Car Free Day

In the world today, approximately a billion cars are traveling the world’s roads, and each of these cars produces 0.12 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. That means each day over 120,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide are released into the air. To highlight this problem, Car Free Day was invented.

This day falls on September 22nd and not only brings attention to the problem of car pollution but also encourages everyone with a car to give up driving for the day and find another form of transportation.

The History of Car Free Day

Car Free Day is a holiday that originated in Bogotá, Colombia, on September 22, 2000. It was a day in which people left their cars from 5 am to 7:30 pm at night and took another form of transportation. It was largely a symbolic act at first, but it was institutionalized through a public referendum the following month. Since then, it has spread to 46 countries and over 2,100 cities in the world.

The Effects of Car Pollution on Nature

Although most people realize that the mixture of gases that come out of their car’s exhaust is bad for the environment, many do not realize just how bad. The following bullet points will highlight why people should use Car Free Day as a springboard to using their car less, so they can reduce their impact on the environment.

  • Car pollution has contributed to a rise in global temperatures which affects farming, wildlife, and sea levels.
  • Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide mix in the atmosphere to produce damaging acid rain.
  • Hydrocarbons react with nitrogen oxide and create ozone. Ozone causes coughing and chest inflammation.
  • Cars also produce harmful sulfur oxide, formaldehyde, and benzene particles—all of which are harmful to human health.

Other Impacts of Cars on the Environment

Of course, cars have a negative environmental impact that far transcends the pollutants caused by running their engines. Extracting the fuel from the ground in the first place can be damaging to local ecosystems and cause environmental problems. It also takes a lot of fuel to ship fuel to all of the places it’s needed in the world.

Cars present a huge environmental problem long after they’ve served their useful purpose. Toxic chemicals from the plastics, batteries, and rubbers used in the construction of the vehicle can leak into the ground once the vehicle has been scrapped.

Celebrating Car Free Day

The best way to celebrate this observation day is by leaving your car parked in your driveway or your garage for the day. Instead of using your vehicle, think about riding a bike, walking, or taking public transportation for the day.

You can also encourage your friends and family to do the same. If you want to help spread the word about Car Free Day, then all you have to do is use the hashtag #CarFreeDay on your social media accounts.

When is it?
This year (2024)
September 22 Sunday
Next year (2025)
September 22 Monday
Last year (2023)
September 22 Friday
Activity & Action, Nature & Environment