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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 03-26-14, 11:54 PM   #1
Isaiahc72
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Do I count as Car-free or Car-light?

I've never owned a car but I do sometimes ride in one with the rest of my family if we're all going somewhere as a family. Does this make me car-light? Or am I still qualified as car-free considering I don't own one?
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Old 03-27-14, 12:31 AM   #2
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IMO, a person is carfree if they live in a carfree household. Otherwise, they are carlight. A household is an economic unit, so roommates don't necessarily count as a household.

Personally, I'm carlight myself. I was carfree for years until my son and his family moved in with me, along with their car. I still don't own a car, and I don't often ride in it. But most of the groceries and supplies are brought to the house in the car, so I'm far from carfree.
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Old 03-27-14, 12:37 AM   #3
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I take it on a day by day basis. If you don't use a car today, you are car-free today. If you employ a car today, but don't usually, you are car-light. If you own and use a car daily, then, you have a problem.
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Old 03-27-14, 01:08 AM   #4
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No one is really car-free. We all depend on motorised vehicles in some way.

However, if for a particular trip, you opt to use an alternate method of transportation ... you are car-free for that particular trip.
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Old 03-27-14, 01:13 AM   #5
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How about two bikes and two motorcycles? Decided to ditch my car about seven months ago. So far, so good.
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Old 03-27-14, 01:38 AM   #6
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No one is really car-free. We all depend on motorised vehicles in some way.

However, if for a particular trip, you opt to use an alternate method of transportation ... you are car-free for that particular trip.
If somebody NEVER drives or rides in a car, by what strange reasoning do they depend on motorized transportation? Buses and semis are not cars!
car
kär/
noun
1. a road vehicle, typically with four wheels, powered by an internal combustion engine and able to carry a small number of people.
"we're going by car"


synonyms: automobile, motor vehicle, vehicle; More


Origin
late Middle English (in the general sense ‘wheeled vehicle’): from Old Northern French carre, based on Latin carrum, carrus, of Celtic origin.
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Old 03-27-14, 01:40 AM   #7
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How about two bikes and two motorcycles? Decided to ditch my car about seven months ago. So far, so good.
That's fantastic!
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Old 03-27-14, 01:45 AM   #8
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If somebody NEVER drives or rides in a car, by what strange reasoning do they depend on motorized transportation?
Where does that person get their groceries ... their clothing ... their bicycle ... ?
Where do the office supplies come from at work?

These things don't just turn up by magic.
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Old 03-27-14, 03:04 AM   #9
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If somebody NEVER drives or rides in a car, by what strange reasoning do they depend on motorized transportation? Buses and semis are not cars!
And what percent of the world's population would that be? Obscure natives in parts of Brazil or New Guinea maybe, but I'll guess that pretty much the rest of the world gets a chance to ride in a car at least once in their lifetime.

Machka is correct.
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I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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Old 03-27-14, 03:08 AM   #10
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Where does that person get their groceries ... their clothing ... their bicycle ... ?
Where do the office supplies come from at work?

These things don't just turn up by magic.
This.
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Old 03-27-14, 07:04 AM   #11
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And what percent of the world's population would that be? Obscure natives in parts of Brazil or New Guinea maybe, but I'll guess that pretty much the rest of the world gets a chance to ride in a car at least once in their lifetime.

Machka is correct.
In a sense, we're all dependent on motor vehicles, of course, but since this subforum is mostly concerned with personal transport and not the delivery of goods, the term "carfree" can be used more loosely. "Car ownership-free" might be more precise but is rather awkward. By not owning a car, you're free from a lot of things: car payments, insurance payments, the health problems associated with a sedentary car-centric lifestyle, and so on. You're much less likely to be involved in an "accident" that takes your own life or that of someone else.

That's a lot of freedom. Give me that carfree living! I love the lifestyle and I love the word.
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Old 03-27-14, 11:14 AM   #12
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To the OP: please don't get hung up on terms. What difference does it make to your life if you are car free or car light?

Just try to avoid unnecessary motorized trips, don't own anything you don't need and go for a nice ride once in a while.
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Old 03-27-14, 01:14 PM   #13
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To the OP: please don't get hung up on terms. What difference does it make to your life if you are car free or car light?

Just try to avoid unnecessary motorized trips, don't own anything you don't need and go for a nice ride once in a while.
Good advice and not just for the OP.

Also the OP (and others) should not get hung up on what other people proclaim is "unnecessary" for you, or what you do or don't "need."
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Old 03-27-14, 02:17 PM   #14
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Where does that person get their groceries ... their clothing ... their bicycle ... ?
Where do the office supplies come from at work?

These things don't just turn up by magic.
Those items don't appear by magic, but their appearances don't involve the use of a car, at least in the case of my household/work. Under our current development scheme, most of them travel by barge, truck and/or rail at some point, but cars aren't generally involved in any of the distribution networks I have been involved with.

Cars are mostly used to transport one person a relatively short distance. Regardless of the term one chooses to employ, anyone who takes steps to resist using a car to move themselves about is doing a good thing, IMO.
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Old 03-27-14, 02:22 PM   #15
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If I drive a semi-truck for personal transportation does that make me carfree?
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Old 03-27-14, 03:21 PM   #16
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If I drive a semi-truck for personal transportation does that make me carfree?
In a sense, yes, but what's your point? Those of us who choose not to own motor vehicles are reliant on them for deliveries whether we like it or not. There's a movement afoot to have more goods distributed by cargo bike in my city. I'm a strong supporter of this.

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Old 03-27-14, 03:31 PM   #17
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Those items don't appear by magic, but their appearances don't involve the use of a car, at least in the case of my household/work. Under our current development scheme, most of them travel by barge, truck and/or rail at some point, but cars aren't generally involved in any of the distribution networks I have been involved with.

Cars are mostly used to transport one person a relatively short distance. Regardless of the term one chooses to employ, anyone who takes steps to resist using a car to move themselves about is doing a good thing, IMO.
Within a city, small vans and sometimes even cars are used to transport goods. A van about the size Rowan and I have rolled up to my office the other day. When he opened the back, it was half full of bicycles in boxes and the other half was stationary supplies. He delivered stationary supplies to my office ... and presumably, one of his next stops was the Avanti shop up the road.

On most farms and orchards, where food is produced, the people who work there drive utes or pick-up trucks ... passenger vehicles with a utility purpose to get around the farm or orchard and to haul stuff back and forth.

Just a couple examples ... there are lots more.
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Old 03-27-14, 04:26 PM   #18
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This reminds me of the Agnostic/Atheist debate. If you don't own a car and rarely actually drive one TC then i say you are car-free, if the standards were that strict then no one would qualify.
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Old 03-27-14, 04:27 PM   #19
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I've never owned a car but I do sometimes ride in one with the rest of my family if we're all going somewhere as a family. Does this make me car-light? Or am I still qualified as car-free considering I don't own one?
Asking 'am I car-free' is just beeeeeegging the question of what car-free actually is. Nobody on here will have the same answer to that. The fact is, though, that there's no club or certificate or secret handshake that you get access to because you meet the preconceived definition of what car-free is (or is there?).

For what it's worth, if I were in your situation I'd consider myself car-free. From a practical point of view, though... it's just a term, who cares.

On a more sarcastic i'm-going-to-pick-the-term-car-free-to-death-note I will never be car-free. Cars and car infrastructure dictate that I go to the grocery store 3 miles away instead of the one 1 mile away because of a crappy intersection that's not passable. It means I have to wait 3 minutes on average every day waiting for the same 'walk' light to change for me. I will always pay increased prices for goods at big box stores because they have to provide extra space for people to park their cars. When I order things on-line, the delivery truck is inevitably delayed due to traffic. #woeisme #imaslavetotheautomobile
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Old 04-05-14, 10:22 AM   #20
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Nobody on here will have the same answer to that. The fact is, though, that there's no club or certificate or secret handshake that you get access to. . . ..
Uh oh . . You're telling me you didn't receive your certificate, and the attached instructions on how to perform the secret handshake?? That could be a problem. Lets just hope the moderators don't see this post. I won't tell them.
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Old 04-05-14, 10:29 AM   #21
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I've never owned a car but I do sometimes ride in one with the rest of my family if we're all going somewhere as a family. Does this make me car-light? Or am I still qualified as car-free considering I don't own one?

Do YOU own a car? No.
Do YOU control the rest of the world, and how cars are used by society at large? No.

In my book, that makes you car free. Note: I also do not control the rest of the world, so my answer may not be the FINAL word!
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Old 04-05-14, 01:23 PM   #22
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Asking 'am I car-free' is just beeeeeegging the question of what car-free actually is. Nobody on here will have the same answer to that. The fact is, though, that there's no club or certificate or secret handshake that you get access to because you meet the preconceived definition of what car-free is (or is there?).

For what it's worth, if I were in your situation I'd consider myself car-free. From a practical point of view, though... it's just a term, who cares.

On a more sarcastic i'm-going-to-pick-the-term-car-free-to-death-note I will never be car-free. Cars and car infrastructure dictate that I go to the grocery store 3 miles away instead of the one 1 mile away because of a crappy intersection that's not passable. It means I have to wait 3 minutes on average every day waiting for the same 'walk' light to change for me. I will always pay increased prices for goods at big box stores because they have to provide extra space for people to park their cars. When I order things on-line, the delivery truck is inevitably delayed due to traffic. #woeisme #imaslavetotheautomobile
Over the years I've been visiting this forum, I've tried at least twice to get people to agree on a working definition of commonly used words like carfree, carlight, and even "car" itself. It's been a big failure. I think by any definition, carfree and carlight people are independent thinkers who don't want to agree on definitions. So I have given up on the effort with no hard feelings.

BTW, I agree that we all pay part of the price for other peoples' cars, even if we don't own one ourselves. Don't forget about taxes--a big chunk of the city and county budgets go to road construction and repairs. Those local revenues for roads usually come from property taxes and sales taxes, which carfree people pay at the same rates as car owners.
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Old 04-05-14, 07:00 PM   #23
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Over the years I've been visiting this forum, I've tried at least twice to get people to agree on a working definition of commonly used words like carfree, carlight, and even "car" itself. It's been a big failure. I think by any definition, carfree and carlight people are independent thinkers who don't want to agree on definitions. So I have given up on the effort with no hard feelings.
Yep ... no one here wants definitions. Definitions, like these, would only be used to accuse and ostracise.
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Old 04-05-14, 08:53 PM   #24
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I have always said "free of car ownership". It balances out the notion that an individual is not reliant on a motor vehicle (with all the perceived benefits that may involve), yet may use one when required (with all the perceived benefits that​ may involve), and therefore means the fundamentalist doesn't get his hate knickers all twisted when someone admits they use a motor vehicle as part of their lives.
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Old 04-05-14, 10:07 PM   #25
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I have always said "free of car ownership". It balances out the notion that an individual is not reliant on a motor vehicle (with all the perceived benefits that may involve), yet may use one when required (with all the perceived benefits that​ may involve), and therefore means the fundamentalist doesn't get his hate knickers all twisted when someone admits they use a motor vehicle as part of their lives.
Takes too long to type.
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