An interesting article I ran across a few weeks back about a family who decided it was worth it to become carless (it is one thing to be intentionally carless, yet another to have no car because you cannot afford any transportation, much like those stuck in New Orleans during Katrina). Here it is.
About a month ago, my family made the decision to simplify our lives once more by becoming a 1 car family. We had lived with 1 car from December, 2000 through June, 2005 and realized we could once more do this for a while.
In an attempt to have less of an imprint upon the earth and our pocketbook, we sold our beloved 1996 Nissan Maxima. This was a terribly sad moment for our children, who loved this car more than our Honda Element. The Nissan was the first car Kristi and I bought together and we had brought both kids home from the hospital in this car. It had moved from Virginia to Houston to Boston to Tampa.
I only work 3 miles from our house and our preschool is a short distance between my work and home. Kristi still has to commute about 30 minutes each way though.
So, now that we are down to 1 car, can we survive? Can we become carless? At this juncture, in a city with poor public transit, this would be an impossible task. However, as we make decisions based upon the next vehicle (which will be needed by the holidays because of my work schedule), we are using a few criteria.
First of all, what would Jesus drive? Since I think he would drive a 15 passenger van, I have to think of other criteria.
1) It must be inexpensive and cost little in insurance
2) It must leave a small imprint on God's creation (great gas mileage or alternative fuel)
3) It must be reliable
So, I have narrowed it down to 3 vehicles...
A) An older diesel automobile so I can use biodiesel (looking at Mercedes and Volkswagen)
B) A bicycle and a membership to the YMCA (I am worried about the traffic between my house and the office and the lack of respect for bicycles- and we would need the Y membership since I would be stinky when I arrived at work and it is next door)
C) A smaller motorcycle or scooter which I could drive short distances and never on the highway, while using the proper headgear.
My favorite option (though the least likely in the short term) is C. If this were to happen, I would buy a Royal Enfield, preferably with a sidecar. Click on the Enfield above for more info.