All Posts Tagged With: "Transportation"

The Green Website Adventure Tour is Coming!

In our EcoBlueprint Home Study course , the fourth segment includes a whirlwind tour of going-green websites. As an information junkie, I’ve been keeping tabs on them for years. This has become a more and more difficult task recently, as Earth’s Immune System rolls into high gear.

The best of these websites helps us to get at the nagging questions: What is our budget – we hear a lot about what NOT to do to the environment. How are we to focus in on what TO do? What’s really going to make a difference? One of the first acts is to become better informed about the impact that we are actually having. Several online tools are out there now, but which ones are the most useful? Which ones will really help us set and reach our greening goals?

In answer, GOforChange is offering the Green Website Summer Adventure Tour , starting on July 15th. We’ll dig into some of the best tools that are out there: for increasing our awareness, helping us to conserve, and also to restore damaged ecosystems.

I’m particularly intrigued by tools that allow us to baseline and measure our impacts and even to track our progress. This sort of feedback is very helpful in keeping us on our path. It also allows us to adjust when things aren’t working, or to amp up if when we are comfortable with a strategy. . . we can do more of that, or move on to something a bit more challenging.

For you iPhone users, there are some cool applications now for getting green tips, such as Green Tip of the Day and The Green Book. There are others for tracking impacts, especially CO2 from transportation. You can set a yearly and monthly budget, then log in when you travel and it tracks your impact. As long as you are logging in your travel, you can see how you’re doing against your budget.

The tracking apps seem most useful for building your own awareness. You might do them religiously for a week or a month, to better understand your own patterns and impacts. The feedback could help you design alternative strategies. I recently downloaded a few others that have specific information, like which fruits and vegetables have heavier pesticide loads ; knowing that, you may choose to buy organic. There’s also an app that lets you find out what foods are in season wherever you are — and, to locate the farmer’s markets so you can go buy them.

On the Green Website Summer Adventure Tour, some of the sites we’ll visit will include Green Irene , Low Impact Living , Greenopolis , Be Green Now , Awakening the Dreamer , and Going Green TodayListen to a preview call and join us on July 15th!

Transportation That Saves

photo by: Ramesy Beyer

There have been many new and exciting developments in the area of the sometimes frustrating issue of easy access to and affordability of transportation, especially in Baltimore. Not to mention the fact that fuel prices had been steadily falling but are starting to rise again. Listed below are some efforts which have come through at a grass roots level or from the city itself.

1. The Parking Authority of Baltimore City is helping to launch the bonafide non-profit, Baltimore Carshare. Operating similar to the Zipcar model, it will provide temporary assess to a variety of choice vehicles that would include insurance, maintenance, parking and gas. 50 percent of rentals will be fuel-efficient; the other half would include hybrids.

2. Baltimore Bicycle Works is a new bicycle shop down on Falls Rd. near the Street Car Muesum.

3. GO Green Riders sells low-speed electric vehicles in Fells Point. They seem reasonably-priced and get 30 miles on a single battery. No fossil fuels! (Well, technically, that’s only if you charge yours with a solar panel. . . But, we’ll get there, folks! Promise!)

4. B-cycle is a bike sharing program that is growing all over North American cities. For Example Denver B-Cycle will make 500 bikes available to the public at 30 to 40 stations throughout the city. The coolest thing about their website is you can enter any zip code and see how B-cycle can positively affect your community, based on population stats. There is also a way to let it be known how much you want your town to be a B-Cycle city.

More Pavement = More Or Less Cars?

photo: unknown
What’s Happening with the Intercounty Connector (ICC)
The ICC is one of those things ever-present in the back of the collective mind, the idea of which has been around for several decades, here in Baltimore. It was shot down in the 80’s and again in the 90’s and you just hope it gets shot down during this decade and never comes back. We have a current Maryland administration that is supposed to be more environmental, why is this issue even being considered?

Our volunteer, Debbie Smith, attended a meeting of the Baltimore Chapter of Chesapeake Climate Action Network (BCAN) Tuesday night February 3rd, 2009. There was a very knowledgeable speaker named Greg Smith who led a “Grassroots Discussion of Maryland Environmental and Transportation Priorities.” He can be reached at Community Research of the Anacostia Watershed Society. –
Some of the points that he made about the construction of the ICC were: Continued

One Less Car

photo by: Gordon

One Less Car is an advocate for safe and effective transportation alternatives in Maryland. They accomplish this through education, lobbying, and facilitation between communities, governments, and state and local representatives. Their website is a great resource for finding cycling clubs, stores, maps and trails, and commuting and mass transit options. At One Less Car, they believe that people walking, biking, and using public transportation (essentially: people interacting), are all indicators of a healthy, working city.

Clean Commute

photo courtesy of: cybersalt.orgClean Commute is part of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council and works to improve more efficient means of travel while engaging in air and water quality programs, computer mapping applications, emergency preparedness, public safety, transportation planning and much more. Find out how to get involved and speak out about poor commuter options in and around the city. Tell them what is or isn’t working.

League of American Bicyclists

photo by: Joe Stewart  (mural by:Tom Miller)

League of American Bicyclists is a non-profit organization working to make this country better for cycling. Their website and events provide a forum for cycling in your area, why people ride, and how to take action on a bike. Some recent work has included a “conserve by bike” amendment to the energy bill and the Bike Commuter Act. Read more about this act.

Sunday Streets: Will Baltimore Be First on the East Coast?


Greg Cantori, Executive Director of the Knott Foundation, and an avid bicyclist, discovered “Ciclovia” while visiting Bogota, Colombia. Every Sunday, they close 70 miles of streets from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Up to 2 million residents bike, rollerblade, walk, do group exercise classes, and generally enjoy themselves.

Greg immediately set about importing this community-wide exercise program to Baltimore. Here is what he envisions that Sunday Streets will mean for Baltimore:

  • Increased activity -physical activity, economic activity and tourism.
  • Youth engagement and employment opportunities
  • Clean air and some quiet for a day
  • Free exercise classes – Frankly few people can access health clubs, and what’s so fun about being stuck indoors when our whole city is available and waiting for us? Let’s get out and spin, dance, stretch, twirl, run and jump!
  • Social re-engagement – This is our physical INTERNET. We provide the network (routing) and our entrepreneurs and communities go from there. Imagine the possibilities…..
  • Putting Baltimore on the map nationally for something extremely positive that fosters real Happiness.

Already thousands of people know about it – let’s make it 10,000, 100,000 and then a million. Isn’t this a perfect, visible program to help promote Mayor Dixon’s “cleaner, greener” Baltimore? Tell everyone you know about this, and if you have any questions, contact Greg Cantori (gcantori(at) or Carol Silldorff (carolsilldorff(at)