Posts Tagged ‘run’

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Washington D.C.’s Annual “Car Free Days” are coming up soon, so it’s time to start planning!

D.C. is one of the best cities in the world to get around without a car, especially in an age where more and more young adults are postponing their drivers’ licenses and ditching their cars. Some say living car-free is just the latest millenial trend, but I think it’s something more. The car-free lifestyle is a grassroots, citizen-inspired movement – a new way to live sustainably. And with D.C.’s accessible public transportation system, miles of bike lanes, and 38% of households in the city already enjoying a carless lifestyle, it looks like living car free is here to stay.

Luckily, even if you do own a car, you still have a chance to get involved with this movement: pledge to be car free for an entire weekend, September 20-22.  But how can you get around without a car? Let’s start with the obvious:

Take Public Transportation

The DC metro is arguably one of the best underground inner-city rail systems, and the buses aren’t half-bad, either. Bring a book, or start up a conversation with a stranger, and it could turn into a fun experience as well! You can take public transportation to go out of the city as well; take the train to Baltimore, or have an adventure on the Appalachian Trail, like EcoWomen blogger Dawn Bickett.

Bike

Personally, I’d rather be flying on my bike than stuck on the metro (or in a car during rush hour, for that matter). There are many venues to access a bicycle if you don’t own one. Capital Bike Share has hundreds of stations set up all throughout the city for rent. Or, if you want to go on a longer ride, it might end up being cheaper to rent a bike, which you can do at Bike and Roll, Big Wheel Bikes, and others. You may find that purchasing your own bike is well worth the investment, especially if you buy a nice used one on Craigslist.

With 11 miles of bicycle lanes, and many more miles of trails, DC is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country, so give it a shot!

Walk

During college, it wasn’t uncommon to traverse upwards of 5 miles a day on foot – students walked to get absolutely everywhere! However, the culture of walking tends to evaporate after graduation. If you live in the city, chances are it’s easier to walk around than to take a car in many areas. Either way, think about your next trip: if it’s only one or two miles, try walking instead.

(Bonus: walking is an easy way to get some extra exercise.)

Run

Ok, bear with me here. Some people run their daily commutes to work, and love it (you can learn how in our previous blog post). I wouldn’t suggest running to the Governor’s Ball, but you might try taking a running tour; if you’re walking from the Lincoln Memorial to the Jefferson, why not run? You’ll get there in half the time!

Rollerblade or Scooter

If you’re going to roll from place to place, why not have some fun with it? Whenever I see rollerbladers pushing along on the bike trails, they might get a couple weird stares, but I think the onlookers are secretly jealous. Rollerblading and scootering brings me back to my youth – and it looks like a pretty good workout, too!

Hitch a Ride, Carpool, or Zip Car

If you simply must go somewhere that is completely inaccessible without a car on the weekend of September 22 (Virgin Mobile Feefest, anyone?!), feel free to hitch a ride with a friend, or rent a zip car. The whole point of the car-free pledge is to show that you don’t need to own a car to get around.

Committing to a car-free lifestyle for an entire weekend can be difficult for those that are not used to it. So start planning now! And don’t forget to fill out the car free pledge. With so many different options for mobility, the whole district is at your toetips.

How are you planning to spend your car free weekend? Let us know in the comments!

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The following post was written by Dawn Bickett – DC Ecowoman and Running Commuter

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Biking to work is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint while getting exercise. And as the weather finally improves in DC, staying in the sunshine sounds preferable to travelling through the underground tunnels of the metro system.

But what if you don’t have access to a bike? What if you (like me) have heard too many biking accident stories? Or you simply don’t like biking?

As a recreational runner, I’ve decided to try a different approach: running to work.

I began thinking about running my commute when I noticed that I was passing by my office on morning runs only to have to go back home, shower, and return an hour later. Running to work seemed like a logical way to simplify my routine.

Considering trying your own running commute? Here are a few thoughts on the pros and cons:

Benefits of the running commute:

1. Carbon savings. Just like biking to work, running lowers your dependence on fossil fuels for transportation.
2. Time savings. Running to and/or from work saves you time by combining your exercise and your commute. I find that I can get about a half hour more sleep when running to work.
3. Mental health. Getting the heart rate up and blood flowing before or after the work day can be an excellent stress reliever.

Things to consider:

1. How far away is work? If the distance to your workplace is too far to run twice in a day, you can always run one way and take public transportation the other way. However, if you live 20 miles away, running to work simply may not be feasible.
2. Planning ahead. Unless you have a running backpack, it is not easy to bring things with you. When I plan to run in, I bring my change of clothes and shower supplies the day before.
3. Does your workplace have a shower? If not, running home from work may be the only option.

While the logistics of running to work are bit complicated, running to or from the office certainly beats waiting for the metro or getting caught in traffic. The next time you don’t think you can fit a jog into your busy week or your bike needs repair, try it out!