<a href="http://www.gmagazine.com.au/blogs/julie#">Green challenges</a>

Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

Car-free families

Kyle and his single-speed

Credit: richardmasoner at Flickr.com

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This challenge has been about leaving your car at home once a week, which is quite a change for some people. But what about the people who go completely car-free?

Although I don't drive, my husband does and I wouldn't consider myself car-free. I'm in a car driven by him or friends at least 4 times a week, on average, and often more. But there are families out there (not just singles or couples, people with children) who don't own a car at all, and are very happy with this decision.

Car-free families often make very careful decisions about where they live. They choose a home with shops and schools within walking or biking distance, or live in suburbs or cities with excellent public transport. They often find that the money they save on running a car allows them to own their own home quicker, and spend more time with their kids as they ride around together.

Check out one family who have 3 kids and no car, but plenty of bikes. This 3:40 YouTube video shows the Overshiner family cycling and explaining why they do it, and what the kids think about it (they love it!).

Or see this Treehugger video of Carla Saulter, also known as Bus Chick. She and her husband and baby daughter have been living car-free for 6 years now. They even hired a bus to take their guests to their wedding! Carla points out that by taking her daughter on the bus means she can read and talk to her instead of focusing on traffic, which sounds really lovely to me.

Would you ever go car-free altogether? Would you need different resources to make it easier? Or would you be motivated simply by higher petrol prices? I'm halfway there already, and I think if I could get more confident on a bike I'd definitely consider the change.