7.00 PM Diego
It is time to go home from work and Diego finds he is in another traffic jam before he even leaves the neighbourhood. Many other workers have the same timetable as Diego and have also come in their private vehicles, so he just has to wait a bit.
While he is waiting, he witnesses a collision between two absent-minded drivers, fortunately he is not involved. It takes him about an hour to get home, but her still has to drive around the block several times to find somewhere to park. He finally gets home at 8.20 PM.
7.00 PM Barbara
Barbara takes the train, meanwhile, she can read a novel in her e-book. On other days she prefers to read the news. Since it has stopped raining, she chooses to walk home. If she takes a short detour, she can stroll through the park and enjoy the scenery, the clean air and her favourite playlist or the latest episode of her podcast.
She is able to reflect for a while which is good for her and helps her to disconnect. On days when she is in a hurry, she can take a tram or ride a bike or scooter.
She gets home at 8.00 PM, her pulsometer shows she has walked 7,000 steps.
9.00 PM Diego
There has been an emergency. Diego's sister has lost the key to her house, so he decides to take his car and go to where his sister is to give her the copy of the key he has. On the way back, he sees that the petrol tank is on reserve, so he stops at a petrol station. It costs him 80 euros to fill the tank. When he gets home he has to drive around the block several times to find somewhere to park. It is 10.30 PM.
9.00 PM Barbara
Barbara has also had an emergency. She needs to take a document to her sister, so she chooses to go by electric scooter. She arrives in no time at all and can park pretty well anywhere.
The return journey is also very fast and before 9.45 PM, Barbara is back home to have dinner with her family and enjoy her time.
At the end of the day, travelling by car takes up so much more of your own time, it costs so much more, it is less versatile, causes greater damage to health (sedentary lifestyle and stress from driving), more fatigue and more polluting emissions.
Barbara's Car-Free Day has meant:
What would a car free day be like for you?
Why is it not advisable to use the car on short journeys?
Road traffic is the main cause of pollution in cities. As a general rule, people usually make the vast majority of their journeys by car, whether short or long.
This not only increases traffic, it causes chaos at the entrance to and exit from large cities and increases the carbon footprint, but also contributes to high rates of noise and air pollution, since cars generate a large amount of harmful gas emissions such as carbon monoxide and dioxide and nitrous oxides.
Living in such a polluted environment, the fact of constantly breathing polluted air can lead to premature ageing of the lungs and an increase in respiratory diseases. According to the WHO, 91% of the population lives in places where air quality exceeds the recommended pollution limits.
What is more, the use of one's own car involves a significant expense for the family economy: The variable price of petrol, car insurance, continuous maintenance and taxes are all fixed expenses that cannot be avoided.
It also affects the quality of life of pedestrians, by considerably reducing peoples mobility and where they can walk, especially affecting children and older people: Parks that become car parks, narrow, shabby pavements, a lack of benches where you can sit and rest, endless pedestrian crossings where you have to cross three or even four lanes, etc.
It also has a severe impact on the health of drivers, since, by refusing to give up the car, our movements are restricted and we do not comply with the recommended 6,000 steps a day, which are equivalent to walking for at least half an hour.