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Showing posts from April, 2009

For Small Trips, Make an Even Smaller Impact

When venturing out on short, quick trips to pick something up (from a nearby friend's house, from the market, the coffee shop, etc.), consider riding your bike, rather than driving. This afternoon for instance, my sister needed her science book from my dad's house a few blocks away. My mom was all set to drive her there, but I insisted that I ride my bike over. I did, and had a quite refreshing time--and I saved some gasoline and clean air! P.S. This week at my school is green week--yes, we're a week late. But today was spare the air day, and I rode my bike (free bagel!). Actually, I've ridden my bike 6 out of 7 of the past school days (last Friday looked cloudy and I didn't want to ride in the rain)--this year's record for me, I believe. I will be tallying my bike-riding days here on my blog. Though it's a bit chilly in the mornings, the refreshing ride brings energy and a feeling of accomplishment. 5 days (I rode to school and back) x 3.48 miles (dista

"The Road to Climate Prosperity" eFair 2009

Imagine living in a completely sustainable society where the waste is reused, where energy and necessities come from within without exploitation of the land or natural resources. A 21st century society with the cars and airplanes and infrastructure we are used to, only greener. Gasoline becomes an antiquity, like candlestick holders are to us now, and clean fuel from plants, not fossil fuels, dominates. Imagine that in this society which could be taking place years from now, global warming is considered a scare we came through because of innovation, open-mindedness, and compassion for future generations. Don’t you want your children and grandchildren to live in this society? Or would you rather they live with catastrophic storms, a hotter climate that kills scores each time summer rolls around, world wars over the remaining natural resources used to fuel society, and a deep-set hatred for us, the generation of man that did nothing to stop global warming while we still had the chance? I

Earth Day - April 22

With the 39th official Earth Day on tomorrow morning's horizon, it is a very special time for environmentalists and those who appreciate the Earth. It is a time to celebrate our planet and start anew for a better tomorrow and a more sustainable future. I see it as a chance to make goals to reduce our environmental footprints, and to increase our literal footprints upon the natural areas we cherish. It makes me want to venture out on more hikes and go backpacking and actually be with the natural world that I care for. (Image credit: So I say that Earth Day be treated like New Years, with resolutions and chances to start fresh on our impacts and lifestyles. Choose something, anything, that you can change to lessen your carbon or environmental footprint on this Earth that we are celebrating tomorrow. Write it down and start living what you want to see. And check your local park listings to see if any Earth Day celebrations or clean-ups are happenin

Getting Involved in Local Government

One of the best ways to see your ideas come to life in your hometown is to join a committee or commission on which you can give feedback and be a voice for the environment. I'm the youth representative for the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee for my city, and I try to represent the concerns and ideas of my peers in the community. It's fascinating to see how government works and how ideas can take form in documents and then become realities. We're working on a Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan which will set the policies and standards we want as a city for current and future projects that relate to pedestrians and bicyclists in the community. The master plan also hopes to implement education, encouragement, enforcement, and of course, actual facilities, to encourage the use of alternative transportation. There is also a component of linking the city's roads together with uniform bicycle lanes and paths to create an easier way to get around the city. I joined the commi

Buying Used

The word "used" tends to have a connotation of bad, old, broken, or gross. But it doesn't have to be. Consignment boutiques sell used clothing, and oftentimes the boutiques are upscale and sell only lightly used, in-style clothing. In my hometown, there's one called Savvy Seconds. According to their website, they "accept only the highest quality, brand name merchandise for consignment." Not all used clothing has to be old or out of style. However, there is an upside to shopping at those funky, old-style thrift shops. You can find unique clothes that no one else will have. My favorite thrift store is on Haight Street in San Francisco, which was made famously funky by hippies in the 1960s. The store is called Held Over, and it has clothes from all over, but most prominently from the 1950s, '60s, '70s, and '80s. It's a very random place. Most of the stores in the Haight sell interesting, fun, and sometimes over-the-top clothes. I can always fin