Archive for the ‘transport’ Category

stuff for pedal pushers

September 24, 2009

Despite the fact that I “fell off” my bike last Saturday (I was cut off & spilled off) and bruised my back & neck up pretty good, I’m still gung ho about biking in this fair city. It’s a great way to get around, it burns calories instead of fuel, and it’s often faster than driving a car. Luckily for those of the pedal-powered persuasion, new bike paths have been established in the last few years, making it a bit safer for riding amongst the mostly apathetic motorists (even tho’ I was in a bike lane when I had my little accident & the guy did stop thankfully).

Groups like Transportation Alternatives, Streets Blog, and Brooklyn Greenway Initiative are fighting for cyclist rights and the establishment of more continuous bike paths or greenways. Resources for cyclists are ever-improving as well.

Here are some great go-to sites for bikers:

Ride the City
Great tool for finding the safest or most direct route to your destination

NYC Bike Maps
Pretty self explanatory

Find bike parking anywhere in the city

The NY Times bicycle news blog

Bike Blog NYC
More bike news

If you like cycling group-style, a la Critical Mass, some events coming up are:

Escape NY
This Saturday the 26th. Get out of town!

Four Corners NYC Bike Tour
Also this Saturday the 26th. Via Hey I’m Walkin’ Here (facebook group)

2009 Tour de Bronx
October 18th

Other cyclist-centric fare:

Biking Rules
It’s a PSA competition run by Transportation Alternatives to improve the public image of city cyclists. Hurray, if you want to enter, the deadline is Monday the 28th! PSA’s will be screened at BAM on Tuesday, November 17th.

Bike Shorts
A cleverly named ongoing short film get-together. Submit a film, you could win $100. Next screening is this Sunday the 27th

Be safe kiddles, where your helmet!

a feel-good film about fuel

September 18, 2009

Fuel, it’s a star-studded little eco-documentary that won some awards at Sundance last year. The title is pretty self-explanatory, as is the trailer. Woody Harrelson, Larry David, Sheryl Crow, Neil Young, and of course Willie Nelson (the face of BioWillie) all grace the screen. Check it out:

Although it was released last year, it looks like it’s getting another chance on the big screen. Fuel is playing at AMC Theater Time Square, starting tonight. Get your tickets here.

Visit the film’s official site.

bicycle icicle

January 8, 2009

Maybe I’m a wuss or maybe the Danes just have thicker blood than I do. Since the mercury dropped, my bike has been collecting dust. But Old Man Winter isn’t stopping the folks captured on Copenhagen Cycle Chic. They make it look so good, even in below zero temps (is that in degrees F or C, I wonder?).

Thigh-highs allow for greater pedaling mobility in a skirt.

How cute, they even have matching coats.

My boyfriend even got me a cool new pedal-powered dynamo headlamp (by Green Goods) for my bike and I’ve yet to take it for a test spin.

It also has emergent charging capabilities
so I can charge my cell phone in a pinch.

Maybe a daily dose of Danes on cycles will inspire me to get pedaling again.

what’s on in sydney

November 12, 2008

Writing from Sydney, Australia
(11pm Sydney, 7am NYC)

Some great earth-friendly events are happening here in Sydney right now. I hope to make it to a few.

National Recycling Week
Mon 10 Nov – Sun 16 Nov
Various times and locations

Several events take place all over the city, including waste and recycling facility tours, swap parties, and lightbulb giveaways. The initiative encourages community involvement and brings awareness to the issue of waste as it impacts the environment.

Bicycle Film Festival

Thu 13 – Sat 15 Nov 10am-10pm
Various locations

The Bicycle Film Festival celebrates the bicycle. We are into all styles of bikes and biking. If you can name it – Tall Bike Jousting, Track Bikes, BMX, Alleycats, Critical Mass, Bike Polo, Cycling to Recumbents – we’ve probably either ridden or screened it. What better way to celebrate these lifestyles than through art, film, music and performance? We bring together all aspects of bicycling together to advocate its ability to transport us in many ways. Ultimately the Fest is about having a good time.

[Sustainable Living Calendar]

The Water ProjectPart of Riverbeats 08
Fri 14 Nov 10am-2pm
at Riverside Theatre, Parramatta

It’s the great environmental debate – a free youth-orientated symposium hosted by our favourite scientists, Adam Spencer and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki. They’ll be exploring issues on Sydney’s water resources and sustainable future.

[TimeOut Sydney]

The Rocks Farmers’ Market
Every Fri 10am-3pm and Sat 9am-3pm
Jack Mundey Place (cnr Argyle & George Sts)

At The Rocks Farmers’ Market you’ll only find authentic growers and producers who display their food miles so you’ll know just how local their produce is. The Rocks Farmers’ Market is also plastic bag free.

Intro to Permaculture

Sat 15 – Sun 16 Nov 9:00am – 5:00pm

Camden St, Newtown

by Milkwood Permaculture

Over this weekend you will learn how to apply pro-active, sustainable design techniques to your immediate environment – whether you live in an inner city apartment, a quarter-acre block, or a rural property. Covering organic food production, system design (and re-design) for comfort and lower energy consumption, and ideas on how to approach a sustainable and positive community existence within your neighbourhood.

Come and learn practical strategies to better care and provide for yourself, your family and the planet. A jam-packed weekend of information, techniques, a site visit to Angel St Permaculture Garden and great piles of organic food, all within a comfortable walk from an inner-city train station.

This course will be taught by Nick Ritar, an award-winning educator of community technologies and strategies for communication, and co-founder of Milkwood Permaculture, providing practical, ecological, do-able solutions for sustainable living and development. All previous editions of this course have sold out quick smart – so come along, and start your process of skilling-up for adaptation in a changing world.

[Sustainable Living Calendar]

Sadly, I won’t be around for this one…

Earth Festival
Sat 29 Nov, 12pm-10pm
Centennial Park, Moore Park

Celebrate the planet through creative arts and entertainment. Music, outdoor movies, art, and dance are just a few of the media for the environmental message. The event coordinators strive to be seriously eco-friendly through practices like using only biodegradable plastics for all food and beverage, vermicomposting biodegradable waste, supplying free drinking water, and using biodiesel in event generators.

speaking of the land down under

November 6, 2008

In the last post, I told you about a way to win a trip to New Zealand. This Saturday I won’t be heading to that magnificent land, but I’ll be going very close… to Australia!

And while I’m psyched about seeing cuddly koalas and kangaroos, sitting on pristine beaches, and eating shrimp on the barbie, that’s not the first thing I thought of when considering this trip. It’s the enormous carbon footprint my flight will create. The round trip flight from NYC to Sydney is nearly 20,000 miles of travel, equivalent to about 4 tons of CO2 emissions. Yikes!

I’ll definitely be buying some carbon offsets for this one. But I don’t think that’s enough. So I’m going to leave it up to you. What else can I do to make up for the carbon spewing flight?

Look for the survey, coming soon!

Okay, I’ve added the poll at the top of the page. You can add other suggestions in the comments section.

During my stay in Oz, what should I do to make up for the flight’s carbon spew?

  • Eat no meat for the entire trip
  • Buy only Australian made goods
  • Volunteer for a local environmental group
  • Other (add your own idea to comments)

most fuel efficient vehicles for 2009

October 24, 2008

Ready to make an upgrade to a fuel-efficient vehicle? Jalopnik‘s got a list of the most efficient cars out there, broken out by best city and highway mileage, and by category. No surprise, Prius still tops the list for both city and highway MPG.

Make Model: City or Highway

By City

1.) Toyota Prius: 48
2.) Honda Civic Hybrid: 40
3.) Nissan Altima Hybrid: 35
4.) Ford Escape/Mariner Hybrid 2WD: 34
5.) Smart Fortwo: 33
Toyota Camry Hybrid: 33
7.) Volkswagen Jetta/SportWagen Diesel: 30
8.) Toyota Yaris: 29
9.) Mini Cooper: 28
Honda FIt: 28

By Highway

1.) Toyota Prius: 45
Honda Civic Hybrid: 45
3.) Volkswagen Jetta/SportWagen Diesel: 41
Smart Fortwo: 41
5.) Chevy Cobalt/Pontiac G5 XFE: 37
Mini Cooper: 37
7.) Toyota Yaris: 36
Honda Civic/Civic CNG: 36
9.) Chevy Cobalt/Pontiac G5: 35
Toyota Corolla/Honda Fit: 35
Ford Focus: 35

The Most Fuel Efficient Cars By Category

Two-Seater Cars
Smart ForTwo: 33/41

Minicompact Cars
Mini Cooper: 28/37

Compact Cars
Honda Civic Hybrid: 40/45

Midsize Cars
Toyota Prius Hybrid: 48/45

Small Station Wagons
Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen Diesel: 30/41

Midsize Station Wagons
Kia Rondo: 20/27

Small Pickup Trucks
Ford Ranger 2WD: 21/26

Standard Pickup Trucks
Chevrolet C15 Silverado/GMC Sierra Hybrid: 21/22

Cargo Vans
Chevrolet/GMC G1500: 15/20

Mazda Mazda5: 22/28
(pictured, right)

Sport Utility Vehicles
Ford Escape/Mercury Mariner/Mazda Tribute Hybrid 2WD: 34/31

[ via Jalopnik]

public transport breathes life into endangered species

October 3, 2008

What are the positive consequences of choosing public transportation? This street art demo offers one answer.

[via Climate 411]

the chevy volt revealed!

September 16, 2008

You’ve probably seen the ads for the new Chevy Volt showing the sporty concept version of this electric plug-in hybrid. Well, it doesn’t look quite as sporty… more like Camry meets Malibu (thank you for the analogy, you know who you are). I guess they wanted to appeal to the masses, which is fine with me. The more drivers choosing clean powered vehicles, the better.

The concept

The production version

Check out a bunch of beauty shots at Jalopnik.

Read more at CNET.

Read the full PR below:

Chevrolet Volt Leads General Motors Into Its Second Century DETROIT – General Motors launched its next 100 years today by unveiling the much-anticipated production version of the Chevrolet Volt – a vehicle that delivers up to 40 miles of gasoline- and emissions-free electric driving, with the extended-range capability of hundreds of additional miles.

“Revealing the production version of the Chevy Volt is a great way to open our second century,” said Rick Wagoner, GM Chairman and CEO. “The Volt is symbolic of GM’s strong commitment to the future … just the kind of technology innovation that our industry needs to respond to today’s and tomorrow’s energy and environmental challenges.”

Form follows function
The design of the Chevrolet Volt production car has evolved from the original concept that was unveiled at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Because aerodynamics plays a key role in maximizing driving range, GM designers created an aerodynamically efficient design for the production vehicle. Many of the design cues from the concept vehicle endure in the production Volt, including the closed front grille, athletic stance, rear design graphics, outside rearview mirrors and more. The Volt’s rounded and flush front fascia, tapered corners and grille are functional, enabling air to move easily around the car. In the rear, sharp edges and a carefully designed spoiler allow the air to flow off and away quickly. An aggressive rake on the windshield and back glass help reduce turbulence and drag.

Working closely with GM aerodynamicists to shape the Volt, design and engineering teams developed one of the most aerodynamic vehicles in GM’s history. They spent hundreds of hours with the Volt in GM’s wind tunnel, testing and re-testing parts such as the front and rear quarter panels, rear spoiler, rockers and side mirrors. Aerodynamic improvements enabled GM to reach the Volt’s target of driving up to 40 miles (based on EPA city cycle) without using gasoline or producing emissions.

Read the rest here.

eco news roundup: autos

September 15, 2008

62.5MPG Ford Fiesta (not for US!)

September 7, 2008