Posts Tagged ‘public transport’

Change the World Wednesday – 5th Jun

My Mean Green Leaf Eating Machine has disappeared. Read Done a Bunk for the full story.

I am still hopeful that I will see him as a moth, but I’m not holding my breath.

Still, it was a few exciting days watching him deforest my guava tree faster than illegal loggers in the Amazon.

I bought my second energy efficient light bulb to replace the incandescent one that blew out on Sunday night. That’s the two most used in the house now.

I try to be green. I have been interviewed by EcoGrrl, and I realised that I have always been greenish. It was a part of our growing up 50 years ago, we didn’t have to concentrate on recycling so much, because we didn’t have stuff to recycle. Somewhere along the line we lost the plot, I guess it was about the same time as plastic appeared. In those days all bottles were recycled. You paid for the soda/beer bottles and got a refund when you took them back. You didn’t have to think about it. As kids, if we wanted a little extra pocket money, we scrounged the backyard, then the neighbours for ’empties’ and took them to the shop, emerging triumphant with pockets jangling with change. It was a part of childhood.

green_handBut today, the kids are a lost generation. They have to be taught because they have no role models.

They say that technology is progress. I disagree, technology has created a ‘throw-away’ world, a wasteful world, a world where we don’t respect the green hand that always hovered over us anymore.

It was a time when if you didn’t respect what you had, you got a clip around the ear, and deservedly so. Today, it is child brutality and you are risking the kid growing up with a twisted view of the world. I’m sorry, that’s bullshit! I had my ears boxed thoroughly as a kid and I appear to be okay. We are losing our grip.

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This week’s CTWW.

This week drive less … or not at all. Consider walking or bicycling. Plan out trips so that the least mileage accomplishes the most. Plan at least one day when you leave the car parked and perhaps stay at home. Avoid quick trips to the market or driving your kids around when they could walk. If you must make a trip, consider public transportation or carpooling with a friend.


OR …

This week, for at least one day, go vegan or vegetarian. Yep, meatless for a day … longer if you can. Search the Internet for great recipes. You’ll also find wonderful dishes (tried & tested) right here on this blog (click HERE or use the tabs above).


OR …

If you are an Eco-Superstar, do both activities … perhaps for the whole week.

For me this is not so much a challenge. I always use public transport. And, like today, I combined my supermarket trip with returning from work, so I don’t have to make a ‘special’ trip.

My second job, is closer by, and I walk to work. It takes about 25 minutes, and gives me much needed exercise.

This is my sixth beefless week, so I consider my efforts to reduce beef consumption to be doing my bit rather than go totally meatless.

I’m certainly no Eco-Superstar, I don’t have a cape and I wear my underwear on the inside.

Until next week.


Monday Moaning

Monday Moaning this week is a continuation of the CTWW challenge the previous week. Looking at public versus private transport.

Muscle cars of the past

The world is worried about global warming and atmospheric pollution in general, but we don’t stop using our cars. The number of cars on our roads making short trips or going to work with only one person are a plague in our cities.

While we are making inroads into solving the problem and looking at smaller more efficient cars or electric cars rather than the muscle cars of the past. The problem with congestion remains.

We also ignore the use of natural resources in making all cars, whether efficient or not. Even with electric cars we are building more dams and electricity generation facilities that use more resources and create their own pollution. The problem is cyclic. We need to break the cycle!

Are we not barking up the wrong tree?

Shouldn’t we be looking at banning cars from the cities altogether?

Shouldn’t cities be looking at providing an efficient system of public transportation to cater to the demands of carless cities?

Shouldn’t cities be providing safe cycling paths and necessary infrastructure for cycles?

Shouldn’t the cities be providing the education necessary for people to change their ideas about ‘cars rule’?

We need to take a long hard serious look at our society and change some of the rules of the game rather than just change the chess pieces.

Milan in Italy, purported to be the most polluted European city, bans cars from the city when the pollution level reaches a predetermined limit.

In the face of what we have now there should be incentives like free parking for cars that travel to work at capacity (car pooling 3 or 4 passengers), there are many simple ideas like this that could be implemented in the status quo that would help resolve the existing problems in the interim. Or even fines for cars traveling to work with only the driver.

Moan over…

What do you think?

Change the World Wednesday 28th Sep

Tomato Icecream

Despite my hopes, my tomatoes remained tomato-flavoured, not a hint of curry. Experiment No.1 in GMOs – FAIL! This week I am trying for icecream-flavour…

Move over Monsanto, my GMOs are much more fun.

I was up at 4:30am today checking out the CTWW for this week. I do believe I have become derailed. I can assure you that I went back to bed until 7:30, a much more reasonable hour for a senior citizen’s first morning coffee, which reminds me, it’s time for the second. BRB

Back, ah, you’re still here…

This weeks Change the World Wednesday challenge on Reduce Footprints:


This week replace at least one car trip with a bicycle or walking trip.
OR …
If you never use a car, please write a post about how you make a “no car” life work.
Well, been done before, but that’s gone, so here’s my story for the second part of the challenge.
I got my license to drive at 15 (Yes, it was legal when I was a boy) and I rolled Dad’s car beyond recognition at 16. So yes, I support better driver training.

My first bike - 1951 Matchless G3LS

Until I was 41 I drove everywhere. I always had a car. My cars, after motorcycles, ranged from moderate types in the early years, a thumping great noisy gas guzzling V8 before I got married to sedate family saloon types as a responsible father. I have always driven, I did it for jobs, I did it for pleasure. I drove cars, trucks, taxis, fire engines (that was fun), army tanks, bulldozers, buses, Land Rovers (off road, more fun; boys just love mud). I could pull a reconditioned V8 motor out and have it fully reconditioned and back on the road within a week, that’s better than some mechanics can do (you’d know if you ever had to have it done).

So for 26 years a greater part my life revolved around vehicles of one sort or another.

Then my life changed. The week that I turned 41 I found myself in Rio de Janeiro en route to Europe. My first destination was Madrid… I never got there. The reasons are for another story on another blog another time.

For the first time in my life, I didn’t have a car. I was initially a tourist. From then on it was buses and taxis. In New Zealand I would never have considered a bus, the city services had deteriorated in frequency to way beyond pathetic. But, I found myself in a city where buses ruled, they may have been driven by retired Japanese kamikaze pilots (you have to do it to understand), but they went everywhere. If I wanted to go to Copacabana from Catete (where I stayed initially) there was a choice of buses and routes every few minutes. They were cheap, no parking, no gas to buy, etc. I discovered another world – public transport.

Uruguay Immigration Stamps

At Christmas that first year I wanted to go to Uruguay to stay with friends (also to get my visa renewed); I got a bus. Six hours across to São Paulo, forty hours from there to Montevideo. It cost like $60 and I didn’t have to read a map to find my way. I didn’t even have to worry about border crossings, the bus driver collected our passports when we boarded, and returned them all stamped when we got off the bus.

Now I have lived without a car for nearly twenty years. I don’t need one. I love the freedom of not having a car. No repairs, no insurance, no annual registration, no warrant of fitness (six-monthly fitness inspection)and best of all, no stress! I have more money for beer, and less headaches (because I don’t drink that much).

Since then, I have bussed, trained, boated and occasionally flown all over South America, covered thousands of miles, with the exception of Venezuela and Colombia, and loved every minute of it. I wouldn’t swap my public transport lifestyle if you gave me a car.

I bus to work every day in one of these

Now, I know that not all cities have great public transport systems, but if your city does, try it, you’ll like it.

Window shopping from the bus is great too. During the week, I saw a shop with reconditioned PCs for sale really cheap. Want one! If I had been driving through that intersection (busy, busy, busy) I would have missed it; you blink and you have missed your green light. In the bus you have time to relax and look, which is something that in today’s stressed out world there is no time for any more.

I would use a bicycle, if it were conducive to my health; unfortunately leg problems preclude cycling. In fact, before I was condemned to my walking stick, I used to walk to town each day for work it was only 25 minutes. I still do on occasion, but now it takes more than an hour.

A “no-car” life really works.

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