On 22 September, people around the world will give up their cars for the day, in celebration of ‘World Car-Free Day’, which has been created to encourage commuters to leave the car at home and walk, cycle or take public transport for the day instead. The benefits to the environment, physical and mental health, and even social life are numerous; we’ve listed just a few of them here:

Environment

On average, a car emits around four tonnes of CO2 a year. When you think how many millions of vehicles there are on the planet, the amount of CO2 produced from cars alone in one year is a scary thought. Walking therefore significantly reduces our contribution to air pollution, as does taking the bus, which can save up to 50 cars from being on the road.

Health

Even the walk or cycle to or from work contributes to our recommended 60 minutes of exercise a day, and is more cost and time-efficient than going to the gym. Furthermore, by reducing the number of cars on the road, we can reduce the amount of pollution that contributes to respiratory problems such as asthma.

There are also a lot of mental health benefits of leaving the car at home; studies show that children who walked to school rather than got driven in tended to achieve higher academic performance, were less stressed and were generally more agreeable to teach throughout the day.

Economy

The amount of money spent on petrol and parking each year can reach extortionate amounts, so cutting down on the amount we use our cars will do a lot of good for our wallets. Even using the bus is a cheaper alternative, saving you the stress and expense of finding parking spaces and refuelling the car.

Social

While driving doesn’t necessarily make you less sociable as a person, walking to work or school with someone offers the opportunity to chat and socialise more than driving to work on your own. There is also evidence that children who walk to and from school are more likely to go and play outside with others, rather than staying inside alone.

Will you be leaving the car at home this World Car-Free Day? Let us know on Twitter @HeatHolderSocks.