Cargo Bicycles Are More Efficient Than Cargo Vans

Person riding a cargo bike while on delivery

Delivery vehicles are a significant cause of delays in city as they stop and block other transportation modes at a frequent basis. I’m sure everyone can relate to being frustrated while a truck or van blocks a bike lane (or car lane) while they unload. Urban planners and logistics professionals need to think more about using cargo bikes to help with the flow of traffic while also reducing gross emissions. Cargo bikes are actually more efficient than vans when it comes to urban deliveries. This is particularly worth noting when thinking of opening up streets to people as some argue that deliveries are a key reason we need to close streets to people (and only allow vehicles to be on the road).

When delivering goods in central Brussels the electric Bullitt cargo bikes covered 30% shorter routes, and travelled at 16 km/h versus 11 km/h for vans constrained by congestion, according to the study. The cargo bikes were over 2 times faster than vans using 48 min. versus 99 min. on a typical 8.5 km bike route in Brussels urban centre.

Over a month and a half, the cargo bikes delivered 10.1 packages per hour on average, while vans were able to deliver 4.9 packages per hour to the same destinations. Bikes bypass traffic jams, take shortcuts through streets closed to through traffic and ride to within 30 metres of delivery points on average, minimising walking time. Meanwhile, previous studies have shown that vans can spend up to 25 min per stop searching for parking.

Read more.

Video Games Don’t Harm Brain Development

Video games are fun, and they won’t cause harm to your kid’s mental development. Of course, moderation is key since it’s good to experience a multitude of things to do; however, the evidence that video games themselves harm development just isn’t there. So play video games and let your kid play video games.

It is currently the summer so perhaps you should play outside for now though.

“Overall, neither duration of play nor choice of video game genres had significant correlations with the CogAT measures. That result shows no direct linkage between video game playing and cognitive performance, despite what had been assumed,” said May Jadalla, professor in the School of Teaching and Learning at Illinois State University and the study’s principal investigator.

But the study revealed another side of the issue, too. Certain types of games described as helping children build healthy cognitive skills also presented no measurable effects, in spite of the games’ marketing messages.

“The current study found results that are consistent with previous research showing that types of gameplay that seem to augment cognitive functions in young adults don’t have the same impact in much younger children,” said C. Shawn Green, professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Read more.

Plant Based Diet Connected to Lower COVID-19 Rates

Covid-19 Transmission graphic

It’s been years that we’ve been living with COVID-19 and it looks like we missed the window to fully eradicate it, which means we need to adapt our lifestyles to ensure that rates of transmission are as low as possible. Of course, the obvious things involve collective action like improving indoor air quality and filtration. As an individual you should consider switching to a plant based diet.

Plant-based and vegetarian groups had a higher intake of vegetables, legumes and nuts, and lower intake of dairy and meat. After adjusting for important confounders, such as body mass index, physical activity and pre-existing medical conditions, the plant-based diet and vegetarian group had 39% (OR=0.61, 95%?CI 0.44 to 0.85; p=0.003) and 39% (OR 0.61, 95%?CI 0.42 to 0.88; p=0.009) lower odds of the incidence of COVID-19 infection, respectively, compared with the omnivorous group. No association was observed between self-reported diets and COVID-19 severity or duration.

Conclusion Plant-based and mainly vegetarian diets were associated with a lower incidence of COVID-19 infection. These dietary patterns may be considered protective against COVID-19 infection. (Study protocol registered in CAAE: 54351421.4.0000.0068.)

Read more.

Batteries Still Work in Winter

The myth that batteries are useless in the winter continues to spread despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. This myth has slowed the uptake of elective vehicles, which is a bad thing. The CEO of a an EV car company is trying their best to dispel that myth and get consumers to understand that batteries do work even when it’s cold outside. In fact, fossil fuel cars which are a direct cause of the climate crisis are worse than EVs in the winter.

“The number of stories that talked about EVs that weren’t operating properly in that time was staggering,” Scaringe said. “There wasn’t a single story about the thousands and thousands of combustion vehicles that didn’t start that morning because of the cold weather.”

While EVs have gotten a bad rap when it comes to cold weather, a recent study showed the challenges that EVs face from extreme cold weather are actually less than those encountered by gas-powered cars, concluding that EVs are “almost twice as good as fossil cars in the cold.”

“The desire to tell a negative story was so strong and so surprising to me — it was so biased,” Scaringe told TCD. “All we can do is continue to try to balance the story with the facts and a true story.”

Of course, the best thing to do is not drive any car; and we should focus on sustainable transportation solutions like bicycles and public transit. Cars are harmful not just because of their emissions.

Read more.
Thanks to Micheal!

House Eating Mushrooms are Good for the Planet

the suburbs

For the last one hundred years in North America we’ve been building low density energy inefficient housing and now we need to deal with the economic and environmental harm from this approach. In Cleveland they are using mushrooms to deal with housing that is no longer habitable while also cleaning the local environment. Cleveland has a lot of homes left to the elements which are leaking dangerous chemicals into the soil, to address this there’s a company that takes the shreds of a building and converts into a great spot for mycelium to grow. It’s a very novel use of fungi and I’m sure we’ll see more fungi being used to address climate change at a local and even global level.

While digesting entire houses may seem like a mighty task for the humble mushroom, some species’ ability to devour waste and eradicate pollutants – among other characteristics – means they present an oversized opportunity to extract harmful toxins from both our built and natural environments. Along the way they may help to address a spectrum of additional ecological concerns. This is the emerging field of mycoremediation, which researchers assert could also create a “circular bioeconomy” in which less waste and contaminants are produced in the first place.

Its applications are abundant. In Delhi, India, the hope is that fungi will help to clean the infamously polluted air. In New Zealand, mushrooms have been used to filter oil from a canal. Operating across Europe, the LIFE MySOIL project has leveraged mycoremediation to reduce Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons in soil by 90% spanning three pilot sites. The list goes on.

Read more.

Thanks to Mike!

Scroll To Top