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A Town Without Cars: Bicycle City

Bicycle City is a planned community built around bicycles. No cars are allowed. A real world cycling utopia, the project, started by Ohio-based Bicycle City LLC, has been in the design phase since the early 1990s, but in 2010 the town of Gaston, South Carolina near Columbia was chosen as the first location for Bicycle City. A community where cycling …

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World’s First Wave Energy Power Plant Opens In Spain

The small town of Mutriku in the Basque region of Spain is the first in the world to open a commercial wave power plant. The Basque government energy agency Ente Vasco de la Energía (EVE) debuted its €2.3 million ($3.1 million) project in July. The project is funded by taxes. It is estimated that the wave power plant will produce …

Catalina Island: 14-Year Car Waiting List

Catalina Island is the only place in California where the number and size of road-going motor vehicles is regulated by law. For residents of the island who want to bring a personal car, this means signing up at the bottom of a 14-year waiting list. Tourists are not permitted to ferry a vehicle from the mainland, even for temporary use. …

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The Largest Car-Free Place In U.S.: Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island lies between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan within the Straights of Mackinac, a strip of water separating the peninsulas as well as connecting the Great Lakes of Huron and Michigan. This 3.8-square mile island is part of the state of Michigan and has evolved from a strategic commercial and military center into a modern resort with …

New Yorkers Asked To Suggest Bike Sharing Locations

A 600-station bike sharing system is slated to debut during the summer of 2012 in New York City. The network of 10,000 bicycles is being set up in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and future expansion into Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx is possible. New York City Bike Share is privately sponsored and operated. The NYC Department of Transportation regulates site …

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The Longest Car-Free Bicycle Routes In The Northeast

Car-free bicycle routes in the Northeast can be found on rail trails and local town greenways. With 392 open trails encompassing 3,233 miles, the Northeast region can rival the rail trails of the Midwest, where the rail trail movement began. With heavily traveled and traffic-congested roads, cyclists and other transportation advocates embrace the development of bicycle routes in this area.

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Germany Is Now 20% Powered By Renewable Energy

When the largest economy in the European Union derives 20% of its energy from renewable sources, it is a milestone worthy of international attention. Germany’s renewable energy consumption jumped 2.5% within the last year, sending the total consumption of green power in that country to 20.8%. Since 2000, Germany’s use of renewable energy has increased 15 percentage points.

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Greece Plans To Construct World’s Largest Solar Farm (200 Megawatts)

The wave of interest in solar power across Europe has now touched Greece, and in a big way. The Mediterranean country of over ten million inhabitants plans to construct Earth’s biggest solar farm. Estimated to cost €600 million ($822 million), the project will cover 1,285 acres of depleted coal mines in the northern city of Kozani.

Go Car-Free in DC and Save More Than $10,000 A Year

A recently-published study by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) ranks the top 20 cities where going car-free will save the most money. Number 14 on the list is Washington, DC, which has nearly 200,000 car-less households already. The APTA’s report claims that the average DC resident would save $10,282 per year in transportation-related costs by giving up his or …

Dutch Electric Bike Sales Outstripping City Bikes

Electric bicycle sales are on the rise worldwide, and nowhere is this phenomenon more apparent than in the Netherlands, where revenue from e-bike sales recently surpassed revenue from city bike sales. The Netherlands was the first nation to enact an official national bicycle policy, and the country has thousands of miles of bicycle paths and lanes. Bicycle parking is plentiful …

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Stunning Vertical Forest Skyscraper By Stefano Boeri’s

Urban living requires efficient use of space, but it can be a very environmentally-friendly lifestyle:  city residents generally live in small homes with access to walkable neighborhoods and public transportation.  One common downside is a lack of green space, but architect Stefano Boeri aims to change all that with his “Bosco Verticale” concept.  Italian for “vertical forest”, his project was …

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Bike Helmet Laws Discourage Bike Sharing

Bike sharing programs are sprouting up in cities across the globe. From Dublin to Minneapolis, Barcelona to Tulsa, and Washington D.C. to Hangzhou, China bike sharing has become a viable transportation alternative. After seeing the success of other U.S. cities, New York City is set to have a bike sharing up and running in April of 2012. However, one place …

Two Wind Farms Get New Zealand Closer To 90% Renewable Power

New Zealand is one big step closer to accomplishing the ambitious goal of generating 90% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025. The country already produces nearly 80% of its power from clean sources, including hydropower, geothermal, and wind farms. With hydropower approaching its natural limit, New Zealand is investing heavily in two huge new wind farms.

Astrophysicist’s Technique Could Cut Plane Boarding Time In Half

Fermilab scientist Jason Steffen recently presented a creative and simple solution to a problem that affects hundreds of millions of people per year: inefficient airplane boarding procedures. Typically, airlines board in several zones, from back to front, one zone at a time. Though it may appear logical, this method is full of disorganization. Passengers in a given zone are all …

Lighting Costs Cut By 90% Using Intelligent LEDs

A company called Digital Lumens has introduced product that networks LED lights together to form an “intelligent” lighting system. The system can turn on lights if people are present in a room, and adjust brightness levels over the course of a day. Overall, the system can cut lighting costs by 90% for commercial sites like warehouses. A real world example is …

Longest Urban Bicycle Route In U.S. Sees Record Growth

The East Coast Greenway is an urban network of trails stretching 3,000 miles from Key West, Florida to Calais, Maine on the Canadian border. Founded in 1991 by a group of trail advocates, the East Coast Greenway (ECG) began as a vision to provide cyclists and pedestrians with a safe and continuous, traffic-free route connecting 25 major cities along the …

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The Longest Car-Free Bicycle Routes In The U.S.

Bicycle touring is gaining in popularity across the U.S. with more car-free bike routes being completed each year. Cyclists who like the idea of long distance riding, but not the hassle of navigating through traffic and across busy roads on a bike can now plan an outing on one of these bike trails. Thanks to abandoned railway lines and canal …

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LED Lamps That Glow With Warm White Light

LED Lamps With Warm White Illumination: Koncept Z-Bar ($165) and i-Tower ($195) Pablo Designs LIM L Floor ($350) Cree XLamp XR-E Warm White LED Lantern ($25) The color temperature of light is measured in degrees Kelvin. Lower-temperature white LEDs (around 2,000-4,000 K) are warm (yellowish white) like incandescent bulbs. White LEDs with higher color temperatures (above 5,000 K) are cool …

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Top Car-Free Bike Routes In The Midwest

There’s a growing trend happening in the Midwest and across the country. With the support of local and regional governments, long distance bike routes are being converted from abandoned rail corridors in an attempt to connect a nationwide network of trails most commonly referred to as rails-to-trails. These trails are generally flat or follow a gentle grade, perfect for beginning …

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The Best Electric Boat Motors

The Best Electric Boat Motors: Minn Kota Endura C2 30 ($99) Minn Kota Endura C2 55 ($257) MotorGuide VariMAX V55 – Freshwater, Pontoon Mount ($414) Torqeedo Travel 1003 ($1,999) Compared to gasoline-powered boat motors, electric outboard motors provide quieter operation, no exhaust fumes and zero emissions. Electrics are great as the primary means of propulsion for small boats, a secondary …