So, although I’ve made the decision to get rid of the car, I’m still flip-flopping wildly between the sensible, grown-up conclusion that it’s the right thing to do and, well, the child in me who loves driving the Jeep. The adult must prevail, though, so I’m continuing to push ahead on investigating the car-free lifestyle.
Perhaps the biggest problem to solve – how to get hold of provisions.
Now, if I live in the city (and have more disposable income that isn’t tied up in car costs) then I’ll probably eat out more – I’ll have a vast array of restaurants at my disposal, and money to spend in them. But I really like cooking, and I want to be able to actually live in my apartment, not just use it as a place to store my stuff and occasionally sleep.
Without a car, the option of going to a place like Trader Joe’s once a week and stocking up on everything is out of the window. I have to assume that I can only ever buy what I can reasonably carry home on foot, public transport or the bike (see previous posts on sustainability and cycling…)
So I’m pretty interested in the idea of Planet Organics, who can arrange a weekly delivery of fresh fruits, vegetables etc. right to your apartment. They even have an insured service where you provide them with a key and their delivery driver drops the goods off inside your flat. I love the idea of coming home once a week to a box of fresh goodies waiting on the kitchen counter.
So that would quite simply take care of enough basic ingredients to make interesting meals. And with the basics taken care of, it’ll be easier to pop to a store on foot occasionally to stock up on flour, rice, milk and whatever else I might need.
Drinks are perhaps more of a problem, cos they’re heavy. Sure, the odd six-pack from an off-licence is easy to carry home, but what about my beloved European beers? No more stocking up by the case-load at Bevmo… Although they do deliver from their website, so maybe an occasional order of my favourites will be manageable if I can fit it in with working from home…
I am intrigued by one last option, though, which Reinhard mentioned in a comment when I first mentioned ditching the car. City Carshare is a membership scheme where, for $10 per month, $4 per hour and 44Â¢ per mile you can pick up a car at any of their city-wide locations, use it for something like, say, a shopping run, and then return it to the place you found it.
It’s appealing because the membership cost is so low, and the concept is perfect, provided you live within reasonable distance of a carshare location.
So a combination of these solutions should serve me well, and save me money. All of a sudden, I feel better about selling the car again.