The article recounts that it hasn't all been easy, but it hasn't been very hard either:
Walking and biking during the unseasonably warm months of November and December went smoothly. A cold snap that began in late January forced Huber to become more resourceful. When she and Keziah left the house one morning last month for piano lessons, the thermometer registered 8 degrees.The experience leaves me totally convinced that we could live richly and comfortably with much less energy use, if we ever make a collective decision to do so.
"Keziah had about four layers of clothing on, plus a snowsuit. I put her in the bike trailer and wrapped an outdoor sleeping bag around her. When we got to Lexington, she said she was toasty warm, and I was sweating from the exertion."
Huber and Wilde expected that the car-free experiment would make them feel virtuous. What has surprised them is how much fun they are having. They find themselves linked to their community in a new way.
"Since we're not driving, we are more likely to shop close to home. That means we support local businesses and see our neighbors more," Huber explained. "And biking or walking means we can stop and talk to people along the way. I was biking to Belmont last week, and I saw a woman I knew in college shoveling her driveway. I never even knew she lived there. If I'd been in the car, I wouldn't have even recognized her, let alone stopped to talk."
Community building has happened in another way, too. Friends who know about the family's car-free experiment have gone out of their way to help. "If our neighbor is going to the grocery store, she asks if she can pick us up anything," Huber said. "In December, a friend invited me to go gift shopping with her. And of course we spend less money because we go to fewer stores. Last month Isaac needed a white shirt to wear for a concert. Normally I would have driven to Target. Since I didn't want to do that, I asked a friend with kids if we could borrow one."
Wilde emphasized, though, that the experiment is not turning them into freeloaders; it works both ways. "On the rare days that we do use the car, we offer to do errands for other people," he said. "The point isn't to eliminate all cars; it's to cut down on everyone's fuel consumption."