Sitting in traffic is no fun and neither is being hit by a car. To solve both of these problems cities around the world are changing their intersections using colourful and bright paints. The idea is to help traffic flow better while providing safer spaces for pedestrian. The spin-off benefit is that the city looks cooler!
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Sebategna Intersection
The intersection update in November 2017 was the first under the city’s Safe Intersections Program, a multi-year initiative to improve pedestrian safety through street design
The Rational Dress Society’s recent project called JUMPSUIT aims to make it so you never need to think about your clothing again. They propose that all you need is a single jumpsuit that you can wear everyday. It’s a revolutionary approach to the modern fast-fashion industry (which is horrible for you wallet, the environment, and labour conditions). You can download the pattern of the jumpsuit and make your own or order one made to your measurements.
The Rational Dress Society makes jumpsuits in two hundred forty-eight sizes culled from NASA data to fit almost any body type. Anyone can print the pattern for free from their website or, for a hundred and fifty dollars, order one that will arrive ready-made out of sustainable fabric and hand sewn by well-paid seamstresses. The design was inspired by patterns for work wear, and the finished garment looks like painters’ coveralls. But on the bodies of Maura and Abigail, both hip art-school grads with fashionable glasses and haircuts, the jumpsuits look simply chic, as though there is nothing more sensible or cool a person could wear.
Thanks to Greg!
Spending time outside in nature is good for your physical and mental health, so why not do something while you’re out there? Bird watching could be the thing for you! Take your phone with you to catalog nature and help discover birds, that way you’re improving science while also improving yourself. If you’re wondering about what bird watching (or just birding) is all about you can check out this in-depth beginners guide.
Bird enthusiast and author Jack Connor published an essay back in 1984 highlighting the pastime’s appeal, and his reasons still hold true today.
Connor shared that birding gives folks something interesting to talk about, a reason to explore the world, and the chance to meet likeminded people and make lifelong friends.
Unlike many hobbies that have the equivalent of a shelf life, bird watching is a pastime that can continue into old age.
Thanks to Jonny!
Many western cities have laneways that originally were used for deliveries via horses and cart; today those laneways are under utilized. These laneways cannot always be used for housing or other normal city needs due to their limited size. They can, however, be converted to enjoyable public space. Today there’s a trend amongst some cities like Montreal, Melbourne, and now Toronto to make their laneways into enjoyable little environments.
In this context, laneways can play a role both environmentally and socially. The Laneway Project has produced a guide to greening laneways, which outlines several strategies to introduce plants of all shapes and sizes between garages or behind stores.
From an environmental perspective, small changes to laneways can enhance biodiversity and reduce the urban heat island effect. Representing approximately 200,000 square metres of paved surfaces, laneways can also be adapted to improve storm water management. Senayah describes the Laneway Project’s puncture demonstration as “a meter-wide ribbon of green.” The permeable pavers not only reduce runoff but also add playful patterns to areas that are often overlooked.
Regular readers already know that going on vacation is good for one’s happiness and there are ways to travel while keeping a small carbon footprint. It can be hard to find time to travel and expensive too, so how should one go about thinking about vacations?
Vacations aren’t things that should be “efficient” or viewed as a quantifiable experience. Instead, we can use existing research to prepare for a vacation and enjoy it while out and about. Basically, relax by changing your mindset around vacations from an epic journey to a chance to be with people in new places.
2. OPT FOR QUANTITY OVER “ONCE IN A LIFETIME”
A once-in-a-lifetime trip, like a month in New Zealand, would be amazing. But the “once-in-a-lifetime” aspect of such vacations limits their overall contribution to happiness. Research increasingly finds that we return to previous happiness levels fairly quickly (we spend life on the “hedonic treadmill”), and so smaller pleasures experienced frequently contribute more to overall well-being than major but less infrequent ones. Another studyfound that the health and wellness benefits of a vacation peaked at about eight days in. So look for already-shortened workweeks for getaways so you can plan several eight-day vacations (weekend plus workweek plus weekend) in a year for the price of three to four vacation days a pop.