Archive for the ‘sustainability’ Category

New stacking concept for sustainability

I have been writing and thinking about how sustainable thinking happens. What are the webs of information that lead up to an aha moment, or is it a gradual change where people go from not recycling to recycling over the course of months, and not eating organic to eating more of it?

On MindMeister, I started considering what are the stacks of information which if I read a piece every day for a year would take me closer to sustainability. I think its distributed knowledge that makes for sustainability thinking. This process allows me to see relationships to dozens of other things without “my head hurting”. I have heard this phrase often from my friends. Well, what’s the gradual process that makes us more sustainable each moment.

Check this mindmap out that is a work in progress.
http://www.mindmeister.com/maps/public_map_shell/142890053/sustainability?width=600&height=400&z=auto

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City’s Design, Transit System, can ease gas costs

This Article was reposted from US Today

By Larry Copeland, USA TODAY

Some cities in the USA are better positioned to deal with rising gas prices than others because of their design and transit systems, according to a national non-profit group that works to build stronger cities.

The key factor: whether residents have to drive everywhere, or have other options.

That’s according to CEOs for Cities, a Chicago-based network of civic, business, academic and philanthropic leaders seeking to build and sustain stronger cities for the future. Researchers analyzed federal government data on vehicle miles traveled in 51 metropolitan areas that have at least 1 million residents.

 

Image from USA Today

It’s a timely analysis: Gas prices have eased a bit in the past few days — to a national average of $3.60 for a gallon of regular unleaded Monday — but they are still 28% higher than a year ago.

 

· TRAFFIC: Metro areas’ congestion up 11%

The average American driver logs 25 miles per day. Motorists in compactly developed cities that have extensive transit systems can drive nearly 50% less.

The way to cut back on driving miles in a city isn’t by reducing commutes, says Carol “What adds up is all those small trips, which are much shorter and not as necessary,” she says. “The question is, how do we make the city a place where we don’t have to drive as much or as often?”

Edward McMahon, an expert on sustainable development at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Washington, D.C., says the analysis confirms a study done in 2009 on the relationship between urban design and driving.

“Most trips in a car are not back and forth to work,” he says. “Most trips — 80% to 85% — are lifestyle trips to the movies, the grocery store, taking the kids to school, and so on. What we found is if you live in a community where you can walk, ride a bike, take a short trip, those savings start to add up really quickly.”

McMahon says ULI examined automobile usage trends in two Maryland cities: Bethesda, a mixed-use community with transit, and Germantown, a traditional car-oriented suburb. “We found that in Bethesda, about 75% of trips during the day were in fact on city transit,” he says. “In Germantown, 90% of all trips were by car.”

Cities where people drive less tend to do well in three essential areas, Coletta says:

Land use. People running errands, such as to buy milk, can walk instead of getting in the car and having to park, Coletta says.

Urban design. Sidewalks or bike trails are designed in such a way that people want to walk.

Transportation. The public transportation network is extensive enough that residents have choices.

CEOs for Cities estimates that if every driver in those 51 metro areas cut their driving by just 1 mile a day, the savings on gas and other costs would total $29 billion a year.

>Affordable and Green Housing Initiative!

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(By Julie Markowitz)


As part of his visit to Utah, Shane spoke with Emily Niehaus of Community Rebuilds.  This organization provides energy-efficient and affordable homes for low income families. The homes they build are constructed primarily from straw bales and plaster, using as little concrete as possible.  The homes Community Rebuilds provides replace these low-income families’ pre-1976 energy-inefficient single-wide trailers with homes that cost significantly less to heat and cool and are made from sustainable materials.  The success of Community Rebuilds shows that being sustainable doesn’t have to cost more, and can even save you money. 

>The Greater Memphis Greenline

>(By Julie Markowitz)

Memphis, TN has jumped on the green bandwagon with the creation of the Greater Memphis Greenline.  A series of trails that cut through various Memphis neighborhoods, the Greenline utilizes an abandoned railroad already in place across the county.  So far, a 7-mile trail has been completed that connects to Shelby Farms, the city’s largest park.  The next steps in the Greenline project include improvements to the existing trail (benches, trash cans, bike racks, etc) and expansion into more neighborhoods.


The Greenline is ideal for walking, running and biking.  Greater Memphis Greenline hopes that the trails will encourage some Memphians to ride bikes in lieu of driving, a trend has been slow to reach Memphis, due in part to the lack of bike lanes.  Memphis won’t make any real strides in cutting air and noise pollution until it has a public transportation system that is safe, efficient, and accessible for most of its citizens, but the Greenline is a solid first step.

>Everyone could Share Some Sugar with a deal as sweet as this

>(By Jenna Kelly)


Shane talks to Kira in Cincinnati, Ohio. Kira is the creator of a rally unique website called sharesomesugar.com. It’s all about people sharing what they have. Kira’s inspiration for creating this website happened when she moved from a small apartment to a house. She realized she needed a lot of household items that she would only use once but probably never again. She would borrow these things from the neighbors, but it would often happen that none of her neighbors had what she needed. She would go online and see how much it would cost to buy this item, but it seemed crazy to her to spend a ton of money on something she would never use again. Therefore, she started Share Some Sugar.
The name comes from the old days where you knew all your neighbors and could just walk across the street for some sugar. It doesn’t make sense not to walk door to door to find what you need, but now you can knock on the internet’s door. I actually visited the website and was pleasantly surprised to see all of the thousands of items people are looking to borrow and share.
Shane asked Kira to tell us what some crazy items are that people share. She said that there is a lot of sharing of ladders, gps, prom dresses, and baby equipment.
The entire idea is really neat and will probably be growing and growing as more people adjust to the idea and find out about the website. So help add to the sharing network by visiting the website: http://www.sharesomesugar.com and start getting the stuff you need!
Check out Shane’s interview with Kira the creator of Sharesomesugar.com
Check this out too, because it’s pretty rockin 

>Sustainability Connected

>A lot of the research Sustianable 1000 did in Colorado ended up being related to how the effort has to be a combined one so, I thought it would be interesting to look at how recycling and sustainability is doing internationally. After all, we all live on one planet.

Through The Beareau of Internation Recycling, I was able to find some pretty interesting facts. The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) is the only global recycling industry association representing more than 700 companies and 40 affiliated federations from 70 different countries. Its members are world leaders in the supply of raw materials and a key pillar for sustainable economic development

Living in granola Washington State, I was always told to recycle, but I never really understood how significant an impact everyday acts can have.
Here are some of the more surprising facts listed on the website:

1. Of all collected textiles, 50% are reused and 50% are recycled

2. Almost 40% of the world’s need for copper is met by recyling

3. Recyling a single plastic bottle can save enough energy to power a 60-watt bulb for up to 6 hours

4. Recycling paper saves 65% of the energy needed to make new paper

5. An average stainless steel product is composed of about 60% recycled material

6. Scrap tires used as feul can produce the same amout of energy as oil and about 25% more than coal

Pretty amazing…

>Amanda Bramble is Aug 16th Radio Guest

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Upcoming next Monday, August 16th, Sustainable 1000 Green Radio will be talking with guest Amanda Bramble from Ampersand Sustatainable Learning Center and Sustainable Habitat Consulting. Located in Cerriollos, New Mexico, the Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center is an off-grid center explorinig the possiblilites of living in balance with resources starting with the basics, food, water, shelter and energy. Ampersand provides classes, internships and other resources aimed at educating on and increasing awareness about options and the importance of only using what resources are necessary. They also offer consulting to help individuals and organizations learn about how to create a sustainable living environment.
Amanda Bramble created Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center in 2001 after years of experiences and learning which eventually led her back to Arizona to grow her own vision of sustainability. While she was always interested in living in balance with the land, she officially started her studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA and continued through learning experiences with John and Nancy Todd, founders of the New Alchemy Institute, Oceans Arcs International, work with the Center for Biological Diversity, Arcosanti, founded by Paulo Soleri  where she also met mentor, Barbara Kerr.

To learn more about what sustainability means to Amanda Bramble, make sure to tune into Sustainable 1000’s radio blog August 16th at 9AM MTS!