"a bi-monthly journal of environmental news and commentary..."
By Phyllis Booth
Let's steer in another direction and trade in a new way of thinking about car purchases. First let's ask some questions: How many cars do you really need? Are you working just to pay for a car? Finally, what value does a car really have to you?
My husband and I asked ourselves these questions after being a two-car family and decided that moving closer to mass transit and reducing down to one car was the best choice for us. For the past 16 years, my husband has taken the bus to work or taken the car and I have taken the bus. (We actually own two decade-old cars, but we only insure one at a time, and park the other and then switch them.)
Here's my list of one-car family benefits:
- Save thousands of dollars in gasoline, repair, insurance, parking, and car payment costs.
- Have money for more charitable and fun things because of this savings.
- Enjoy a "safer lifestyle" because we make more use of mass transit and have had no major accidents.
- Contribute to a "greener" world by reducing pollution by two cars.
- Use creative alternatives to transportation by planning vacations using train and bus rides as far as from Olympia to San Francisco and from Olympia to Chicago.
- Have "bus buddies" whom we have known for years because we've had the opportunity to talk and ride instead of just driving to work.
- Share family togetherness because we plan most of our activities together.
- Prepare our children for the use of mass transit. Presently our son regularly takes the bus or train to college.
- Teach ourselves and our children that you do not need a car or any "thing" to define your status in the world. You can be an "as is" person, if you want and attract more authentic friends in your life.
- Trains us to think about the world in a much broader way on a daily basis and how we can have a more positive effect and still get our needs met.
Consider for a moment your whole life. Do you want to spend the average $8,100 a year that most Americans spend on a car? Do you want to spend the average lifetime amount of $84,000 on car insurance alone? Do you want to be one of the persons who die in America every 13 minutes because of a car accident?
Unload your current car.
Take a trip on Intercity Transit here in Thurston County.
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