World Car Free Day
Each year, World Car Free Day is celebrated globally on the 22nd September, and it’s definitely an event that Karshare is here to support. The day aims to reduce the number of cars on streets, which is exactly what we’re all about, as we aim to create a world where we never have more cars than we need.
Benefits of reducing car usage
- Increase active travel
Substituting your car journeys for active travel such as walking and cycling not only benefits the environment, but has a positive impact on your health. Research shows it can improve your mental wellbeing and reduce your risk of chronic illnesses. Not only this, but those who share cars have been found to increase the amount they walk by 13% or cycle by 7%, demonstrating a higher awareness of their daily active travel choices -
“If we’ve got a good rental coming up, it means we have to think of something different – whether that’s jumping on a scooter or cycling. It has made us reconsider how we get around and discover all the other, eco-friendly ways of travelling.” - Ian, Bristol
- Reduce local air pollution
There’s no denying that fewer cars means less air pollution. Air pollution is something that affects everyone, but is particularly dangerous for those with heart and lung disease, children and the elderly. The good thing is that your behaviour can directly reduce your personal contribution to local air pollution. Take Paris for example, as when the city centre had their first car free day, levels of nitrogen dioxide dropped by 40% in parts of the city!
- More space for greener areas and safer streets
Currently, between 30% - 60% of all urban areas are taken up by parking and road space. Imagine if that 30%-60% became greener spaces, such as parks and squares. Not only would this welcome back some lost urban biodiversity, but it would also create more outdoor space for those within heavily urbanized areas who perhaps have no outdoor area of their own. On top of this, reducing the amount of cars can create more space for bike lanes and safer pedestrian infrastructure on streets.
It’s ok if you can’t go car free 100% of the time
We understand that going completely car free may not be feasible for everyone. However, there are still ways to help reduce your car usage on the whole.
- Dedicate a day each week to being car free
Much like how many have reduced their meat intake and opted for meat free days as part of their diet, could you incorporate a day without a car into your week? Jakarta, a city of around 10 million people, celebrates weekly car free days every Sunday!
- Substitute part of your journey with active travel
Have you checked out all possible route options for your commute? Often, there are stages on the journey which can be replaced with active travel. For instance, if you need to drive to catch a train, could you cycle there instead?
- Rent a car when you need
If you don’t own a car or are looking to switch to a car free lifestyle, then joining Karshare as a renter gives you easy access to vehicles closeby. This means you don’t need to sacrifice things such as road trips, weekend getaways, or a big shopping trip simply because you don’t own a car. By renting, you can easily continue to drive a car as and when you need, without owning a car yourself.
- Share your car with others
If going car free isn’t an option for you, but you’re looking to make a difference and help reduce carbon emissions, then why not share your car? This makes going car free easier for others who need to rent a car now and then - Your car can be the reason why someone else chooses to go car free!
Find us on Car Free Day
If you want to have a chat in person with us, we will be present at Leeds City Council’s World Car Free Day event on Cookridge Street. Five Karshare keyless technology installations will be given to Leeds residents who want to share their car, in partnership with Leeds City Council. Leeds City Council “welcome the launch of Karshare in Leeds and are pleased to be leading the way in developing car sharing in West Yorkshire.”
You can also catch us in London at the World Car Free Day summit reception, where we are going along to support and celebrate the potential for cities to be transformed into healthier, happier, and climate secure places for human flourishing.