Now that the weather is warm, it's a good time to set up a "No-Drive Zone" around your home. This is a distance that you and your kids have decided is close enough to your home that you won't drive your car to places in this area. Instead, walk or bike.
It may take an extra 10 minutes when you go out and require a better shoes or a jacket, but you'll get several benefits from a No-Drive zone. First, you'll be surprised at how much physical activity this will add to your day. Even with a small No-Drive zone you can count on an extra 30 minutes of walking adding up all your trips in the zone.
Second, adding up those small trips saves gas and wear and tear on your car. It also adds up to being easy on the environment, especially since you're more likely to let your car idle on short trips within the no-drive zone.
Third, you'll get more chances to say hello to your neighbors or talk to your kids or spouse as you walk. It's less stressful than driving.
Your kids will also learn to better navigate the neighborhood on foot, bike or scooter than they will riding in the back of the car. This allows them a little more independence. They'll learn how to get to their friend's or to school and back on their own -- which frees up some time for you.
Lastly, FRESH AIR. I know I'm sick of the stale recycled stuff in my house right now.
Your No-Drive zone could be a few blocks or up to a mile from your front door. Keep in mind natural boundaries like busy roads or frequent destinations. Once you get in the habit of driving less, you'll find you love foot power.