September 20, 2011 (Winnipeg)—International Car Free Day will be celebrated in cities around the world on September 22. But can Winnipeggers realistically live without a car? Is it even possible? When Green Action Centre posed this question online, a number of Winnipeg residents said yes, absolutely. Others noted that while they don’t live completely car-free, they are able to live “car-light”.
How do they do it? These mobile Winnipeggers use a variety of approaches such as choosing activities near to home, sharing drop-off and pick-up of children with other families, carpooling with co-workers, and choosing to live in neighbourhoods where it’s possible to walk, bus or bike to shopping, libraries, and other frequent destinations.
Some noted it took a bit of adjusting to become used to sharing rides with others, either in a carpool or riding on the bus. It also means shopping more frequently, so they can carry a lighter load with fewer groceries. This comes with a built-in bonus, as their food is fresher and less ends up being wasted.
Others fill their need for occasional access to a car through the recently launched Peg City Car Co-op (www.pegcitycarcoop.ca). Becoming a member of the car co-op means they can book a vehicle as needed for short trips in the city but save money compared with owning a car. Longer trips out of town are handled by renting a car.
In past years, Car Free Day in Winnipeg was celebrated by closing down Albert Street in the Exchange District. This year, organizers are asking Winnipeggers across the city to participate by choosing car free travel wherever they live.
More information can be found here. Green Action Centre is a non-profit, non-governmental organization focused on greener living – at home, at work, at school, and in the community. We share a greener, better living message through the delivery of community programs, events, education, and policy work.