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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 01-22-06, 06:52 PM   #1
sbhikes
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What else??

Ok, Roody in his topic on encouraging lurkers to post more here pointed out some potential topics of interest. One of them was along the lines of do car-free people do other xyz-free things?

It was surmised the perhaps more car-free people also don't have TVs. Personally, I love TV and would go car-free and keep my TV but not the other way around and certainly not BOTH.

Some suggested that car-free people like to simplify and avoid acquiring technical gadgets. I have a few technical gadgets (phone, camera, computer) and my work keeps me having to care about new computer technologies despite my somewhat indifference.

Others suggested that car-free people avoid general over-consumption more than most people. Well, I don't buy as many clothes and shoes as other women, and I don't spend much on car-related stuff (my truck is paid off and rots away in the driveway waiting until the day I need to go a'hauling.) But I have a bicycle, a recumbent bicycle and a recumbent trike so the over-consumption issue hasn't been solved in my car-lite life.

Anyway, topic is what else do you do that is similar to car-freeness? Or do you NOT do anything else? Either way is fine by me.
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Old 01-22-06, 08:29 PM   #2
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I live more simply than a lot of people in my demographic group--I have fewer clothes, don't wear makeup, don't spend any money on home decorating. But on the other hand, I have way more books than a person could possibly need.

Part of the good in being car-free is that it frees up more funds to live the good life. Which can be pretty indulgent now and then.
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Old 01-22-06, 08:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Fillanzea
Part of the good in being car-free is that it frees up more funds to live the good life. Which can be pretty indulgent now and then.
This is my credo as well. I don't think I own excessive amounts of useless goods, but I do like to live well. I'd say my biggest weakness is, you guessed it, BIKES. I have a handful of electronic gadgets that I'm fond of, but could probably do without them. I have a modest 25" TV, and pay for cable. I don't have a high quality stereo system. I don't own a lot of clothes, except for you guessed it, bike clothes. I also spend a good deal of my monthly budget on going out to eat and entertainment.
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Old 01-22-06, 08:54 PM   #4
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This might be hard to believe, but I don't have a computer. I use public computers at the library and I use one at work on my breaks. When I'm visiting my dad, I use his. The only reason that I don't have a computer is that I sorta have an addictive personality. I mean I've given up more **** than most of you have ever tried. I get too involved with a computer if I have unlimited access, so I restrict myself this way.

P.S. Thank God I got addicted to exercise and bikes or I'd be dead by now.
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Old 01-22-06, 09:29 PM   #5
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Part of the good in being car-free is that it frees up more funds to live the good life. Which can be pretty indulgent now and then.
Sums it up perfectly. For me I have ambitions to travel. I'm setting off for five weeks in New Zealand in 19 days, then hopefully Scotland in 2007. Being car-free helps pay for these things. It also paid for my education when I was living technically below the poverty line a few years ago.

In answer to the original topic, no, I don't feel the need to buy as many trappings as a lot of other people. I do have a TV, but only because it's about 10 years old and I'd get nothing for selling it. There isn't a lot on TV that I actually bother watching, so it largely sits there unused. I do spend a reasonable amount of money on CD's, because I prefer music to most of the "content" on television.

I also have an apartment in a very nice location -- one that I probably couldn't afford otherwise.
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Old 01-22-06, 09:50 PM   #6
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I don't have a TV, and I consider that to be a good thing for me. Unfortunately in my case it's really an idiot box - if there's a TV on in the room, even if it's not showing anything particularly interesting, I get sucked in and have trouble carrying on a conversation. I guess it's the same sort of information-gathering urge that makes me read so much, on- and off-line.

My computer is my theater system and stereo - I watch DVD movies sitting right here, and listen to mp3s or CDs through the PC as well.

I mentioned in another thread that I think I live pretty simply, but I do have a fair amount of stuff. I inherited being a pack rat from my mom, and while I've gotten better about it, I still have more stuff in general than I really need. A lot of it I rationalize because I figure I don't want to do X (sew, build bike trailers, tinker with electronics, fish) all the time, but I also don't want to get rid of all the associated equipment and supplies each time I put it down for a while, then reacquire them when I get interested again.

I do tend to overbuy clothes a little bit, but from the thrift store rather than new. I currently have enough tshirts to last me several years, so I don't buy any more of those. But it's the same argument against ridding them out - why give them away, then have to buy more when the ones I have left wear out? Then again, I'm still wearing tshirts that are 10 years old and in good shape, so maybe what I have will last me even longer than I think.
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Old 01-22-06, 10:21 PM   #7
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Ok, well you guys have been nagging us lurkers to say something for a while, I do have TV's in my house, but I watch about an hour of TV a week (British comedy, seriously, its a superhero with a talking, flying baby). I used to watch an obscene amount of TV but after a while it just stopped being interesting, sort of the same mindless stuff over and over again. Now I turn to the internet for slightly diffrent things over and over again
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Old 01-22-06, 10:49 PM   #8
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I do not have a TV. That does not mean that I do not indulge myself somewhat. I have a fairly high-end sound system to enjoy jazz and crazy euro-techno, a laptop to keep me connected to the world, and 2 road bikes and a cruiser. If something doesn't really make my life better, I tend not to buy.
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Old 01-22-06, 10:54 PM   #9
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Car-free = healthier lifestyle!

TV-free = more time to waste on the internet!

Boyfriend-free = no drama!

I like the simple life
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Old 01-22-06, 11:54 PM   #10
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I have a somewhat dated PC that I upgraded and souped up out the wazoo; everything except the mobo has been upgraded, and I can easily fit a new mobo if I wanted or needed. I built the printer from two dead ones I got cheap from the goodwil store.
I've a decent 5.1 digital audio sound system; I built the speakers myself rather than buy them. The CD is a 2nd hand Sony carousel deck that I fixed up.
I have a modest 21" TV w/ Dish satelite, simply bc the local TV programming sucks hard. I got the VCR on sale, and the DVD is one of those $30 minteks.
I just bought a new fridge a month ago, only bc the 20 yr old 2nd hand fridge quit working, and parts for it were unavailable.

Some of that I couldn't carry on my bike, but that's what delivery and Rent-A-Wreck is for.
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Old 01-23-06, 05:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
Ok, Roody in his topic on encouraging lurkers to post more here pointed out some potential topics of interest. One of them was along the lines of do car-free people do other xyz-free things?

It was surmised the perhaps more car-free people also don't have TVs. Personally, I love TV and would go car-free and keep my TV but not the other way around and certainly not BOTH.

Some suggested that car-free people like to simplify and avoid acquiring technical gadgets. I have a few technical gadgets (phone, camera, computer) and my work keeps me having to care about new computer technologies despite my somewhat indifference.

Others suggested that car-free people avoid general over-consumption more than most people. Well, I don't buy as many clothes and shoes as other women, and I don't spend much on car-related stuff (my truck is paid off and rots away in the driveway waiting until the day I need to go a'hauling.) But I have a bicycle, a recumbent bicycle and a recumbent trike so the over-consumption issue hasn't been solved in my car-lite life.

Anyway, topic is what else do you do that is similar to car-freeness? Or do you NOT do anything else? Either way is fine by me.
I'm no Jacques Ellul or anything. I don't detest technology, although I think it has in many ways brought us down from certain high-water marks of culture while at the same time improving certain aspects of our lives. At any rate, I buy technology that suits me.

I have no TV and generally loathe modern TV programming and being advertised to. I can use this computer for watching DVD movies on occasion, although using the internet brings back the ads.

My entire line of work is computer-based anymore. I work via the internet as an editor for medical journals, so computers are big in my list of things to own and spend time on. As for gadgetry, I also have an mp3 player, a digital camera, a large and modern sailboat, a computerized travel chess set, stereo with large CD collection, and a GPS.

I don't know whether car-free types avoid overconsumption more than others, but I know a few who are pretty tragic alcoholics, cigarette smokers, and food devourers, so I'd be inclined to skepticism about that. I myself am car-free and I tend to take in more beer than I'd like to.

Clothes are by far the weakest of the material addictions for me. I wear my old ones until they are threadbare, except socks. I'm still wearing mostly things I've had since the 1990s. I also wash them in my bathtub with an old 1940s clothes plunger and a basin, and hang them up to dry in the back yard. Only problem here is the occasional guano bombing.

I'm not vegetarian anymore, but I eat fish and chicken very rarely and no mammals. I guess that's similar to being "[x]-free," or rather "[x]-lite."

I don't know what else to say.

Last edited by Alekhine; 01-23-06 at 06:01 AM.
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Old 01-23-06, 02:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mtn Mike
I also spend a good deal of my monthly budget on going out to eat and entertainment.
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Old 01-24-06, 12:50 AM   #13
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Well, I have a TV, but I've hardly turned it on since I got PC/Internet at home 3.5 years ago. (Kind of like my car, which I've driven 6 miles so far this year). Perhaps needless to say, I don't have cable either. I do have a kick-ass stereo, which now I use mainly for playing PC-based movies and music.

No cell phone. My home phone service is pretty vanilla. No caller ID, call waiting, et cet. Old school answering machine.

I gave up meat except fish and occasional poultry many years ago.

I guess that's about all my "asceticism." Well, there is one other thing: one year, I gave up guilt for Lent and I just never got around to picking it back up again....
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