Monday, September 21, 2009

Penny for your water

(image found on Flickr via City Water)

I just came across this article on the TapIt water blog, which I've referenced before for their initiative of placing water refilling stations in cafes and stores around the city. TapIt reports that Michigan's governor, Jennifer Granholm is trying to pass a bill that would place a penny tax on bottled water. Her proposal is being challenged of course by the International Bottled Water Association and brings up a valid question. In Michigan's slow economy, could a single cent inhibit people from purchasing a bottle of water and instead encourage them to opt for the tap? I certanly hope so.


I've never been to Europe, but think that when I do I'll most definitely make Slovenia a stop on my trip. This Central European country roughly the size of New Jersey is considered a hidden gem to seasoned travelers. Ljubljana, the nation's capital beautifully displays its Baraoque and Art Nouveau influence in its architecture while the Julian Alps and Lake Bled shock the senses with their grandeur. The Soca River Valley pictured below was also the setting for a few scenes in the movie The Chronicles of Narnia.. Isn't that color breathtaking?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Urban Dwelling

I think all of us city dwellers realize that taking the subway or riding a bike to get to our chosen destinations is better for the environment, even if it puts us at risk for a close encounter with a stranger we weren't necessarily prepared for. David Owen, a staff writer for The New Yorker makes the case more convincingly in his book, Green Metropolis.

"...Manhattan, Hong Kong and large, old European cities are inherently greener than less densely populated places because a higher percentage of their inhabitants walk, bike and use mass transit than drive; they share infrastructure and civic services more efficiently; they live in smaller spaces and use less energy to heat their homes (because those homes tend to share walls); and they’re less likely to accumulate a lot of large, energy-sucking appliances. People in cities use about half as much electricity as people who don’t, Owen reports, and the average New Yorker generates fewer greenhouse gases annually than 'residents of any other American city, and less than 30 percent of the national average.'"

Not bad, huh? This is good news on top of New Yorkers already feeling quite proud of themselves for countless other things. It's nice to know however, that the circumstances of an average New Yorker's day to day life are contributing to the greening of the world. Now, if we can only do something about the falafel trucks and their styrofoam containers...

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