Current events: Car free with six kids

I’m signed up for regular email updates from, and this post came with a recent email blast, containing a brief story about Emily Finch, a mother of six who does not own a car and instead transports her family via bicycle.

Around the summer of 2009…Emily said, “I started looking at my life… I was living in a giant house and had a nine-person Suburban. I remember thinking, there’s no reason I can’t walk or bike around town. “I was really depressed before,” she shared, “But I was so happy after I got the bike. I just loved it.”

I find this incredible!  For the foreseeable future, there is no way I could get along without my car.  I commute 30 miles to work and 30 miles home five days a week.  My mom lives 25 miles from me.  I visit my sister who lives 85 miles away.

I could cut back around town — I do drive to the grocery store, and sometimes on date nights we just drive around and look at scenery and explore new areas.  We could take a walk instead.  I could probably bike to the store and back if I really tried.  My boss lives close to me so, in theory, we could carpool to work a couple days a week.

At least if I am driving, I have a small, fuel-efficient car.  It’s no hybrid, but it gets about 36 miles per gallon, and it’s a “Low Emissions Vehicle” and is not the most guilty of cars on the road (I see you, Hummer drivers, I see you).

How do you cut back on car use? Do you even have a car?  What do you think of Ms. Finch, who takes her kids around town on a giant bike?


12 thoughts on “Current events: Car free with six kids

  1. We are definitely not car-free and have no plans to be. We own two big diesel burning trucks, but they are for work purposes. They haul horses, cattle, hay, feed, etc. My oldest daughter also has a small car to drive to college 2 hours away. We live in a rural area so it’s a drive to anywhere for anything.

  2. I think it’s a great idea and wish I could do it, but in my city I feel it would be impossible to go without a car. I try to cut back by only driving to work and to only run errands on the days I work.

    1. That’s a great way to cut back on car use. I have been learning more and more about how to curb that carbon footprint! Thanks for commenting, Brandi.

  3. Yeeaaahhhh! I read BikePortland’s article about Emily a few weeks ago and was so impressed! I’ve never seen her out and about with her kids, but many people who commented on the article had. Pretty awesome!! It’s cool that the article was mentioned on Care 2’s website, as well.

    It sounds like you are on the right track. It doesn’t sound like you could get rid of your car and not everyone can anyway. Like you mentioned, you could up your bicycle use for whichever trips you could. It’s an easy way to get outside and get some exercise! If you both had bikes, you could go on date bike rides, too. ;o)

    Emily and I are lucky that we live in Portland, though. It’s a hugely pro-bike city with lots of bike boulevards, bike safety information, and the like. Not every city has that!

    1. That does sound nice! I live near some Metroparks with bike paths but I haven’t actually moved my bike yet. I only rode it twice since buying it in 2010… I feel bike guilt!

  4. I have a car. It gets great gas mileage (it is a stick shift…they tend to get better gas mileage). I try to combine errands as often as possible. We’ve also cut back on our going out just for the sake of going out. I’ve been sick the past month so I haven’t often felt up to going places which has helped. Though I don’t recommend illness as the way to cut down on driving.

  5. Caitlin, I dream about this no car I’m not ready yet but one day I will. I think its more the thought of not having a car than actually going without one. I tell myself if I lived somewhere like Italy I would have long ditched the automobile. We all are a work in progress keep the faith sister!

    1. I use my car every day! I don’t know what I would do without one. If I worked from home I would make it work. Things to consider for the future… 🙂

  6. I live a mile and a half away from my workplace, and haven’t driven myself to work yet (Ash has dropped me off on rainy days or picked me up if I am sick). I LOVE biking around town. D.C. traffic can really get you down, but I don’t have to put up with it at ALL. Happy happy me 🙂 WIthin two miles of my house are: 4 grocery stores, 2 pharmacies, dozens of restaurants, a bike shop, 2 movie theaters, the Metro (train) station, etc etc.

    1. I would love to live so close to work, but I work in about the most boring away-from-everything town in Northwest Ohio. I walked around near my apartment today with a friend and realized I can totally walk to a grocery store with no problem. I may try it out tomorrow 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s