Each year, Zipcar issues a "Low-Car Diet" Challenge, and there are only six days left for participants try and get in and, "pledge to personally give up their vehicles for 30 days and find other ways to meet their transportation needs." This year's month of moving differently starts September 14, and participants will score benefits on top of a chance to rethink getting around. On top of being awarded a free year-long Zipcar membership, dieters will get promotional tea and snack items, so the "diet" part of the plan is really more for your wheels than your belly. Although biking and walking will help both.

Zipcar will be selecting 30 people per participating city – for 2010, this means Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington D.C. – to join the diet. Dieters will be asked to work the whole social media thing while they track car miles saved and other interesting stats. Last year, for example, there were 252 participants, and they:
  • increased their miles biked by 132 percent
  • decreased their miles driven by 66 percent
  • lost a total of 413 pounds
Sound like a good idea? Sign up here.

[Source: Zipcar]

PRESS RELEASES

Just Six Days Left to Join Zipcar's 'Low-Car Diet' Challenge

Participants from across the U.S. and Canada encouraged to get smart about alternative transportation options by giving up their cars for 30-days

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Beginning September 14, 2010, participants in Zipcar cities across the United States and Canada are taking on the world's largest car-sharing services' third annual Low-Car Diet. In six days, participants will pledge to personally give up their vehicles for 30 days and find other ways to meet their transportation needs.

Participants nationwide will be given a Zipcar membership and other incentives from national partners including popchips(TM), KIND Healthy Snacks, Honest Tea®, Stretch Island® Fruit Co. to make their experience convenient, fun and rewarding. To reap the economic and environmental benefits in your city, join Zipcar's Low-Car Diet today by signing up at www.zipcar.com/lowcardiet.

The Low-Car Diet encourages participants to take on a smarter lifestyle and consider alternative transportation options rather than using their personally owned vehicle. Consider the following:

-- If you live in Philadelphia, instead of driving your car to the next Phillies game, take SEPTA.

-- Take your bike when shopping on Chicago's Magnificent Mile; you'll save money on parking and gas, while getting a good work-out.

-- The Pittsburgh Steelers are back after a long summer break, consider the environment and carpool with friends to the next game.

-- The Toronto International Film Festival is coming - go car-free and plan your route with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).

Last year's 252 Low-Car Diet participants nationwide demonstrated that a minimal car regimen was easier than cutting carbs; 61 percent of the 2009 participants said they planned to go "car-free" after the 30-day challenge. Additionally, participants increased their miles biked by 132 percent, decreased their miles driven by 66 percent and lost a total of 413 pounds.

"With the unemployment rate holding at 9.6 percent and the average U.S. household spending nearly 19 percent of their income on transportation, smart consumers are looking for alternatives to owning a car," said Scott Griffith, Zipcar Chairman and CEO. "This year's Low-Car Diet asks drivers to experience Zipcar and the concept of car sharing for what it really is - a way of life - and we hope participants realize what our 400,000 members already have: you can have all the freedom and benefits of car ownership without the expense or headaches of owning a car."

This year, Zipcar is hosting kickoff events and end-of challenge celebrations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington D.C. Those who rise to the challenge will share their car-free experiences using Twitter and other social media channels. Individuals who are interested in learning more and participating in this year's Low-Car Diet in the United States or Canada, should visit http://zipcar.com/lowcardiet to fill out an entry form.

About Zipcar

Zipcar operates in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles by the hour or day to residents and businesses looking for an alternative to the high costs and hassles of owning a car.

Zipcar and the Zipcar logo are trademarks of Zipcar, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.


Zipcar Challenges Car Owners to a 'Low-Car Diet'

Call for participants in third annual challenge encourages and enables people to give up their car for 30-days and get smart on alternative transportation options

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Zipcar Inc., the world's largest car-sharing service, is challenging car owners nationwide to participate in its third annual Low-Car Diet. Beginning September 14, 2010, participants in Zipcar cities across the United States and Canada will pledge to personally give up their vehicles for 30-days and find other ways to meet their transportation needs. Participants will be given a Zipcar membership and other incentives designed to make their experience convenient, fun and rewarding.

The Zipcar Low-Car Diet includes the economic, environmental and health benefits associated with a smart lifestyle. Last year's 252 Low-Car Diet participants demonstrated that a minimal car regimen was easier than cutting carbs; 61 percent of the 2009 participants said they planned to go "car-free" after the 30-day challenge. Additionally, participants increased their miles biked by 132 percent, decreased their miles driven by 66 percent and lost a total of 413 pounds.

The impact Low-Car Diet has had on the past two year's contestants has been immensely impactful. "Low-Car Diet has made lasting changes in my life because it makes me think twice before driving a car," said Mara Unterberger, a 2009 Low-Car Diet participant in Chicago. "I still consider if there is another way to get to my destination involving walking or public transit but I find that Zipcar is an easy, affordable and convenient alternative to driving [my own car]."

More Americans today are getting smart about alternative modes of transportation, finding that walking and biking save time, money and the environment. According to a recent survey, conducted by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, the number of reported walking trips more than doubled since the first survey taken in 1994, from 18 billion to 42.5 billion in 2009. Bicycling trips saw a similar increase, from 1.7 billion to four billion during the same period.*

"With the unemployment rate holding at 9.6 percent and the average U.S. household spending nearly 19 percent of their income on transportation, smart consumers are looking for alternatives to owning a car," said Scott Griffith, Zipcar Chairman and CEO. "This year's Low-Car Diet asks drivers to experience Zipcar and the concept of car sharing for what it really is – a way of life – and we hope participants realize what our 400,000 members already have: you can have all the freedom and benefits of car ownership without the expense or headaches of owning a car."

Lauren Herskovic of Chicago was another participant of the hundreds who completed last year's Low-Car Diet challenge and reaped the benefits of saving money and incorporating a healthier lifestyle, all while reducing her carbon footprint. "I really feel like this Low-Car Diet changed my life for the better and I'm excited to take all these life lessons with me," said Herskovic. "First step: get rid of my darn car and save $250 each month in payments! Additionally, now that I'm using public transportation, I've read more books and feel less stressed since I'm no longer fighting with other commuters over a parking space."

This year, Zipcar is hosting kickoff events and end-of challenge celebrations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington D.C. Those who rise to the challenge will share their car-free experiences using Twitter and other social media channels. Individuals who are interested in participating in this year's Low-Car Diet in the United States or Canada, should visit http://bit.ly/lowcardiet to fill out an entry form. If you want to check out last year's Low-Car Diet go to http://zipcar.com/lowcardiet.

About Zipcar

Zipcar operates in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles by the hour or day to residents and businesses looking for an alternative to the high costs and hassles of owning a car.

Zipcar and the Zipcar logo are trademarks of Zipcar, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

* The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) recently published its 15-year update to its National Bicycling and Walking Study – July 2010
.

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