I recently read a blog post by a friend over at EcoBuffalo. They were checking in with their reading audience (of which I’m a part!) about their 3 months of living car-free. I am so genuinely happy for them that they’re able to live life without the added cost of owning and using a vehicle, without contributing to the fossil fuel crisis, and while truly experiencing their surroundings by walking, biking, and utilizing public transportation. It’s frickin’ awesome!
I haven’t made it a secret that I’m not very pleased with the purchase of my current vehicle, a 2009 Kia Sportage. There are a number of reasons for this, from gas usage (and cost) to the price of owning a new car (which lost value immediately upon buying the thing) to the fact that the thing has a pretty big eco-footprint. *sigh*
But, at the same time, there’s a reason I bought it. I had just gone through two hellish winters working at an uber-rural school, losing control of my old lil’ Sentra at LEAST once a week, and several times ending up in ditches. I wanted 4-wheel drive. I’d done a lot of research, and my sister and mother both own Kias — which they love. Also, admittedly, I wasn’t in a very green state of mind at the time of purchase. So, call it a regret, but it is what it is.
Reading Dana and Jon’s new-found joys of life without a car, it makes me think about whether it’s something that we could do. Unfortunately, I jump to the quick conclusion that it just isn’t feasible with our current living situation and jobs. *double sigh*
We’ve got 2 cars, the Kia and Dave’s Saturn Ion. It’d be pretty much impossible for Dave to carpool into work; there really isn’t anyone with a similar schedule close enough to where we live (most of ’em are in the Utica area, or boonies). My little issue with carpooling is the general fact that I don’t stay late at work, so I’d probably be waiting around for folks to be ready to pile in. I probably could figure something out, but it’d also mean that I’d still have my car — one week would be mine, another week Mr. X, another week Miss X. *shrugs* Wouldn’t solve the problem of being able to get rid of one of our cars, really.
Some day, when circumstances are a little different (ie one of us working from home — won’t give any further indication of whom or how, just that it’s in the works ;-D), I think that we will be able to live off of one car.
That being said, I’ve got a couple of “dream car” ideas that I’ll just indulge myself in. Obviously, we’re going to drive these cars into the ground as best we can — but, if I’m able to eventually trade mine in, I’d rather not take it quite THAT far. I’d love to have a hybrid vehicle, but given that technology will undoubtedly be different by the time that I’ll be shopping, I’ll be doing more research before making such a decision. Otherwise, I’ve always wanted a VW SportWagen or Jetta, or perhaps a Subaru wagon. I like being able to fit antiques, tons of gardening dirt, or simply pack for a family vacation, so a wagon seems sensible. I highly doubt that I’ll own another SUV, though. Sportage is supposed to be a smaller SUV, but when I got it home it was about the same size as my mother’s Sorrento — man, was I disappointed.
So, what about you? Would you be able to quit YOUR car? I wish I was in a situation that a car would be less needed, but, unfortunately, there are simply too many excuses to keep mine.