Here’s how to do it: Draw a two-mile circle around your house. (This online tool can help.) Make it a rule not to drive anywhere inside that circle (about a 40-minute walk). You’ll start to see how many car trips you can replace by walking. Plus, you’ll notice how your daily needs can be largely met by local businesses.
In addition to helping the environment by reducing carbon emissions, walking more and driving less can lead to a healthier, happier, lighter, and wealthier existence. After six years of living car-free in L.A., writer Alissa Walker estimates she has $10,000 of “extra” income every year that used to go towards car expenses. Now she reads more books, answers more e-mails, and gets her exercise over the course of a day instead of squeezing in workout classes whenever possible—all despite the time she spends walking, biking, taking public transit, and planning how she’ll get to where she’s going next. Over the course of one year, she also dropped ten pounds. Los Angeles has a ways to go when it comes to infrastructure, but taking small steps, like pledging to ditch the car when travelling within two miles of your home, can make a difference for the city, and for you.
Ready to take the pledge? Follow Alissa Walker's Six Small Steps to Living a Car-Free Life in L.A.