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When Was the Last Time You Walked Your Errands?

Driving to run errands is very much so a habit for most people. It’s easier and faster. But if the places you need to go are within walking or bike riding distance, it’s perhaps not the right choice. How often could you do errands without using your car, and how often do you?

It’s a question worth thinking on.

Distance

Whether you want to walk, ride a bike or drive depends in part on how far you need to go. If it’s under a mile, walking is often not a bad option, weather permitting. Biking a few miles each way can be a reasonable choice too. There’s certainly a point where driving or taking mass transit makes more sense.

Weather

Some weather is better than other weather for walking or riding. Extremely hot and humid days can be a poor choice, especially if you aren’t used to doing a lot of walking. However, you could carry a water bottle and wear a hat and sunscreen on hot days to make things safer. You do not want to overheat or suffer from heat stroke.

Personally, I like walking on rainy days, but not quite so much for shopping errands. It depends on how much rain you’re talking as well. Snow is probably not the best for walking errands unless they’re pretty short.

Safety

Not all areas are safe for walking or riding a bike. You need to use your common sense.

A lack of sidewalks is a big part of the problem in some areas. There isn’t always a safe shoulder for pedestrians to walk along on busy roads that they need to use to get where they’re going.

How Much You’ll be Carrying

Some errands, even over a short distance, really don’t work as walking or biking, or even mass transit errands. Sometimes you need a car to carry everything you buy or are disposing of.

Reusable Bags

Having reusable shopping bags is wonderful when you don’t drive your errands. They can have much more comfortable handles for carrying purchases. They also go well in bicycle baskets or folding shopping carts if you want an easier way to lug things along.

Gear

You don’t need a lot of gear to walk your errands. The main things you need are comfortable walking shoes. Good shoes are worth the money.

I also recommend a hat for sun protection. My mother’s been serious about hat use since having a skin cancer removed from her scalp. That’s good motivation for me too.

If you think you might take a bike for some errands, it’s worth the money. They cost much less than cars (obviously!) and need only a little maintenance here and there. Include a basket on the bike to make running errands on it easier.