Today is World Car-Free Day – a day when motorists give up their cars for 24 hours and use alternative forms of transport. To celebrate, we decided to highlight our fantastic employees who are leading the way and commuting to work without cars (or were, before the pandemic struck.)
Car-Free Employee Number 1: Sabrina Marsh
Cycling is one of the best ways to get to work car-free. Pre-COVID, Sabrina commuted to work using public transit in winter and by bike when the weather was nicer. Usually, she would start using her bike in spring, and continue right up to Halloween. Her commute took between 20 and 25 minutes.
In winter, while using public transit, Sabrina would listen to podcasts while commuting. “I liked that I could listen to topics that I was already interested in or learn something new,” she says.
Staying car-free and biking in the nicer weather has its own benefits, including improved physical and mental health. “Biking always puts me in a good mood before the workday,” Sabrina says. “It felt like I accomplished something for the day, and it was always a good decompressor after a workday.”
Sabrina took advantage of Greensaver’s EcoBenefits package in 2018, which covered the purchase of a second-hand bike. The bike cost $200, so she used the entirety of the benefit to cover it. “The eco benefit quite literally paid for my bike!” she tells me.
Car-Free Employee Number 2: Craig Blyth-Moore
Before COVID, Craig stayed car-free by cycling to-and-from work almost every day. He aimed to cycle all year round, but usually only made it until mid-November. He would then start up again in late-February or early-March.
Craig’s commute would take between 20 and 25 minutes and take him along the shore of Lake Ontario. Seeing the lake every day was his favourite part of the commute.
To him, there are many benefits to having a car-free commute with a bike. “When I cycle, I feel better physically and mentally. Not only that, but I know I’m helping the environment by not driving.”
Craig also took advantage of Greensaver’s EcoBenefits package to do repairs and a general tuneup on his bike in 2018.
Car-Free Employee Number 3: Gustavo Herrera
Gustavo Herrera enjoyed a car-free commute to work using public transit before the pandemic. Although the journey took him 2.5 hours each way, he liked being able to read on the way.
He also enjoyed this method of transport because it is less stressful than driving. “I like taking public transport as it is more stressful to drive, especially driving on packed highways,” he tells me.
Gustavo has consistently used Greensaver’s EcoBenefits package to pay for part of his transit pass cost.
As an Extra: Lauren Binette
While not car-free, we also want to focus on clean energy technology on this Car-Free Day. Before COVID, Lauren commuted to work in her fully-electric Nissan Leaf. Not only that, but the electricity used to run her car was produced by solar panels on her roof, thus making the trip completely emissions-free.
Lauren loves driving her electric car to work. “It’s good for the environment, and I get to drive in the carpool lane because it’s a green vehicle,” she says with a smile.
Sadly, she bought her electric car before coming to Greensaver, so she couldn’t take advantage of the electric car subsidy included in our EcoBenefits package. However, she has colleagues who do take advantage, and it makes her happy to know they use them to commute car-free.