Bus 52 is a bout telling people the good news that’s out there across the USA. They are trying to give hope to the youth of today by celebrating how people can make a large difference in their community by focusing on doing good work.
Bus 52 is made up of five young people who are sick of hearing news that just brings you down. While living, cooking and working on the bus, they will spend 52 weeks tracking down inspiring stories across America, documenting the good work, great ideas, and amazing people that are making a difference in their community. The team will interview and film these inspiring people and produce short video profiles, which will be uploaded to their website twice a week.
Bus 52â€™s founder, Robert Gelb, felt that there was something missing in daily media:
â€œPeople everywhere seem to focus on bad news because it gets ratings, good news is often forgotten about and we want to show that there is a place for good news. No matter where you are in the country whether your in Kansas or New York City, you have people doing amazing things for their neighbors just because they want to make their community a better place – and those stories are worth telling.â€
When it comes to talking about the divide between urban and non-urban living there’s more differences than just who lives in a more sustainable community. People living in non-urban areas just don’t understand the positive urban living that is being espoused, and in fact, can take insult to how pro-urban thinkers (like me) talk about cities versus sub-urban living.
Marohn says he has realized over the past decade that he and the New Urbanists are actually often talking about the same thing. The urban experience and the small-town experience have more in common than people think. And theyâ€™ve both been distorted by the suburban experiment. The picture looks different. In cities, it looks like an army of surface parking lots has devoured our downtowns. Small towns have also been hallowed out at the core and nipped at their edges by encroaching subdivisions.
But the effect is the same, Marohn says: an erosion of civic space, which has led to an erosion of the financial viability of communities. And this is the language he uses to talk about planning â€“ the language of economics, of debt and prosperity and gas prices.
Sure, economic arguments are often environmental ones, too (saving on gas also saves the environment!). But Marohn only ever mentions this under his breath, like, â€œoh, by the way, reinvesting in our existing infrastructure is good for the environment, too.â€ He says he sometimes ticks off environmentalists by acknowledging their worldview as an afterthought instead of up front.
Denmark is getting looking to have 50% of it’s energy come from wind power and are looking to further their need to import any energy at all. Not only is Denmark looking to lower the need for foreign energy they are trying to decrease the amount of energy that the country uses.
“Denmark will once again be the global leader in the transition to green energy,” said Lidegaard. “This will prepare us for a future with increasing prices for oil and coal. Moreover, it will create some of the jobs that we need so desperately, now and in the coming years.”
The agreement will help Denmark achieve its goal of supplying 100% of its energy from renewables by 2050, including electricity, heating, industry and transport.
Yesterday we looked at making a key building material, cement, more green and today we’re looking at a skyscraper to be built out of wood. Wood is a much kinder material to the environment thanks to the fact that wood is renewable because it comes from trees.
The idea may sound odd given that wooden skyscrapers may not sound strong or even fire-resistant but all of this is thought out for this building which may get built in Vancouver.
â€˜Tallwoodâ€™ would be made of large panels of â€˜laminated strand lumberâ€™â€”a composite made by gluing together strands of wood.
Trees are a renewable resource, and they help to reduce air pollution. Sourcing from sustainably-managed forests could be deemed more environmentally sensitive, according to CNN.
Unlike concreteâ€”which produces about 6-9kg of carbon dioxide for every 10kg of concreteâ€”wood sucks carbon out of the atmosphere.
And contrary to popular belief, wood actually is quite fire-resistant.
â€œIt may sound counter-intuitive, but performing well in a fire is something inherent in large pieces of wood, thatâ€™s why in forest fires the trees that survive are the largest ones,â€ Green said.
Cement is a very popular building material for a lot of good reasons, the problem though is that the process of making it requires a ton of energy. This problem has led to a growing number of people looking into ways to make cement less damaging to the planet. We’ve covered cement on here before.
The Smithsonian has a good round-up of the current world of greening the cement industry. In some ways these solutions can work together.
Though still refining its procedures, Novacem is racing with at least five other companies and university centers to come up with a greener cement. â€œGiven all the attention to carbon these days, a lot of entrepreneurs have popped up,â€ said MITâ€™s Jennings. â€œThey see the opportunity side.â€ With cement a $170 billion-a-year industry, investment money is pouring in.
A California company called Calera has perhaps the most unusual approach: It harnesses carbon dioxide emitted from a power plant and mixes it with seawater or brine to create carbonates that are used to make cement. They can be added to Portland cement to replace some or all of the limestone. Calera is backed by a $50 million investment from Vinod Khosla, a computer engineer who is perhaps Silicon Valleyâ€™s most respected and deep-pocketed investor in green technologies. â€œWe are actually making our cement out of CO2,â€ said company founder Brent Constantz. â€œWe are taking CO2 that would have gone into the atmosphere and turning it into cement.â€ The technology is still in development, with a demonstration plant in Moss Landing, California, and a partnership with a Chinese group to build a plant next to a coal mine in Inner Mongolia, where they plan to use carbon dioxide emissions to make cement.
Calix, an Australian company, makes cement using superheated steam, which modifies the cement particles and makes them purer and more chemically reactive. The process also separates out carbon dioxide, making it easier to capture the gas and keep it out of the atmosphere.
Louisiana Tech University, like Novacem and Calera, is doing away with limestone altogether; itâ€™s using a paste called geopolymer, which is made of fly ash, sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide.