Stove Man Turns up the Heat

Stoves can make a world of difference in places that rely extensively on old-school resource like wood and cow patties. Using an efficient stove can save trees from being felled and limit the amount of pollutants released during the cooking process.

Here’s episode one of Stove Man made by the Paradigm Project:

Episode 1: Woodwalk from The Paradigm Project on Vimeo.

Check out the website here.

Thanks Danielle!

Bike Lanes Create Jobs

The University of Massachusetts has completed a new study that shows that bicycle lanes create jobs. As a cyclist, this seems obvious to me since whenever I see a store or restaurant I want to go into I just hop off my bike and I’m in there spending money rather quickly.

It’s good to see that research backs up the importance that bike lanes have to a vibrant economy.

On average, the “road-only” projects evaluated created 7.8 jobs per million, while the “bicycling-only” projects provided 11.4 jobs per million. For example, a roadway-focused project with no bicycle or pedestrian components in Santa Cruz, Calif. generated 4.94 jobs per $1 million spent. In contrast, a bicycle-focused project in Baltimore, Md. produced 14.35 jobs per million. The reviewers attribute the difference to the simple fact that bicycle and pedestrian projects are often more labor intensive.

“It’s no secret that investing in transportation infrastructure creates jobs and helps the economy,” said Caron Whitaker, campaign director at America Bikes [sponsors of the study]. “This study proves bicycle and pedestrian projects are no exception — in fact, they are especially efficient in creating jobs.”

Link to Streetsblog
Link to the study

A Look at European Transit Planning

The New York Times has a good article about the differences between traffic planning in the USA and Europe. The article shows ways that European cities move people more efficiently by supporting mass transit and sustainable transit solutions like bicycles rather than supporting a car culture.

Cities including Vienna to Munich and Copenhagen have closed vast swaths of streets to car traffic. Barcelona and Paris have had car lanes eroded by popular bike-sharing programs. Drivers in London and Stockholm pay hefty congestion charges just for entering the heart of the city. And over the past two years, dozens of German cities have joined a national network of “environmental zones” where only cars with low carbon dioxide emissions may enter.

Likeminded cities welcome new shopping malls and apartment buildings but severely restrict the allowable number of parking spaces. On-street parking is vanishing. In recent years, even former car capitals like Munich have evolved into “walkers’ paradises,” said Lee Schipper, a senior research engineer at Stanford University who specializes in sustainable transportation

Read more here.

Solar-Powered Wineries

Wine is good for you and can improve many aspects of your health. The wine-making process can be very intense on local ecologies due to the farming methods and shipping involved. Some wineries are looking to sustainable and responsible ways to create their wines.

Here’s one of a few wineries using solar power, catch four more at the link below:

Gracia de Chile Winery

This change towards using solar energy expands far beyond California. Gracia de Chile Winery in Santiago, Chile, uses solar paneling to provide energy for their cellars, reducing their yearly gas consumption by 46%. And as of this year, Gracia de Chile is also Carbon Neutral certified.

See the full list here.

Thanks to Jesse (from Snooth.com).

TerraCycle Helps Schools Recycle and Learn

TerraCycle is a company that wants us to rethink waste. They collect materials that would be sent to landfills and use them to create new products thereby creating less waste filling up the landfills.

Here in Canada they have been quite successful with their school programs – and have given money back to schools that have been good waste collectors. They have successfully diverted one million drink pouches from landfills in Canada alone and turned them into useful products.

Across Canada over 2,700 schools, non-profits and community groups have joined together to help collect the one million pieces. Exactly how much is one million drink pouches? It is enough to cover nine hockey rinks or 33 basketball courts. Students, teachers and community members from almost 3,000 communities across Canada are working together to assure this packaging is no longer waste and can be given new life by TerraCycle.

“It gives the students a chance to participate and see results for their actions. We can collect waste and get paid for it,” says Sandra Ross, parent volunteer at William S. Patterson P.S. in Clandeboye, Manitoba.

TerraCycle is upcycling and recycling the packaging collected by the Drink Pouch Brigade members into a range of eco-friendly consumer products that should be in stores within the next 6 to 12 months. TerraCycle can turn the pouches into everything from upcycled pencil cases to park benches!

Check out TerraCycle’s website.

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