It happened quite suddenly. We knew it was going to happen eventually. We had talked about it and did what we could to prolong things. But this week it happened. Our old car died. We had put $600 in it last week (unfortunately). We thought new brakes might buy us a little more time. Then it started overheating this week and then it wouldn’t start. The mechanic gave us a lengthy list of things to replace with an estimate of close to $2000. The decision was clear. We are now a one car couple.
For most of our married life we have had one car. We lived in Toronto initially and transit was good. When we moved to St. Catharines and eventually Regina we could walk to work and/or one of us was in school or at home with the kids so one car was a viable option. A couple of years ago, with both of us commuting across the GTA we bought a second car. That was before I really started getting more interested in environmental issues. This Spring when we moved to Hamilton, I started biking and or walking more often. I became friends with a family with two children who have taken their car off the road. They bike everywhere. I’ve dubbed them my ‘city biking mentors’.
Today for the first time in several years, I am home without a car. I have a meeting tonight. I’ll have to find a ride or take transit. We will get better at planning our schedules so we both don’t have meetings or work onsite the same days. Oddly, I am actually happy to try this one car experiment. I want to simplify my life and reduce my carbon footprint. For me, the car is linked with overconsumption. How often I use it to go shopping! It will be a challenge not to jump in the car and go to the store. I’ll have to walk to the grocery store today. I do it often anyway but I won’t buy as much as I do when I have the car. I will have to plan things a little better when it comes to doing errands.
It feels liberating to have to rely on my two feet to get around. It feels like a step in the right direction.