Could you go car free for a day? Sam Weis with Madison-based Clean Wisconsin is betting some of us can come close — by cutting out shorter car trips. “Over forty percent of car trips are actually less than two miles,” notes Weis. “That’s pretty easy to replace with a bike or walking. It will take about ten minutes biking or a half hour walking. Do that every day and the health benefits will become apparent — one could burn 36,000 calories every year by walking four miles a day, and loose 13 pounds. “If everyone was willing to do that, we’d be a much more fit nation, a lot healthier,” says Weis.
The other health benefits are more indirect, in the form of cleaner air. “Especially nitrogen oxide, which is responsible for smog, and also volatile organic compounds,” says Weis. “It’s going to help us all breathe easier.” And for those of a more practical mindset, there’s also money to be saved on gas. Thursday is World Carfree Day. Weis grew up in Rhinelander and concedes going carfree can be a little tougher for people in more rural areas, but encourages everyone to give it a try.