Has greenwashing hit a new low? HGTV has completely missed the point of what it means to be sustainable with their new Green Home Giveaway sweepstakes.
The winner gets a fancy “green” home in Hiton Head, SC complete with energy efficient appliances, eco-floors, amenities, doo-dads, etc.; a membership to the local water-sucking, pesticide-spewing golf course; and a hybrid SUV. Of course all of these prizes are carefully branded and marketed through the HGTV programming.
“Bicycle City” sounds like a place I’d like to live. By planners’ description, its “highlights” include a “walkable, urban design; vibrant local economy; eco-friendly, sustainable design; organic farming; human-powered transportation; strong and diverse community, active healthy lifestyle.” By contrast to most urban areas, Bicycle City doesn’t have “pollution, traffic jams, parking lots, national franchises, strip malls, stress, chemicals, or 'cookie cutter' ” designs.
The annual Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts is encouraging concertgoers to leave their cars at home. A full third of people attending the three day celebration (akin to Woodstock, but in the English countryside) will commute by public transport (including via coach and rail) and Festival organizers are encouraging all who attend to car-share, if they must commute by vehicle. “The aim is to reduce the number of cars which come to the festival,” organizers say.
Cars have made us fat, diseased, cash-strapped, and disconnected from one another and ourselves. Now, thanks to air pollution caused by cars and power plants, we don't even have the scent of flowers to appreciate. As National Geographic reports, the potency of the smell of flowers has been reduced by as much as 90%.
So you’ve been leaving your car at home and walking to work. You’re strolling to the bus stop, or to the subway; walking to the grocery store, and to pick up the kids at school. You think you’re doing everything exactly right. At the very least, you’re taking a step in the right direction. But, says Adam Sternbergh, a writer for New York Magazine, pedestrians may be making an ecological choice, but not an ergonomic one. Sternbergh’s verdict? “You walk wrong.”
Beginning in May, residents of Washington D.C. will be the first in the U.S. to take advantage of an automated bike-sharing program, called SmartBike. For a mere $40 per year, members of the program will simply swipe a card and pedal away, avoiding metro traffic and cramped subway cars.
Congestion pricing in New York City was given the red light, but dedicated cyclist and pedestrian advocate Paul Steely White, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives (T.A.), a pedestrian and bike advocacy group, is hopeful that Gotham will eventually go green.
Commuters and curmudgeons have been slinging mud at public transit, saying it’s inefficient, outdated, unattractive, and a leech on municipal budgets. A report by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, “Evaluating Transit Criticism,” refutes these and a litany of other outlandish claims (i.e. “transit doesn’t reduce traffic congestion” and “harms poor people”) with hard-and-fast statistics. The study makes a stellar case for investing in rail systems for every major city.
written by Patty, May 05, 2008
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