by Marisa Belger
By now you know that driving is harmful to the environment.
You know that cars produce greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. But did you know that motor vehicles are the greatest contributor to global warming? And that choosing human-powered transportation over the vehicular kind -- think biking and walking -- is a proven method of reducing damaging CO2 emissions?
For me, this is more than enough motivation to hang up my car keys for a week. Yet saving the earth is only one benefit of keeping my engine turned off: Biking and walking also keeps me fit. And encouraging my family members to join me keeps them fit too.
I'm proud to say that I have successfully completed a seven-day no-drive challenge, biking and walking whenever possible and using my city's public transport system when it was just too far to go on foot. I find that walking gives me the chance to say hello to my neighbors, to literally stop and smell the roses and to savor the rush that comes when I know I'm doing something good -- for my body and the planet.
This summer, I challenge you to keep your car parked for a week.
Pump up your bicycle tires, break out your walking shoes and get an updated bus and subway map. I invite you to see the world from outside your car windows, to breathe deep and remember -- it's easier than ever to be green.