How and Why to Go Car-Free (or at least Car-Lite)

Are you ready for National Car-Free Day on Sept 22? Whether you routinely go car-free or are just interested in trying a “car-lite” lifestyle, be sure to treat yourself next Tuesday to a day without driving (and all the headaches that go along with it). Keep reading for how and why we think you’ll love going car-free on the 22nd

Active Transportation

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Some people are fortunate enough to live in communities that offer different transportation methods, from public transportation to biking to walking. Others live in areas that are very car dependent, which can make going car-free seem impossible. We hear ya! That is why we've put together this list of ways to at least go "car-lite" when you can.

But before we get started, do you need to be convinced as to why going car-free or car-lite is so great?

First, think about how much money you could save. The AAA estimates that it costs an average of $700/month to own and use a car when you factor in car payments, insurance, gas, maintenance, taxes, parking, and repairs. That adds up to $8,410 per year – nothing to sneeze at! That’s a nice tidy sum to sock away for a rainy day.

Health Benefits of Biking

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Secondly, active transportation like biking and walking is undoubtedly good for your health. Consider this: according to the League of American Bicyclist's "Women on a Roll" report, bicycling just 20 miles per week reduces women's risk of heart disease by a whopping 50%.

Besides being good for you and your pocketbook, active transportation is also better for the environment. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics says that the transportation sector is responsible for 71% of U.S. petroleum use, while researchers have discovered that more CO2 is emitted by the United States' transportation sector than any other nation's entire economy, except for China,  which is not something to be proud of. One way to combat the damage to the environment is to trade in your car for a bicycle, at least part of the time. 

Bike Lane

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Hopefully we’ve persuaded you that going car-free is something you should try to do, at least on Sept 22. Now here are three tips to going car-free, or at least car-lite:

1. Ease into it

Just because you aim to go car-free doesn't mean you have to quit driving cold turkey. Instead, pick a couple of destinations that are possible to get to without a car, either because they are close by or because they are along a public transportation route. This could be anything from the post office to the convenience mart to the movie theater. Once you have a shortlist of non-car destinations, aim to travel to at least one each week without going by car. Soon you'll have some new transportation habits in place and you can continue to grow your list of places to get to without driving. Before you know it, you'll be living a car-lite lifestyle.

Multi Modal Transportation

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2. Go multi-modal

That fancy phrase simply means that you should try mixing up your transportation options. Sometimes hopping in the car is the best way to go from A to B. But what if you just drove to the nearest train station instead? If you're fortunate enough to have bike share in your city, try taking the bike one way and the bus back. Variety is the spice of life, and you'll probably discover that some trips are best served by a mix of transportation options.

3. Don’t skimp on the right clothing, accessories, and gear

No, you don’t have to get a whole new wardrobe or a pricey new bicycle to adopt a car-free lifestyle. But, if you’ve always gotten around by car, you will find yourself having to think a little bit more about what you’re wear to make sure you’re comfortable. If you wear heels in the office, keep them either at your desk or in your bag, and opt for more comfortable shoes for the walk to work or from the train station. If you choose to bike, we recommend getting a bike bag that helps you carry what you need without wearing a backpack that will get you all sweaty.

Bike Bags and Cool Bike Accessories

Speaking of which, don’t miss Po Campo’s annual Car-Free Day sale! On Sept 22, take 22% off of everything in our online store with code “carfree”. The sale is a great opportunity to get some of the gear that makes biking for transportation that much easier.

Join our mailing list to get a reminder of this sale.

Other blog posts you may like:

Family Biking and Bike Safety for Kids
How to Safely Bike to Work and Arrive Looking Presentable
How to Carry Things on Your Bike


  • Doug

    Good article! The reasons and opportunities to Go Car Lite only continue to increase. I started a small business in 2009 with the website of and many of my customers now use electric bicycles to commute 20 or more miles each way. Electric bikes are catching on slowly in the U.S., but it is a growing segment; albeit, a far far cry from what it is in Asia or Europe. Cost is getting better especially by using an electric bike kit on an existing bicycle that people tend to have collecting dust in the garage. I have also seen people that are moderately disabled or sedentary change their entire life with the use of this up and coming mode of transportation. Going car lite is a great life style!

  • daniella

    Thanks Maria for sharing these tips! I’m going to share this with my family. Some members of my family could benefit from being less sedentary. I think this will help!

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