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Barriers to Cycling: Debunking the Myths 74

Photo courtesy of sindändùne Cycling is a great way to get around. It’s healthy, efficient, fun and sustainable. As such I’m always perplexed when people in North America find every excuse to avoid utilitarian cycling. It’s not necessarily that people here are inherently lazy; in fact in many cases it’s on the contrary – many ...

Cowboys Stadium: Everything is Bigger in Texas 5

Yesterday I attended a Dallas Cowboys football game at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. I am by no means a football fan, nor would I have attended this game under any other circumstance than the fact that my father is turning 60 years old and he has never seen the Cowboys play in ...

Traveling Water Bottles

Packing for travel is an art: you don’t want to forget anything, but at the same time you don’t want to take hours to do it. Over the past 3.5 years of working for a consulting firm, I have periodically traveled to client sites, attending conferences and for training. As a result, I have become ...

Grocery Shopping Like a Champ

Today, Saturday October 24th is the first annual “International Day of Climate Action”, organized by 350.org, an activist organization with the goal of cutting atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions to below 350 ppm (the current level is 389 ppm of CO2). There are more than 3000 events happening around the world in 160 countries. In recognition ...

Diesel Trains Are NOT the Answer 6

The downtown Toronto City Centre Airport has been a political hot potato for many years. Airport expansion advocates were pushing for a bridge to the Toronto City Centre airport that current Mayor David Miller quashed when he was first elected in 2003. Environmentalists and local residents often refer to noise and air pollution as the ...

Shawano Vying to be America’s First LEED Gold Certified Elementary School 2

All photos courtesy of @somervilleinc  / Twitter As we approach the holiday season when people are more inclined to over-consume, we should take a moment to reflect on how sustainable our lifestyles are (or aren’t). More importantly, we should consider the example we’re setting for our children – the future leaders who will be responsible ...

Living a Comfortable Urban Life Sans Automobile 4

All photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country  In 2006 there were around 250 million automobiles in the United States. That is an average of about one car for every 1.2 people. Worldwide there were 590 million cars in 2002, or an average of about 1 car for every 10 people. As the ...

KFC’s 60 Million Buckets of Waste 4

Photo ‘KFC, Paris’ by sophiexphotography / Flickr  KFC’s recent marketing campaign highlights a significant issue in our fast-food society: unnecessary waste. The latest commercial starts out with a black man with a white background holding a bucket of chicken where he nods to the camera and gleefully declares, “I’m in”. More people quickly join this ...

Cyclists Paving the Way for Ungrateful Drivers 30

Photo by earcos / Flickr Sitting at a red light, a car driver yells out his window “Excuse me, is this the bicycle lane?”. The cyclist passively shrugs and slowly rolls his bike closer to the curb. The light turns green and the driver stomps on the gas pedal flying past the cyclist with less ...

Social Change: the Forgotten Contributor

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country  A recent ABC News article claims that the financial crisis has driven down global carbon emissions, leading to the largest fall in emissions in more than 30 years. Although this article concedes that carbon trading schemes – such as those implemented within the European Union – ...