Low car diet

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Portland family's going green -- and going carless.

The Judsons of Southeast Portland and 29 other car owners in the city are accepting the so-called 'Low Car Diet' challenge.

They're ignoring their three autos and opting for bikes, buses and trains when possible.

One of the bikes is electric - on-loan from the Bike Gallery - and helps tow their two small children.

They've got the hang of it and plan to take the experiment beyond one month if possible.

"None of us is driving. I mean our whole house is car free for a whole month," said Michelle Judson.

The family is getting places without cars in their continued pursuit of "going green."

Already, they've installed new efficient windows, started using cloth diapers, solar cooking you name it.

"This idea of giving up your car is sort of the last frontier," she said. "It hasn't been very bad actually. We have a great bike trailer. We can fit about three bags of groceries in there and both kids."

Husband Evan Judson agrees.

"I really think that this is going to impact our lives a lot," he said. "We already committed to selling at least one of the cars -if not both of them and just going down to just one car," he said.

The Judson's cycled to nearby Lents Park Wednesday to socialize with a "mommy group."

The other parents at the park are inspired by the Low Car Diet experiment.

Though with Ingrid McTaggard and her four kids, "I don't think it's too daunting but I think I'd need to get a really big bike trailer."

Things are going well enough that the Judson's plan to sell two of their three cars and pursue alternative transportation from now on (weather-permitting).

"I mean, for the most part it's been actually really easy," said Michelle.

Zipcar is sponsoring the event in 13 cities across the U.S.

The car-share company says Portland participants tend to be the most aggressive about reducing their car use.

So far, participants nationwide have logged 4,200 miles on bikes and 2,400 miles using buses and trains.

Read or Share this story: