I’ve said before on this site that LiveCollarFree.com is not exclusive to one “system” or style of Lifestyle Design. There are so many ways to live outside of the default life we learn we should fit into, and they all fascinate me.
Much of what I’ve done with my life has been to downsize. Toys are fun, but the stuff we accumulate takes a toll: moving it, storing it, insuring it, cleaning it, maintaining it, ad nauseum. We learn in the U.S. that we need to own a house and that all adults need a car. We are a car culture, and have been since they came about. Cars are one of the biggest purchases and expenses in most families. But do we really need a car to work and live today?
I have followed Tammy Strobel’s Rowdy Kittens blog for a bit over a year, now. She and her partner Logan decided to downsize their life, cut down their needless belongings, and even go so far as to sell their cars. Now they get around on bicycles almost exclusively and it works better for them. They calculated that their cars cost them nearly $8,000 a year to keep! And they had economy cars! How many hours of work does that total each year just to own a car? It makes me sick to think about how much I’ve spent over the years.
Tammy & Logan have improved their health, saved a tremendous amount of money, and lived a simpler, more fulfilling green lifestyle since their decision to scale down.
Today, Tammy released her first book: Simply Car-Free: How to Pedal Toward Financial Freedom and a Healthier Life. I read an advance copy and can tell you it is a fantastic resource for planning and living in today’s world without the need to own a car.
It seems like such a foreign concept in most areas of modern America, but life without a car is not only quite possible but is very liberating. Tammy lays out a solid plan to make the car-free lifestyle simple to achieve. The Book goes through the process they went through, as well as how to make it even easier (they made their transition slowly and now wonder why they took so long).
She does an excellent job of covering all the “what-if…?” scenarios that come up when we talk about life without a car. Across America or even the world, not everyone’s lifestyle and community allows as simple a transition into a Car-Free life, but there are ways around most objections. Alternatives to going completely car-free are also covered, and how to handle situations that come up that all but require cars, such as long trips or moving.
The section on bicycling is also very in-depth. Whether you are a cyclist or just starting out, there are many valuable resources inside to cover what you need to know about bikes, as well as dealing with everyday issues like weather and getting groceries.
If you already live without a car or have never considered such a thing, Simply Car-Free is a good tool that collects resources from a variety of people already living this way all over the country. I am not just writing this review because I am a blogger buddy of Tammy’s. In March 2008, I got rid of my truck, and haven’t had a car or other vehicle since. I’ll do more about my situation in another post and link it here, but I know this topic very well as I have had probably close to 20 cars in my life (and 16 motorcycles that I can remember).
Simply Car-Free is a great resource for anyone considering life without a motor vehicle.