For week 1 of July #2013alive, were ditching the car in favour of eco-friendly commuting options. Are you?
We’re partway through week 1 of July’s 12 Months of Wellness, which means we’re ditching our cars and taking an eco-friendly alternative for at least one errand we’d normally do this week. Here’s what alive staff had to say about leaving their cars at home—and what kinds of obstacles they face.
Isabela Vera, Editorial Intern: After living in the Netherlands for six months last year, I have definitely caught the biking bug—I cycle almost every day, whether it is to work, to the gym, or over to a friend’s. It’s definitely not as convenient to bike in Vancouver though, as the bike lanes are less developed and it can get a little scary! I still find it much better than waiting for public transit, which makes me agitated and cranky, and since I no longer have my own car—it’s the best option I have!
Caitlin Van Den Brink, Editorial Intern: To be honest, I don’t think that I could drive much less than I already do. About four months ago, I moved to a basement suite that is not-so-coincidentally close to a Skytrain station, and promptly cancelled my car insurance.
While it’s still about twice as fast to drive somewhere than it is to transit, I don’t think that I’ll be changing my mind anytime soon; I added up the cost of keeping my car on the road and realized that I save about $400 each month! Plus, I get to spend more time stretching my legs each day, the daily commute is infinitely less stressful—and I get to read Sherlock Holmes while heading to and from work. How many drivers can say that?
Vince Yim, Digital Content Coordinator: I’m already biking to work, but it’s relatively easy since my bike commute is less than half an hour, or 20 minutes if I really push, so I’ll go whenever I can (even when the weather is less than ideal ... you know Vancouver after all). Other destinations where parking is especially problematic (like Downtown Vancouver) also motivate me to take transit, but that’s mostly for leisure time (i.e.: on weekends). However, for a lot of other things I do drive, simply because it’s not always practical to take transit when I have scheduled appointments or a lot of stuff to move (ie: several weeks of groceries). If bus service was more consistent and reliable, it would definitely be used more often.
Amanda Pentland, Graphic Designer: I love to walk places and ditch the car. This past weekend I even took the Skytrain, which I must admit is something I don’t do enough. However, while riding the Skytrain, I couldn’t help but be aware of all the germs. As someone with a weakened immune system, I think the transit systems should provide better ventilation—possibly fans or air conditioning similar to flying on a plane. They could also offer hand sanitizers stations near or around the stations to encourage cleanliness and health.
Bronwyn Logan, Marketing Specialist: I walk for all my groceries, as we live in a great walking community area. This also includes most of our errands and other appointments as our favourite pizza place is just a few blocks away, and I just can’t justify starting up the car for a few blocks—not worth it.
It would definitely help us to have a more consistent transit system and encourage our family to use it more; currently there are limited bus options and no Skytrain near us, but I do hope that this will change. As well, the zones for the buses don’t seem to work in our favour, as for me to get from Langley to Richmond is three zones since we pass through Vancouver.
I will be making a more conscious decision to walk for more errands and trips this week. We actually walked down to the fireworks at White Rock beach two nights ago to enjoy the festivities.
What errands have you been doing on foot or by bike or bus? Drop us a line via blog or Facebook comment, or by using the Twitter hashtag #2013alive!