Skip to main content

Living without a car

I live in San Francisco with my husband, a 6 month old baby, and a cat in a one bedroom apartment near the beach. We have no car but don't need one since the public transportation system in this city takes us where we NEED to go (not always where we WANT to go.)

When we need groceries, we walk about 1/2 mile to Safeway or a just few blocks to a small organic co-op market. We have a shopping cart with wheels and a telescoping handle (similar to a wheeled suicase but it's open on top and constructed of mesh instead of thick material) and we take this with us when we need to get heavier things. I walked to the store with this cart through my entire pregnancy and now I put the baby in a carrier or sling and walk, pulling the cart behind me full of groceries. The walk takes about 20 minutes, it's a scenic path along Highway 1 near the ocean, and it's good exercise!

In addition to walking wherever we can, we frequently ride buses and streetcars with our baby. We even took the streetcar to the hospital when I went into labor! Not only is riding transit less stressful than highway traffic, you really get more exposure to different types of people in your community (some admittedly not so savory, but it's a good dose of reality nevertheless.)

I grew up in a spacious house in Texas and drove everywhere since the age of 15, but living carless now isn't as hard as I thought it would be. It saves gas money, insurance, prevents unnecessary shopping excursions to mega strip malls, curbs carbon emissions, etc... In some areas of the world it's much easier to be green, and San Francisco is one of those places. No heating bill, no air conditioning bill, no car bills.

Living in a small apartment (less than 600sf) also has surprising benefits, including avoiding unnecessary stuff that adds clutter. Efficiency, simplicity, diligent cleanliness, frugality...these things I've had to learn just to maintain sanity and a budget on one salary, but they've given me more peace in my life than I expected in return.

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Bottled Water Carries Hidden Cost to Earth

Good for You, Bad for Mother Earth? | $1.79 might seem like a small price to pay for a bottle of water. But it costs the Earth far more than that.

Compared to a liter of tap water, producing a liter of bottled water requires as much as 2,000 times more energy, according to the first analysis of its kind. The study also found that our nation's bottled water habit sucked up the equivalent of 32 to 54 million barrels of oil last year.

"The bottom line is that we should understand better the implications of our choices," said Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland, Calif. "It suggests more ways to reduce energy use than maybe we otherwise think of."

Bottled water is a big business that is rapidly getting bigger. From 1976 to 2007, the average amount of bottled water drunk per person per year in the United States jumped from about 6 liters (1.6 gallons) to 116 liters (30.6 gallons).

In 2007, …


Air pollution can cause serious health problems. Rarely, it can even kill people — and we’re not exaggerating. That’s why we care so much about the laws that protect us from air pollution. Read on to learn more about the specific parts of our bodies that are affected by air pollution. Air pollution can be made of tiny particles or gases, and these get into your body when you breathe. Different types of air pollution do different things inside your body. Air pollution can directly irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, before it even gets into the lungs. It can cause runny nose, itchy eyes, and scratchy throat. LUNGS When you breathe in, air moves through your nose or mouth, down your throat into your trachea, and then into your lungs. Pollution can irritate the airways. When that happens, muscles around the bronchi get tight; the lining of the bronchi swell; and the bronchi produce excess mucous. When the airways are constricted, it b…

Hazardous Waste

A hazardous waste is a waste with a chemical composition or other properties that make it capable of causing illness, death, or some other harm to humans and other life forms when mismanaged or released into the environment. PLEASE NOTE This new page is part of our Hazardous Waste Management Program web page update process and is under construction. The links to the left will take you to the main Hazardous Waste page, as well as the general category pages, and the Related Links are those links related to the content on the page.  longer be available.  DEFINING HAZARDOUS WASTE A waste is a hazardous waste if it is a listed waste, characteristic waste, used oil and mixed wastes. Specific procedures determine how waste is identified, classified, listed, and delisted. TYPES OF HAZARDOUS WASTE Hazardous waste is divided into different types (e.g., universal waste) or categories, including RCRA hazardous waste and non-RCRA hazardous waste. Properly categorizing a hazardous waste is necessary f…