I won't lie. I hate how I'm one of the millions of people in Los Angeles who have to commute to work five days a week because I know how bad it is for the environment. Every time I see the smog settling in over the Valley I think to myself, "You're not doing your part to help the earth." I consume about a tank of gas a week. That's 12-13 gallons. I know that may not seem like much, but I bet the earth would disagree with you.
I live in a community where I can pretty much get anything I need within three miles: there are banks, stores, coffee shops, restaurants and the beach. So, to honor my car and the earth, I do my best to keep the car in the garage for the entire weekend and walk everywhere. However, in order to do this, I have to plan my big grocery-shopping day before the weekend. I used to do this on Saturdays, but for the past six months I've taken the time after work on Fridays to do my big shop. This is not only more convenient (think of how many people spend their Friday night grocery shopping -- if you go where I go, not a lot), it frees up my weekend to not have to deal with lines, crowds or driving.
I might not be able to walk to a movie theatre, but I can walk to the beach and soak in the environment that I'm trying to save. Two days of not being in my car may not seem like a long time, but it feels like a vacation to me. Plus, I save money on gas for the week.
I think it's become easy for people in Los Angeles to just get in their cars and drive somewhere that's easily within walking distance. Things may not be as compact as New York City here, but we are in a city. Whether you live in Venice, Silver Lake or Sherman Oaks, make note of the places you can walk to and give your wallet, your car, and the earth a weekend break.