My first month of being car-free has been pretty great, and to be honest, I haven’t missed the car once. The main purpose of this blog is to track my financial & CO2 emissions savings – I’ve been excited to see just how much I’ve saved in just a few weeks already. I’ve travelled predominantly by bicycle & train, with a couple of bus trips and the odd walking journey thrown in. Here’s my results for January 2016:
Distance Travelled (Jan 2016)
I’ve kept my personal travel & work travel separate. I’m only counting travel – I don’t include bike rides or walks/runs that are done just for leisure.
I’ve clocked up a fair few miles. 185.6 miles in total on my bike, and 1153 miles by train. The 87 miles by car were from two occasions when I was travelling in a car with someone else (no sense in turning down a lift when Storm Gertrude is blowing a gale).
Financial Expenditure & Savings (Jan 2016)
Costs of travelling my car have been worked out at the rate of 42p per mile. I arrived at this figure using This Is Money – this allowed me to incorporate all of the costs associated with running my car (based on last year’s costs) – includes insurance, maintenance, parking, depreciation, tax, etc – not just basic fuel costs.
The personal saving for me in not using a car is £177.07 – that’s a huge amount of money to save in a month! Given that I have been able to get to all the places I needed to go relatively easily, and have enjoyed my travel, it’s hard to beat that.
My work travel savings have been based on the mileage rate offered by my employer. If I had used a car for all of my work journeys, it would have cost my employer an additional £152.76.
CO2 Emissions & Savings (Jan 2016)
My total CO2 emissions savings, compared with doing all my journeys by car, has come in at a massive 321.82kg. According to YouSustain, this is enough to provide the energy needs of an average house for just over 9 days. In the grand scheme of things, it’s pretty small – I’m hoping that if the weather improves, and I can hone my organisational skills, I’ll be able to reduce my train dependence, and get in a few more miles on the bike.
I’m not calorie counting, but the Sustrans travel calculator tells me that I’ve burned off almost 9000 calories with the miles I’ve cycled this month. From what I can discover online, this is the equivalent of what I could burn off in 18 gym sessions. My local gym charges £25 a month – cycling isn’t costing me anything.
I managed to get my car sold a couple of weeks ago. Getting a nice big pile of disposable income handed to me made me feel better than ever about my car-free challenge!