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Car-free Sunday 2023 (US): Date, History, Activities, Facts

Some cities and nations celebrate this day with special events.

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Car-free Sunday 2023 (US): Date, History, Activities, Facts

Car-free Sunday 2023: Every year September 22 is World Car Free Day. The day encourages automobile owners to give up their vehicles for a day. Some cities and nations celebrate this day with special events. The events, which vary by location, give motorists and commuters a glimpse of what their neighborhood would look like with fewer cars. Beginning in 1973 with the oil crisis, projects of this nature occurred on an irregular basis; it was not until October 1994 that Eric Britton made a formal call for such projects in his keynote address at the International Ciudades Accessible Conference in Toledo, Spain.


Car-Free Sunday began when the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) established the first annual Car-Free Day on the first Tuesday of their Green Transport Week, which occurred on June 17 or thereabouts. In 2000, an agreement was reached for it to be a self-standing day held on September 22 — originally a pan-European day — sponsored by the European Commission. Later, it was implemented on a global scale; during this time, a large number of cities were invited to ban cars from their downtown areas. Instead, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other forms of sustainable transportation were favored.

The purpose of this holiday is to encourage individuals to consider what their city would look like with fewer automobiles and what steps would be required to make this vision a reality. Advocates claim that more than 100 million people in 1,500 cities around the world observe International Car-Free Day, though they do so on days and in ways of their choosing. This assertion is, however, unverified. Between 1994 and 2005, hundreds of cities have experimented with various methods of celebrating this day in a variety of circumstances and on multiple occasions.

Activists, while attempting to determine the advantages of this holiday, suggested that it would be agreeable to have a pleasant day with fewer cars and, presumably, fewer accidents in at least some parts of the city or cities, but they also believed that this could not be the ultimate benefit. As far as the activists were concerned, the purpose of a Car-Free day was to serve as a catalyst for a much larger and more ambitious process of citywide systemic transformation toward a sustainable transportation system.


What emissions does a vehicle produce?

Car emissions fall into two broad categories: air pollutants, which contribute to smog, haze, and health issues; and greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as carbon dioxide and methane.

What are the three primary sources of emissions from a vehicle’s engine?

There are three major sources of automobile emissions: engine exhaust, crankcase, and fuel tank and carburetor.

What is the emission output of a vehicle?

A typical passenger car emits approximately 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.


One day without your car

The concept behind Car-Free Sunday is to go car-free for the entire day. You can use a bicycle or another form of sustainable transportation instead.

Give money to the cause

The purpose of Car Free Sunday is to contribute to a larger effort to make the environment safer by eliminating automobile emissions. You can contribute to this cause in honor of Car-Free Sunday.

Online discussion participation

Join the conversation online using the #CarFreeSunday hashtag, and share interesting facts about the importance of making your city emission-free.

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More than a billion automobiles exist worldwide.

According to a survey conducted in 2021, over one billion automobiles were in use worldwide.

70 million autos produced annually

Every year, approximately 70 million automobiles are produced.

Automobiles are an environmental hazard

Automobiles pollute the environment with their carbon dioxide emissions.

Duration of a car’s parking

A car is parked for approximately 95% of its lifetime.

The electric vehicle era

In an effort to provide a more sustainable mode of transportation, car manufacturers have begun manufacturing and selling thousands of electric cars, with Tesla in the lead.


We have the chance to exercise.

When we travel without a car, the likelihood is that we walk or ride bicycles. We are getting much-needed exercise regardless of the activity.

It serves an environmental purpose.

Car-Free Sunday aims to be a catalyst for addressing the environmental pollution caused by cars. We give ourselves to the cause as we participate!

Congestion reduction!

Without a doubt, it goes without saying that fewer automobiles will result in less traffic congestion. We can all live with this circumstance.

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