Did you travel in a car that you own (or lease) today? If you did and you live in a high income country you probably didn’t even give this action a second thought. But having a car of your own is not something that the majority of the world’s population can even imagine.
It’s hard to pin down exact numbers but it is estimated that there are around 1.5 billion cars in the world and the global population passed 8 billion in November 2022. Using these rough numbers only about 18% of the world’s population own a car. In reality the figure is likely much lower, since in many countries (like the US and Canada), many households own more than one car and many of those 1.5 billion cars may be rental cars or in fleets belonging to businesses or governments (i.e. delivery services or police forces).
Of course, for many people who don’t own cars, this is not a desirable situation as there is no alternative to private car ownership and so accessing healthcare when sick or traveling to work or school are incredibly difficult.
But for many of us in high income countries owning and driving a car is something we don’t even critically examine despite the fact that transportation is responsible for about 24% of carbon emissions (and about 45% of that is from cars, motorcycles, bus and taxis). Can you live without a car, even if you don’t live in a place like New York city that has a robust transit system?
Author Angie Schmitt provides a road map (sorry!) for how you might be able to live car free or car light even if you live in a city or town that is not blessed with good public transport. Check out the article and share it with a friend - after all, one of the easiest ways to go ‘car light’ is to consider confronting the challenges of a car-centric world with someone like-minded beside you.