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Ōtepoti – World car free day is a movement that began 22 years ago, after decades of action by different organisations internationally.

It brings communities together to consider new ways of getting from A to B and ditching the car when they can.

In New Zealand, more than 20 percent of emissions come from transport and cars are a default way of getting around. Kiwis need to change this to reach the goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and everyone has a role to play.

Internationally, cities hold events on September 22 to close down streets or even entire districts to cars, and reap the benefits of cleaner air, quieter neighbourhoods, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, not to mention less money spent on fossil fuels.

One car-free day even each week would make a huge dent in Aotearoa’s carbon emissions.

If just one in five switched the car for active transport (public bus, biking or walking), or even work at home one day a week, the country could avoid 84,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year. That’s like taking 35,000 cars off the road for good.

The more people get into a carless mode, whether they’re businesses, communities, families or individuals the movement will grow.

Research shows 72 percent of NZ businesses provide car parking, yet only 22 percent provide bike parking.

A total of 54 percent of people would like to cycle more and 40 percent would like to use public transport more.

With jumping in the car being the most stressful way to get to work, there are so many great reasons to ditch the car for the work commute.