Top Ten: Simple Ways to Drive Your Car Less

drive car less san diegoThe massive amount of cars on San Diego County’s roads greatly contributes to water and air pollution. We breathe the chemicals from autos, which irritate our lungs, resulting in asthma, bronchitis, lowered-lung capacity and other respiratory illnesses. Cars also cover our streets with pollution, like copper dust and oil, that rain and runoff carry into our waters. Follow these tips to drive your car less and help reduce runoff and carbon emission pollution in San Diego. 

  • Get on your bike. We are lucky to live in San Diego – a bike-friendly city with paths, routes and lanes solely for biking. Take advantage of these. Instead of always relying on your car, try to make the shorter trips by bike. You will get exercise and won’t have to lose your parking space.
  • Don’t sweat the sweat. It’s ok to sweat. Really, it’s ok- it’s actually good for you. Make a small bag of personal hygiene items to freshen up when you get to your destination.
  • Shop local. Have you explored all the shops within walking or biking distance of your home? Give up the big shopping center and try nearby local businesses and farmers market.
  • Public transit. You can get almost anywhere in San Diego with the extensive public transportation systems. Our Metropolitan Transit System covers a total of 3,240 square miles of San Diego County and serves approximately three million residents. There are also our Greyhound Lines, the North County Coaster and the Big Bay Shuttle to get you to any location, from any location.
  • Carpool. Going somewhere with all your friends? There’s a lane for that. Save yourself the cost of gas and hitch a ride with people going the same direction as you.
  • Have a block party. Want to go out, but don’t feel like driving? Good news is you’ve likely got friends all around you, and you don’t have to go far. And if you don’t know your neighbors, now is your chance. Organize a block potluck, or simply sit outside with your dog or someone you know for a fun night at home.
  • Plan ahead. Instead of jumping in your car and running errands across town, take a minute to think about where you are going to get what you need. Maybe you can find all the things you need in one shopping center, or perhaps you can run one errand next week when you are in that part of town. Plan your errands to combine trips and save time and gas.
  • Daily car rentals. If you don’t drive your car much but need it on occasion, consider a carshare. You use it when you need it and stick to biking and public transit the rest of the time. 
  • Set goals. For most of us, cutting driving cold-turkey wouldn’t work for very long. Make short-term and long-term goals and take it one day at a time. Try just one day a week when you find an alternative to driving.
  • Enjoy it. Getting out of the car and biking, walking or riding the bus is a nice change from the stress of everyday driving. Driving is easy but there are other ways to commute that are healthier for you and the environment. Give them a try- you may be surprised how much you don’t miss your car after all.