Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Year of Living Carlessly (in Canada)

My friend Richard Katzev, inspiration and confidante when I started Carsharing Portland, sent me this article about a living carlessly in the frozen north - in Edmonton, Canada.

The several families described in the article certainly have figured out what's important to them and put it into practice. This picture, published in the Edmonton Journal, shows Wendy Allsopp with children Anna and Luke with their own bicycle version of a minivan.

The Edmonton Journal writer, Liane Faulder, addresses the question of how the families deal with things in the winter - more use of transit. And she included a new argument for living carlessly that stands its head the traditional reason that even devoted car-free parents' offer for buying a car:

""I hear parents say that children are used to getting everything they want and that they've forgotten what it's like to not be able to do some things. Part of me had to remind myself that it's all right not to do everything you want," says Allsopp. "We're so wrapped up in wanting to do everything for our kids so that they are happy, but we forget limitations are good and can help you appreciate something when it does happen."

"In fact, having limits to activities makes it easier to make good choices for the family, according to Barb Sander, a car-free mother of three kids.

"We think not having a car makes our lives less stressful," says Sander, 39, a stay-at-home mom in Strathcona married to Matt Grobe, a geologist. "It's a great tool for making decisions about what we really want to do and not just because everybody else is doing it. ... It helps us declutter our lives."

Although the article doesn't actually say that the car-free families interviewed for the article are members of the the Carsharing Coop of Edmonton (, it's mentioned early on and articles like this certainly can't hurt their business.

There's nothing like a real-life examples these to give one hope that things can change. You can read the full article at the LINK below.