Any day can be Car Free Day

The impact on air quality from a single day without driving, such as on the annual World Car Free Day, can be significant.

Even a small reduction in driving can make a difference in vehicle emissions. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, which is almost 28 pounds of CO2 a day. Think about the positive impact of more car free days.

In addition to reducing this greenhouse gas, parking your vehicle for a day means one less vehicle on the road in addition to other benefits.

Get moving

Using active transportation, such as bicycling or walking, or choosing transit instead of driving also can lead to stress reduction and improved physical health. According to Mayo Clinic, “virtually any form of exercise…can act as a stress reliever” with its direct stress-busting benefits.

  • It pumps up your endorphins.
  • It reduces negative effects of stress.
  • It’s meditation in motion.

You may consider using a skateboard or electric scooter on your commute. Or dust off those roller blades or roller skates and give them a try again. Commutes and hobbies can make a great pairing.

Team up for better air

If you don’t choose self-powered transportation, using transit or participating in a carpool/vanpool are congestion-reducing options where you can focus on other things rather than driving. Read a book, play on your cellphone, or just get lost in your thoughts. All of these can lead to a better frame of mind when you begin the workday or return home at day’s end.

Even for personal errands, a quick trip to the corner store can be faster on foot or bike than by car. According to smartphone data from riders and drivers for courier service Deliveroo, bicycles can get you there faster than cars in urban settings.

If your employer embraces ongoing telework options, try adding a few days of working from home to the monthly schedule and turn them into car-free days. Save your errands for the days you head to the office.

Other benefits of using your car less often include:

  • Reduced wear and tear on your vehicle
  • Increased savings on fuel/lower maintenance costs

By carving out a few days a month to go without driving, or eliminating a few car trips here and there, you can make a difference in your own health and our community’s air quality.

Learn more about alternative modes of transportation: