the decision to use the car.

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