Showing posts from May, 2017

The Growing Importance of Bicycle Infrastructure

INSANITY Why more cities need to embrace bike lanes, bike parking and other bicycle infrastructure in their urban cores. The Value of Bicycle Lanes and Thoroughfares There is a growing connection in the relationship between amenity- or service-oriented businesses and the proximity to bicycle thoroughfares. These kinds of businesses would include restaurants, coffee shops, pubs, boutiques, and the like. Michael Andersen, who writes for BikePortland and People for Bikes, has written numerous articles that detail this trend. “Bikes, it turns out, seem to be a perfect way to get people to the few retail categories that are thriving in the age of mail-order everything: bars, restaurants and personal services. And in Portland, where an early investment in basic bikeways has made bikes a popular way to run errands, retailers are responding by snapping up storefronts with good bike exposure.” Locally, an example of these changes taking place is North Williams Avenue (and Nor

The Oceans Are Drowning In Plastic — And No One’s Paying Attention

By Dominique Mosbergen from the Huffpost 4/27/2017 Discarded plastic bottles and other garbage blocks the Vacha Dam, near the Bulgarian town of Krichim, on April 25, 2009. Single-use plastic containers like bottles and plastic bags are “the biggest source of trash” found near waterways and beaches, according to the nonprofit Ocean Conservancy. Plastic ― a versatile, durable and inexpensive material ― has in many ways been a boon to humanity, used in everything from medical equipment to parts of airplanes. But some of the very traits that have made plastics so popular (they’re cheap, and therefore easy to throw away) have also made them a growing problem in our landfills and oceans.  Today, plastics are the No. 1 type of trash found in the sea. Ocean Conservancy, a nonprofit that organizes an annual coastal cleanup event in more than 150 countries worldwide, said plastic debris makes up around 85 percent of all the trash collected from beaches, waterways and oceans ― and t

How Big Are Your Feet?

By Teri Harbour Creator of the Arjuna Card Game ( ) I wear size 11 shoes but I am continually trying to reduce the size of my carbon footprint. One thing I’ve contemplated doing is to live a less traditional lifestyle. It is the traditional Western lifestyle focused on satisfying our material pleasures that results in waste and diminished natural resources.  If we practice NOT giving in to so many of our desires, perhaps we could reduce our environmental impact: not eating so high on the food chain, eating organic, not drinking out of plastic, reducing the packaging we buy, (in fact, reducing our buying,) not feeling like we need to own every beautiful thing we see, not using excessive toiletries such as make-up, using less paper goods and less electricity/fuel. We can’t take our bodies with us when we pass on to the next realm, so why put so much energy into making these bodies excessively beautiful and lavishly comfortable right now?  Of course, we wan

What is the Tiny House Movement

Tiny homes have recently taken the housing market by storm, appearing all over rural and urban America as an affordable and eco-conscious solution to an increasingly tight housing supply, plus the desire for a life of adventure, more time and freedom are all listed as inspirations for going small. Simply put, it is a social movement where people are choosing to downsize the space they live in. The typical American home is around 2,600 square feet, whereas the typical small or tiny house is between 100 and 400 square feet. Tiny houses come in all shapes, sizes, and forms, but they enable simpler living in a smaller, more efficient space. What’s cool about tiny homes is that the entire space is sort of a broadcast of some sort of value that you hold in relation to homes, sustainability, and how you’re living your life. For most Americans 1/3 to 1/2 of their income is dedicated to the roof over their heads; this translates to 15 years of working over your lifetime jus