Every once in a while, an idea comes along that is just too good to ignore. Today, we want to highlight World Car Free Day as one of those ideas. The concept is simple. World Car Free Day is celebrated on September 22 each year, and on that day, people from all walks of life in the world are encouraged to give up the use of cars for the entire day. The action is also in line with “ecomodernism.”
Ecomodernism acknowledges the many benefits that technological and societal change has brought us, even if some of those changes were not wholly positive for the environment. For example, scientific advancements have reduced extreme poverty, lowered starvation rates around the world, and connected humankind via airplanes, railroads, and the internet. Industrialization was needed to accomplish all of these wonderful things. However, with industrialization comes pollution of our natural environment. So, we must strike a balance between care for the environment and care for our species.
This is where events like World Car Free Day come into play. By giving up cars for an entire day at least once a year on this holiday, we are reminded about how peaceful, quiet, and beautiful our natural world is, but we can still acknowledge that we need to get around efficiently. By keeping both perspectives in mind, we can ensure that we don’t lose sight of the importance of the earth or the importance of progress.
Naturally, here at Honbike, we like to celebrate this holiday by e-biking, which is one of the best examples of progress available in the transportation market today. Motorists can participate with other methods of getting around, such as walking or roller skating, as we will see in the next section.
History of Car Free Day
World Car-Free Day dates back as far as the 1970s during that era’s energy crisis but only formally got its start in the early 1990s. Around the world, countries, groups, and organizers started banding together and acknowledging the need for a car-free glimpse of our world. Programs continued to launch, and the idea spread like wildfire.
Pedestrians and people living in urban environments could finally get a break from the noise, fumes, and congestion of motor vehicles, if only for a day.
Although it can be difficult for everyone to participate on the same day, those same advocacy groups encourage everyone to participate whenever they can. Participation may mean choosing to run an errand by e-bike instead of taking the car for just one trip during the day, or it may mean a lifelong commitment to only riding your e-bike to solve climate change. No matter your particular situation, the goal is ever present on September 22, a day which we can all rally behind and do our part to decrease the traffic in our streets.
Why You Should Participate in Car Free Day
But why should you participate in Car Free day, to begin with? There are many great benefits of Car Free Day. Here are just a few of the main ones!
Whenever you drive a car with a gas engine, the carbon in the oil is released into the air as carbon dioxide (CO2). This Carbon dioxide traps heat in the earth’s atmosphere (called the greenhouse effect), causing the temperature of the planet to rise faster than it naturally would. Rapidly rising temperatures cause volatile weather and droughts, increase the risk of forest fires, and lead to the loss of coral reefs and polar ice caps. All of this damages the natural environment and the animals we share it with.
Secondly, populated cities full of cars cause noise pollution and traffic congestion. Horns honking, tires squealing, music blaring, and brakes screeching are just some of the audio nuisances you will hear in any major city every day of the week. As rush hour begins and all the way until sundown, these cars will flood the highways and city streets, often in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Not only does this make it hard to get where you need to go, but it also adds to the greenhouse effect because of so many idling cars going nowhere fast.
Finally, participating in World Car Free Day can be great for your health! In addition to saving the planet, you’ll be exercising your body. Regular cardiovascular exercise is great for your lungs, heart, and brain. Moving is an excellent alternative to the sedentary lifestyle on display while sitting in a car. By opting to use a green mode of transportation such as an e-bike, you’ll not only get where you’re going, but you’ll be healthier, too.
How to Take Advantage of Car-Free Day in Your City
The best way to take advantage of Car Free Day in your city is by e-biking. We like e-biking the most because it provides the perfect balance of being a good alternative to gas-guzzling cars but still getting you where you need to go quickly and safely. The whisper-quiet motor of an e-bike like the Honbike U4 or a folding electric bike like the Honbike HF01 ensures noise pollution stays low, and the long-range battery allows you to ride all day long without stopping to recharge.
They are far less expensive to run and maintain than a car, and they will allow you to join in the festivities of holidays like this. On September 22, you can use your e-bike to run errands, commute to work, visit friends, or simply take a ride around the neighborhood for some fresh air and exercise. Joining in with all the other walkers and bikers will lead to a sense of community and well-being because you are doing something for a great cause.
Don’t have an e-bike yet? Be sure to check out some of our ebike comparison guides so that you choose the right one. With greater awareness of events like Car Free Day and the broader car-free movement, we can do our part as good stewards of this planet. So, spread the word and hang up the car keys this Thursday!