I’ve lived in Los Angeles and New York, and everywhere in between. I’ve driven a car all of my adult life. But until I moved to Manhattan, and started really thinking about what I could do to help decrease my carbon footprint, I never considered not having a car to drive. My husband and I still own a car, although its in storage, because if you’ve ever been to Los Angeles, you’ll know that its almost impossible to get around without one (LA doesn’t have a metro system that’s as good as New York City, and probably never will). I don’t think we’ll ever get to a place where we don’t own a car, but we can always consider other means to travel short distances. I will say, with all the walking we’re doing in NYC, we’re definitely getting a good workout without even going to the gym!
We plan to return to Los Angeles around the end of the year, and our car will be waiting for us. But now, I’m actually excited to start thinking about other forms of transportation. Lets face it, Americans are not at the top of the list when it comes to health consciousness. There are, for example, plenty of other countries that can boast they have the most bicycle riders per capita. We don’t even rate in the top 10. The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany are the top 3. (Top10Hell.com) Clearly, these countries know what they’re doing, and I think Americans can learn a lot from them.
Did you know, that in the United States, 50% of all trips made in a vehicle, are 3 miles or less? (Bikes-vs-Cars.com) Thats pathetic. We can do better than that! Do we want to be known as the laziest country in the world? NO!!! But its not all doom and gloom. According to a 2016 survey by Forbes, Philadelphia is the most bicycle friendly city in the United States with a population of 500,000 or more. It just so happens that my husband and I were there recently, and I can attest to the fact that there were a LOT of bicycles! The point here being that the United States is starting to follow some of the more pro-active countries when it comes to tackling well being, and in turn, global warming. If you’re not a bicycle fan, why not consider walking, roller blading, or skate boarding? Even getting a scooter would make a smaller carbon footprint than a car (although it wouldn’t help much with exercise). And don’t forget public transportation! All of these things would make a difference in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions going into the air, and improve our personal health.
I think we can all agree that we’ve gotten a little lazy in today’s world. Everything is so convenient these days. You can get almost everything delivered. And more and more places are offering drive through windows, so you don’t even have to get out of your car. Most of us only think of walking when we decide to go to a park or a hike in the hills. Why not consider walking as a way to get from point A to point B?
I realize that not all of us can walk to work, or walk to the store, and thats OK. If you live too far away from these places, you kind of get a free pass. But I ask that if there does come a time, when you have the option to leave the car behind, consider it! You never know if the path less traveled could maybe open up a whole new world!
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