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Could you go a whole day without using your car? Could you break away from the norm and just use public transit, walk, carpool, telecommute, or maybe ride your ZiZZO? I know we all love having that freedom of driving and getting to where we want when we want while being in our own contained little world. But can we give it a try? I think with a little bit of preparation we can do this.
September 22nd is World Car-Free Day. The purpose of it is to promote mass transit, cycling and walking, and the development of communities where jobs are closer to home and where shopping is within walking distance.
According to studies at www.energy.gov half of car trips are within 3 miles. Maybe it’s not always possible to ride our ZiZZOs but can you imagine if we all did our part every chance we saw to not use our own cars.
According to the EPA www.epa.gov If we didn’t use our cars for trips of 1 mile or less, we would save $575 million in fuel costs and about 2 million metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. That’s like taking about 400,000 cars off the road each year.
1. Start the day off with a ride on your ZiZZO to school with the kids instead of dropping them off. Depending on their age they may think it’s really cool! Ages 13 and up might be a different story. Those are lots of big facts and figures but it really takes as many people to be on board as much as possible. If we can all do something little it adds up in a big way. So let us help you come up with some alternative plans to keep the car parked and use your ZiZZO instead on September 22nd.
2. Mass transit counts. Ride to the bus stop or train and then fold up your ZiZZO and head to work or wherever you need to go. Carpooling counts too. The idea of car free day is to at minimum not be alone in your care when you can use other shared transportation if walking or cycling is not an option.
3. Need a few groceries but don’t feel good about leaving your ZiZZO outside? Grab a cart, fold up your ZiZZO and put it in. Hopefully that doesn’t make you feel too weird because you will get a few looks but who knows maybe it will spark up a conversation and you can share your ZiZZO story.
4. Can you telecommute? Are you in need of that morning caffeine? Head out on your ZiZZO and strap a padded bag with your laptop to the rear rack and hit that favorite coffee shop that has free Wi-Fi. You're always within a few feet of a refill while working.
5. Check if your city has any special events planned and take advantage of them. Some cities like London close down certain streets and have vendors with a wide variety of booths with everything from food to artisanal crafts.
6. Take a vacation day or “cough cough” call in sick. We deserve a day once in a while for ourselves to do whatever it is while everyone else is at work on a weekday. Plan a bike ride on your ZiZZO Liberte and go someplace you have been wanting to check out. Since “Car Free Day” is on a Friday maybe just extend a few more days and see how that is. Can you go for 3 days?
7. Take me out to the ballgame! Do you like “Americas Favorite Pastime”? Some stadiums have bicycle valets. Check with your local club and see if you can ride up to the stadium, get checked in, and grab some peanuts and a hot dog and “root root root for the home team!”
8. Fall means pumpkin patches and apple orchards for many. Attach a folding basket on your ZiZZO and go get some baked goodies, apple cider, and pumpkins with friends and family.
I’m sure you can come up with even more ways to recognize #carfreeday and we sure hope that you try. Less cars and more rides on our ZiZZO’s benefit our health and environment in so many ways.