My family and I currently live in a city where the temperatures during the summer season are unbearable, and by season, I mean more than the normal 3 months. It's probably closer to 5 months, maybe even longer. To be able to ride in the car with the windows down, in traffic, with children, during these "heat advisory" months is uncomfortable, unhealthy, and definitely not recommended. If you want to do that, you can, as long as it's after dark or before light. Same with bike riding. Before we hit the 90-degree mark over here, we enjoyed our family rides in the morning. Now, we can't even go outside for too long before the kids are sweating their butts off, and I'm worried about them getting heat exhaustion.
We currently have two vehicles. My husband drives a 2004 Mazda 3 (our first car we bought together) one hour each way to and from work every day. And this is one hour in traffic for a little over 20 miles! It gets about 21 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles on the highway. Then we have our family car. It's a 14-year-old Mazda MPV that gets 15 miles to the gallon in the city, 20 miles on the highway, and only gets used if, and ONLY IF, we absolutely need to use it. Not even a year ago, I had a dream of one day after all our debt is paid off to get a (used) Honda Odyssey. I was determined to be a cool Mom driving in one someday. We are now debt-free, and we have come to a point where we can now start playing with the idea of "upgrading" to another vehicle as our MPV has just about had it. But in the last couple of months, our thinking on what vehicle is best for our family has changed. Our priorities have shifted, and our outlook for the future has been altered. We have gone from a mindset of "we have outgrown our home and cars" to "we don't really need these things." We've become parents who wish that everything we needed and everywhere we had to go to, including our jobs, were in walking distance.
If we could have it our way, we would have one vehicle...a biofuel car...a vehicle powered by used vegetable oil. That would be our one method of transportation to go long distance driving. And for everyday outing? Bikes! One day, I would love my minimalist life to consist of just that. One veggie family car and bikes for all family members. I would like to have a garage of nothing but that. I would love to not worry about the price of gas, or have my husband pay out the wazoo just to sit in traffic. I would like for us to walk to the park or to the farmer's market, or to ride our bikes to church or friends' house, or to drive to another state on a tank of recycled restaurant veggie oil. One day, it'll happen! We already have the bikes, so now we just have to work on the vehicle.
Can you picture your life like this? Do you already live this way? Share your incredible simple life with me, so I can, for now, live vicariously through you and be in amazement of your awesomeness!