September 22 is World Carfree Day - an annual global movement to encourage people to live without cars. Each year communities around the world – from Beijing to Bogotá celebrate with street parties, mass bicycle rides and free public transportation. Celebrations vary country to country, but we guarantee there will be dancing, walking and bicycling in the carfree streets.
World Carfree Day, promoted by the World Carfree Network, was started to advance the economic, social and environmental benefits of self-propelled or mass transportation. The organizers attempt to show ‘…how livable modern cities can be when free from the noise, stress and pollution caused by cars’.
There are an estimated 600 million personal vehicles driving around on the planet.
The transportation sector is a significant contributor to climate change. Most traditional forms of transport are dependent upon fossil fuels such as gasoline, diesel, coal, kerosene and oil. Burning these fuels creates the principal greenhouse gas —carbon dioxide. Many nations around the world cite transportation as the largest producer of carbon dioxide in their countries.
There are an estimated 600 million personal vehicles driving around on the planet. Each litre of gasoline used by a car produces 2.3kg of carbon dioxide. The Sierra Club USA explains that ‘…the average car emits about 6.3 tons of CO2 over a year — and the average SUV or pickup emits around 8.2 tons.’ Worldwide, this adds up to an enormous quantity of carbon dioxide just from vehicular transportation.
World Carfree Day is an opportunity for individuals to start to move away from car dependency. World Carfree Day 2008 highlights include the proposed closing down of Brussels’ Capital Region to all motorized transport from 9.00 a.m. until 7.00 p.m. and plans by Washington’s citizens to surpass last year’s 10,000 "carfree pledges".
The World Carfree Network reports that with crude oil prices remaining over US$100 per barrel for most of 2008, people around the world are re-evaluating their relationship with the car.
Find a World Carfree celebration near you: http://www.worldcarfree.net/