Branson’s rolling hills don’t lend much to bicycles or walking. The Missouri Bike Federation has also tried to promote World Car Free Day much like the residents of Washington D.C. and a columnist from the Washington Post. I am too out of shape to try to make it all the way to work from home on Sept. 22, but my family will take a bike ride along some of our favorite nature trails in the area. We’ll also take our dogs for longer walks and have some discussions about what it means to use less gasoline.
Ways to Be Car Free
Not only will I be writing about Car Free Day, but my family will be spending much of our day at home. The only time I’ll be using the car is to go to work and take the kids to and from school. There will be no errand-running or eating out today.
There are several ways that my wife and I will talk to our children about being car-free. If we lived in a larger city, we would discuss taking public transportation to and from work and to get groceries. Exercising would include walking and riding a bicycle to run some errands that are nearby.
If we lived in a moderate-sized city such as Springfield, we would have other strategies for using less gasoline. One way to do that is to live close to where we work so we drive less. We might also choose a dwelling that is near a supermarket for our food needs as well.
We are also going to talk to our children about an agrarian society. If we chose to live in the countryside with many acres of land, there would be many different ways to save gas and use a car less. Growing our own food and having livestock such as chickens would reduce our dependence upon having to go to the store. We could also harvest the lumber on our land so we would have fuel for heat or building materials for a house.
Today’s Car Free Day is more about educating our kids on practical ways to think ahead and not use a vehicle with an internal combustion engine. My son, in good tech-savvy fashion, asked, “Why can’t we just use an electric vehicle?” Luckily my wife and I said that only if we plug it in using renewable energy resources such as wind or solar.
The Washington Post and the World Car Free Day website provided information for this article.