If you can swing it, try to see if you can make your car (or at least one of your cars) break down on you. That way you will be forced to carpool/bike/walk/take public transportation. And then you can be green-righteous like me.
Here's the car situation: we own one car. We have, however, spent several years--on and off--graciously babysitting (out of the goodness of our hearts) one of my in-laws' cars. Last fall our own car broke down--needed a new engine. The budget didn't like that. So that car stayed parked in front of the house; and we were left with one car, the loaner.
My husband works outside the home; I am a full-time, stay-at-home mom. So, I turned to my husband and said:
"You take the car, Schmoopsie-pooh. It's no problem for us, really! The kids and I love to ride bikes! School isn't that far away and it's fun to do our errands on bikes! Riding bikes is better than driving a car, anyway--it's better exercise, it's much less expensive, and it's TONS better for the environment! In fact, I feel really sad for you that you have to drive a car; there's really nothing that can compare to basking in the warm glow of my green-righteousness. You poor thing."
So that's what we did.*
Just after Christmas we got our car fixed. So, now we were back to being a two-car family. But, do you think that I would ever go back to actually DRIVING a car again? Would I abandon my ideals? Would I succumb to the enticings of a few measly accoutrements like a heater and shelter from the potentially icy, arctic conditions of a Utah winter? Would I sell my soul for such a price?
Well . . . maybe a few times. But I had really, REALLY good reasons, so you understand, right?
This past week the car battery died. (Or maybe it's the alternator; we haven't checked it out yet.) So that meant I had to break out the bike a couple of times. As I checked my tires and strapped the baby in the trailer, I glanced around at the world, helmet in hand, and wondered to myself. Had my superior glow been too compromised during the months of shameful driving? Had I forgotten who I was? Was my green-righteousness buried too far beneath piles of filthy carbon emissions and guilt to ever be recovered again?
I secured my helmet and . . . with a pensive breath in my heart . . . I pushed off.
It came right back.
It was just like riding a bike.
(*This was a struggle for my husband's sense of chivalry. He did NOT like the idea of my being what he saw as "stranded" without a car.)