NYC bike lanes

For those of us not lucky enough to live in cities where there is forward thinking transportation policy, we can but dream of things like NYC’s cool bike lanes where they are protected from the traffic by the line of parked cars. Of course this was up in leafy Morningside Heights. Other parts of the city still seem pretty scary to ride around in, but the bike share program is certainly taking off.

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Plastic Bottle Ban In Concord, Massachusetts Goes Into Effect

Kind of fits with Mark Bittman’s advice: patience.  One town, one small law, 3 years. But it’s a start.

“Concord, Massachusetts has become one of the first communities in the U.S. to ban the sale of single-serving plastic water bottles.

According to the Associated Press, the plastic bottle ban resulted from a three-year campaign by local activists. The activists pushed to reduce waste and fossil fuel use.”

via Plastic Bottle Ban In Concord, Massachusetts Goes Into Effect.

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The Greenie Pig’s guide to a cleaner, more sustainable 2013 | Grist

“Lead by example, not by volume. Be encouraging, not a know-it-all.”

via The Greenie Pig’s guide to a cleaner, more sustainable 2013 | Grist.

Here’s the list, although I suggest you read the whole article – great food for thought.icons

1. Keep an open mind.

2. Take it one step at a time.

3. Add — don’t subtract.

4. Don’t ban anything but bans themselves.

5. Don’t be a jerk (or, how to set a good example)

Fixing Our Food Problem – NYTimes.com

From Mark Bittman; he da’ man….

Nothing affects public health in the United States more than food. Gun violence kills tens of thousands of Americans a year. Heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes kill more than a million people a year — nearly half of all deaths — and diet is a root cause of many of those diseases.

via Fixing Our Food Problem – NYTimes.com.

This seems like a good day to step back a bit and suggest something that’s sometimes difficult to accept.

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Not teal?

Grist

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Next year, it will finally be easy being green — or, if not easy, at least popular. Because Pantone has declared emerald green, Pantone shade 17-5641, to be the official color of 2013.

OK, so that doesn’t necessarily translate into green actions, green concerns, or green priorities. But there will probably be green shoes and green nail polish, at least according to Pantone’s trained chromatognosticators. Baby steps, right?

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Vélib’ in Paris

Just spent the most satisfying day testing out Paris’s bike hire program. It was fabulous on every level.

Bike stations are everywhere which makes it easy to pick up and drop off. The kiosks are multi lingual and initial rental was relatively painless. If you only have an American credit card, set it up online ahead of time, but with a British chip and pin debit card it was seamless then and there. I

We found the roads only mildly scary, even Boul. St. Michel. There are bike/bus lanes on main routes, although I certainly wouldn’t recommend it for anyone except confident, experienced cyclists. Tealgeen daughter, aged 11, did just fine.

The best part was that we covered way more ground than we ever would have by foot and enjoyed more scenery than being underground on the metro. Our routes were fairly circuitous, stopping to check the map and reorient only occasionally – but that, of course, is half the fun.

You don’t need anything special to ride a bike in Paris – no slinky bike shorts, loud jersey or special shoes. We just wore what we had on (and both Tealgeen daughter and I were both wearing skirts and sandals – it was fine). The seats are hugely adjustable and comfy, there are 3 gears, easy to operate, and a basket for gear.

We all came home convinced that you absolutely could survive without a car in Paris, between the excellent metro system and the bikes, and in a pinch, the electric car share program. More on that tomorrow.

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