* Michelle Thoughts

Low Car Diet

I am not one to accept a challenge if I’m not sure I can accomplish it.  Not too long ago, I received an e-mail from Zipcar, issuing a challenge to go car-free for a month.  I threw my name in the bucket and soon enough, I had been selected as one of 30 Portlanders to participate!  We can walk, bike, bus, carpool, or zipcar but no going solo in the cruiser.  Our car keys are locked up for the month, so to speak.

If you know where I work and where I lived all last year, you’d know that it took me a mere 8 minutes to wander over to the office by foot.  Driving to work would have actually increased my commute time, having to first get the car from the parking garage and then maneuver around construction while stopping periodically for pedestrians.  So I always walked.  I got some exercise, saved money on gas, avoided stressful traffic, and kept my carbon footprint to a minimum.  I could even eat lunch every day from the comfort of my own kitchen.  It was unbeatable.  I knew I was spoiled, and the dream commute couldn’t last forever.

Eventually it was time to move out (due to Jedd’s job transition).  We were blessed to have two different couples open their homes to us over the summer while we figured out what’s next on the horizon. Though still fairly close, our new locale(s) were no longer that convenient 8-minute walk away from my office.  I wanted to keep my commute car-free.  And Zipcar served me the incentive on a silver platter!

I’m sure the experience will have its challenges as well as its rewards.  I’ll be posting weekly about my unconventional “diet,” so I invite you to follow along as I go!

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