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Archive for the ‘going green’ Category

‘Green Exercise’ Contributing To Healthier Children

Posted on: May 11th, 2014 by Pulse

green-exercise

There are a number of reasons that physical activity is an important, and some may argue, necessary element of any child’s life. Children who exercise regularly have less behavior problems and are often shown to exhibit much better academic performance. Many parents and educators alike have recently begun to search for ways to keep kids healthy and active, while instilling a love for exercise.

Several of today’s most popular exercise methods for kids are as environmentally friendly as they are fun. Here are a few types of green exercise that are keeping kids excited to stay physically active.

Hiking

Family hikes are a very popular and beneficial form of exercise that kids and adults can enjoy together. This is a very green activity because when hikers are respectful of the environment around them, they do little to damage the ecological elements around them. Hiking is a wonderful form of cardiovascular exercise that also strengthens the legs and core. It is an ideal family exercise because it provides a wonderful opportunity for parents to instill in their children a love for the outdoors and a curiosity for the plants and wildlife they encounter along the way.

Scooter and Bike Riding

Riding scooters and bikes is an exhilarating experience that combines cardiovascular exercise with a love for adventure. Riding scooters and bikes as a child can greatly increase one’s chances of using green methods of transportation as they enter adulthood. Scooter and bike riding are also activities that can be done virtually anywhere: from one’s own neighborhood to the streets of a new town.

It can be a fun and truly exciting way of exploring a new city. Riding scooters and bikes is also an ideal way for kids to strengthen their navigation skills as well as their sense of confidence.

Ocean Or Lake Swimming

Swimming is a form of exercise that one can truly engage in through out their entire lives. It is an activity that is fun for kids and encourages them to spend time outdoors. Swimming in an ocean or lake is a particularly green form of exercise because it does not require the use of any chemicals.

Children may be introduced to ocean or lake swimming at a very young age if they are properly supervised and have been equipped with life vests. Kids who are introduced to green water sports at a young age may also be far more likely to enjoy other water sports, such as surfing or water skiing as they get older.

Zip Lining

Zip lining is a sport that is popular in many very lush areas of the world. Zip lining is a very thrilling activity that allows children and their parents to enjoy a truly unique and spectacular view of the world they are exploring. Zip lining presents a very minimal environmental impact, as the equipment used is highly minimal and poses no permanent change to the area it is constructed in.

Zip lining with kids is a wonderful way to introduce the concepts of fun and adventure in exercise and to get them excited about the possibility of thrilling outdoor activities.

Kayaking

Kayaking is a very green sport because it requires the use of no gasoline and allows kids and their parents to explore rivers and creeks while enjoying upper body strengthening. Kayaking can be paired with camping, and many areas offer tours that combine kayaking adventures with overnight camping stays, which can truly excite the imagination of a child and allow them to be introduced to the basics of kayaking. Kayaking is a truly thrilling and challenging activity the whole family can enjoy.

photo credit: FreeWine via photopin cc

Toronto Council Votes To Allow Electric Scooters In Bike Lanes

Posted on: March 8th, 2014 by Pulse

electric-scooter

The city of Toronto will now have a few different types of bicycles in its bike lanes, which have long been a favored mode of transportation for a number of Toronto citizens. In a recent vote by the Toronto city council, it was decided that e-bikes, or motorized bicycles would be allowed to use bike lanes and prohibited from driving in the streets.

This marks a shift from previous policy, which mandated that drivers of electric bikes share the road with motorists, a guideline that many electric cyclists opposed.

Many E-Bike Riders Support the Decision

Many of Toronto’s e-bike and electric scooter riders were happy with the city council’s decision to allow e-bikes into the bike lane because they believe that said lanes are a more appropriate method of travel than traditional street lanes, where e-bikes were formerly in traffic with motorists operating full sized vehicles.

A 2013 study in Toronto found that half of all e-bikers living in the city believed that the bike lane was the best option for their riding needs. Some riders of traditional bikes disagree that the decision is wise, and contend that since e-bikes are larger, heavier, and faster than traditional bikes, they belong in the regular traffic lane.

Toronto Not the First CIty to Adopt This Policy

Toronto’s recent legislation to allow e-bikes into bike lanes is not revolutionary when it comes to civic legislation around the use of electric bikes in the bike lanes. The Canadian cities of Ottawa and Mississauga already have guidelines in place that allow for e-bike usage.

In general, legislation around cycling and its various forms is a fairly commonly discussed issue because of the fact that cycling and outdoor activities play such a large part in the Canadian lifestyle. Canada, which is often noted for its strong environmental record and beautiful natural terrain, boasts a number of citizens who take advantage of the Canadian outdoors by cycling or riding to work or school.

E-Bikes Growing in Popularity

Electric bikes seem to be growing in popularity in Canada as well as across the continental United States and Europe, as many environmentally and financially conscious consumers search for ways in which they can cut fuel costs while reducing their environmental impact.

This is certainly good news for many major cities, who could ostensibly see their pollution levels and traffic reduced as more and more commuters switch to modes of transportation other than cars.

A Need to Reimagine Transportation Plans

The recent Toronto decision may have done more than just change the way in which e-bikers commute. It may have also shed light on what could continue to be a very important issue for city governments everywhere. As more citizens shift to alternative modes of transportation, planning may have to be done to accommodate for different types of riders.

Some of the traditional cyclists in Toronto, for example, are opposed to the introduction of electric bikes into their riding space, but there remains to be an alternative solution presented that gives cyclists of all types the options they need. Some planners have begun to look into the implementation of dual bike lanes, which would allow for e-bikes and more fast moving cyclists in one lane, and traditional bikes in another. This would allow for all cyclists to ride free of auto traffic, but may not be feasible without major re planning of city roads.

For now, the city government in Toronto hopes that it has reached a decision that will help all cyclists continue to ride and that will encourage more commuters and recreational riders to view the city from behind handlebars.

Easy Tips For Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Posted on: February 1st, 2014 by Pulse

reducing-your-carbon-footprint

First off, what is a “carbon footprint” exactly? The Carbon part of Carbon Footprint refers to the greenhouse gases, namely carbon dioxide, that are emitted into the atmosphere from human activities. This also includes things that are considered natural, like cow farms or when bodies of water “burp” carbon dioxide into the air, but turn out to have come about via human influence.

The Footprint part of Carbon Footprint refers to the “impression” we leave as humans on the planet via the amount of greenhouse gases our lifestyle results in. For example, if one were to drive a large truck that was 40 years old, the emissions from such a vehicle would emit more hazardous exhaust than a modern 2-door car, thus having a larger carbon footprint.

Decreasing Your Carbon Footprint

Despite what would seem to be an insurmountable cultural system in which the gears keep turning and the elements of which are uninfluenced by the common person, there are a variety of ways that anyone in our modern world can decrease the impact they have over the general carbon footprint our society produces.

Transportation

Most greenhouse gases are a result of gas-burning engines that come from automobiles, airplanes, trains and factories. Compared to consumer automobiles like sedans, minivans, small trucks and so on, industrial automobiles like big rigs, airplanes, freightliners and trains produce a much larger carbon footprint. So how, in the face of this, does one who perhaps has no direct impact over these large industrial machines actually do their part and decrease the amount of CO2 their actions directly, or indirectly, cause to come about?

The easiest element one can have action over pertaining to the world of transportation in general is to drive a more modern car, one that has been built to meet modern emission standards, versus an older car which would have worse emissions. Get your car serviced regularly to make sure that everything is working properly and keeping to modern emission standards.

If possible, take public transportation more than driving yourself, or even take use a zero emission vehicle like a bicycle or a scooter. A good way to see the impact of this would be to imagine everyone riding a bus or a train instead driving themselves, alone, in their cars on the freeways. How much more congested would the roads be?

To reduce the need for large trucks which are moving across the country constantly, transporting goods manufactured somewhere else, a good idea would be to buy things from local businesses wherein the goods they sell are made locally.

Our Homes

One aspect of the carbon footprint we all leave that is easily overlooked is the power consumption in our homes. To curb this, do things like installing more energy-efficient bulbs and turning off the lights in rooms that are not being sued at the time. Keep the thermostat at a more average range of temperature so that the AC or heater is not in need of being on constantly. One could even go the extra mile and have solar panels installed on their home to further reduce the need to have power sent to them via the power company.

So as to reduce the need for water purification plants needing to work more, take shorter showers and do not leave the faucet running. Wash your dishes when it is truly needed as opposed to maybe every day.

Doing these types of things will require a lifestyle change that some may feel is uncomfortable , but only at first. Living more sustainably will help you feel better about your impact on the planet and inspire others to do so. Individual efforts may not seem to have much of an impact on the overall carbon situation, but as a collective whole, massive changes can come about if, as a society, we began to adopt more and more carbon-saving practices, sacrificing perhaps a bit of comfort that we are normally used to.

Benefits Of A Battery Powered Scooter

Posted on: October 22nd, 2013 by Pulse No Comments

City Without A Car
Generally when people think of scooters, they think of the kind where they have to push off the ground with their foot to ride. But battery powered scooters are also an attractive form of transportation for anyone who’s interested in doing something different than the norm. Battery powered scooters are doubly appealing because they have a surprisingly long list of benefits that are convenient and environmentally friendly. We discuss some of the benefits below.

Fast And Convenient, Especially In Urban Areas
Riding a battery powered scooter is faster than walking or riding a regular scooter. They are very easy and convenient to ride, especially when someone is trying to cut down on the time they need to get somewhere. When someone lives in an urban area, driving everywhere is not an attractive option with the traffic and lack of parking, so scooters can make a great and fast alternative.

They Don’t Contribute To Noise Pollution
Due to the way battery powered scooters are built they won’t contribute to noise pollution. In the city there is almost never a quiet moment, with the blare of police sirens, fire trucks, and the constant noise of people everywhere. A battery powered scooter won’t add to the infinite amount of noise that permeates the city.

This is also very convenient if a person lives in a rural or suburban area where noise pollution can be even more of a touchy issue. Residents who live in these areas purposely want to live in quiet areas where there aren’t any disturbing noises. So a battery powered scooter is a great solution to someone who wants to get around faster, but doesn’t want to disturb his neighbors with the cacophony of noise that a motorcycle creates.

No Need For Gas
Another great and environmentally friendly benefit of a battery powered scooter is that they don’t need gas. All a person has to do is charge them and the scooter will be ready to go. This means that the owner of a battery powered scooter will have a long-running form of transportation that is easily recharged and used on a regular basis. And not only will the owner have a fun form of alternative transportation, he will also be saving a significant amount of money by not having to constantly buy gas. With gas prices rising and rising, people are always looking for ways to cut down on travel expenses. This has helped spark a generation of people looking to get away from driving pollutant emitting vehicles.

Decreased Carbon Footprint
In addition to saving significant amounts of money on gas, riding a battery powered scooter also cuts down on air pollution or as some call it your ‘carbon footprint’. Due to the scooter running on a battery and not on gas, it doesn’t emit the carbon monoxide pollution that many other forms of transportation do. It has been reported that road vehicles produce a third of the carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides that are contributing to a hazardous health environment. This is why it’s imperative that people start researching and implementing other forms of transportation that don’t pollute the air. A battery powered scooter is a great example of a way a person can get around on a daily basis without contributing to air pollution.

Light Weight
Battery powered scooters are also light in weight, which means moving and storing them is easy. No one wants to have a monstrous, bulky scooter that is hard to store or move, and battery powered scooters solve that problem. Particularly for people who live in urban areas in an apartment, they want a scooter that they can easily maneuver around and store without being too obtrusive.

5 Great Ways To Get Around The City Without A Car

Posted on: September 1st, 2013 by Pulse No Comments

City Without A CarIt may seem like having a car is necessary for getting around if you live in a big city. But the truth is, oftentimes you can actually get around faster and experience the city in a better way by not driving a car.

With gas prices continuously on the rise, many city dwellers are opting for car alternatives. They’re finding that living in the city without a car is much easier than they expected. Here are a few transportation alternatives that may inspire you to make a change in your own commute.

1. Bicycles and Scooters.

Go totally fuel free by biking or scooting your way around the city. Finding and paying for parking in cities from New York to Los Angeles is a huge hassle day after day. You can save time and money by riding a bike or scooters for quick errands and shorter trips. You’ll never have to sit in traffic again either.

Those who choose a bike or performance scooter for their commute say they begin to experience their city or neighborhood in a completely different way. Bikes are becoming the transportation choice for many in major cities, from college students to office workers.

2. Public Transportation.

If you live in a major city, chances are there is a train, bus, taxi, or subway that can take you where you need to go. Larger, more spread out cities, such as Los Angeles, are actively working on making their public transportation more accessible by adding more subway and train lines to take passengers to the farther outreaches of the city.

In cities like New York and San Francisco, many use public transportation on a daily basis. By purchasing a monthly or annual pass, frequent passengers save on the cost of their daily commute. Riding public transportation frees you from the stress of traffic and finding parking, and also gives you some down time.

3. Carpool.

Get together with fellow students, coworkers, or friends who share the same commute and organize a carpool. Even if you don’t own a car, you can participate by offering to drive on occasion or paying for gas. Many college campuses and workplaces offer substantial discounts on parking and other perks for those who choose to carpool.

You can skip over traffic on the highway by using the carpool lane. Overall, it saves money and stress for carpoolers and helps the environment too. Look around you the next time you’re stuck in traffic on the freeway – the majority of passengers around you will be solo drivers. If more of these people got together and carpooled, we could reduce carbon emissions and traffic too.

4. Walk.

Of course this only goes for short distance trips and errands, but walking is highly underrated, especially in cities like Los Angeles and in the suburbs. You won’t believe how many people choose to drive to locations that are a mile or less from their home, simply because they don’t think of it.

Walking around your neighborhood to go shopping or run errands is a great way to experience all it has to offer. You’ll be getting fresh air, exercise, and meeting neighbors that you’d never encounter by riding in a car. A daily walk can reduce stress and help you lose weight too. Next time you need an item from the market or a book at the library, resist the urge to get in the car and try a leisurely walk instead.