Driving me to downsize

During my interview with Chris Walker on CBC Daybreak South yesterday, I struggled a bit to explain the single motivating spark for our downsizing mission of the past couple of years. I rambled a bit about the empowerment of gardening, but luckily did not get into the maker movement or ethical computing or other such obscure topics. All of those were certainly contributing factors but were more like minimalist tinder — the actual spark was when we joined OGO Carshare.

I have been a huge supporter of OGO since the beginning. We use it for our weekly grocery trips, for visiting my parents in Armstrong, and for running errands. It is the only vehicle we have. Here is me at the launch:

ogo carshare launch announcement

Why was this move so incendiary? Well, Kelowna has a very strong car culture, and everyone thinks you cannot make it here without a car. Furthermore, we have two kids (6 and 4, see below), and everyone thinks you cannot make it here with kids and without a car.

My kids as cute propaganda devices for Ogo Carshare.
My kids as cute propaganda devices for Ogo Carshare.

People said we couldn’t do it. In fact, I didn’t think we could do it. We decided to test it for the summer, and look into buying a car in the winter. But you know what? Winter came and we didn’t get a car. Another summer came and then another winter… nearly three years later we are still carless and happy.

The key here is by questioning one aspect about how we lived, and turning that wisdom on its head, we started questioning others. This, I think, was the spark that ignited the tinder inspiring us to fire so many of our belongings and move towards a more sustainable life.


Downsizing insight: The cost of owning a car in 2015 is estimated at $10,456 a year. Read more →

cost_of_vehicle_ownership_2-15

Author: Chad Kohalyk

Bellatrist, communitarian, tech contrarian. Generous with Likes. http://chadkohalyk.com