Posted by deborahmclaren on March 1, 2011
Minneapolis bike-sharing program prepares to expand into St. Paul
By Frederick Melo
Updated: 03/01/2011 09:32:01 AM CST
Minneapolis resident Claire Bootsma sat on a ‘Nice Ride’ bike as it was parked at the rack on Nicollet Ave. at Grant Street in Minneapolis July 1, 2010. (Pioneer Press, file)
The Nice Ride Minnesota bicycle-sharing program has moved a step closer to expanding from Minneapolis into St. Paul. Although specific rental locations haven’t been identified, nearly $2 million in new federal funding and foundation support will allow the program to grow from 65 sites to more than 100 this spring.
“I think in total we’ll probably add 50 more stations this year,” said Bill Dossett, executive director of the Minneapolis-based nonprofit. “You will see stations in St. Paul, but I don’t know how many yet, and I don’t know where.”
He said an official decision is about two weeks away. Eight of the stations will be in North Minneapolis.
As for the potential location of the St. Paul sites, here’s a clue: A chunk of the new funding has come from Macalester College and the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative, a coalition of foundations that aims to protect the University Avenue neighborhoods around the future light-rail route being built from downtown St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis.
A series of public meetings hosted by Nice Ride Minnesota last fall generated more than 800 suggested sites.
Nice Ride, which is based out of the Midtown Bike Center along the Midtown Greenway in South Minneapolis, currently maintains 65 bicycle stations where commuters can rent bikes for short trips, mostly.
Organizers say surveys show 20 percent of the 100,000 trips taken between the program’s launch last June and November would otherwise have been taken by car.”We’re excited to see the success of the first year,” said Hilary Reeves, a spokeswoman for Transit for Livable Communities.
On Monday, Transit for Livable Communities, a St. Paul-based nonprofit organization, announced Nice Ride will receive $1 million from the Federal Highway Administration to fund the program’s expansion. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota will add $500,000 as part of a challenge pledge, and the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative will put in $250,000.
Macalester College is contributing $30,000 through its High Winds Fund, which aims to improve aesthetics and security on its campus.
In total, Transit for Livable Communities announced it will award federal highway funding of $1.17 million to three capital projects. The city of Fridley will receive $110,000 to add sidewalks and bike lanes from the Northstar commuter rail station and communities to the south.
The city of Minneapolis will receive $62,000 to improve pedestrian safety on Franklin Avenue in the Seward neighborhood.
Frederick Melo can be reached at 651-228-2172.
More information about Nice Ride Minnesota is available at its website: NiceRideMN.org.
Posted in alternative transportation, climate solutions, green travel, Minnesota, Saint Paul, sustainable travel | Tagged: Deborah McLaren, Frederick Melo, Nice Ride Minnesota, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Transit for Livable Communities, Travel Momma, Twin Cities Bike Share | Leave a Comment »
Posted by deborahmclaren on February 9, 2011
ice biker dude
I want to write an upcoming post on my blog about ice biking… that’s the term for people who like to ride year round, even in the snow and ice. I live in Minnesota where there are plenty of ice bikers. I use to think they were all crazy, but I’m beginning to wonder why our bicycle accident rates are going DOWN while more riders are going up. Let me know what you think, especially if you are an ice biker.
Posted in alternative transportation, climate solutions, Minnesota, sustainable travel | Tagged: ice biker, icebike, Travel Momma, winter cycling | 5 Comments »
Posted by deborahmclaren on January 18, 2011
2011 Responsible Tourism Week: Feb 14-18
Fall in love with responsible tourism. The dates are set for our next Responsible Tourism Week. Our unconventional, online unconference takes place Feb 14-18, 2011. Details:
Background: Responsible Tourism Week is a fun mash-up exploring down to earth applications of noble concepts including responsible tourism, the local travel movement and ecotourism with practical and inexpensive Web 2.0 technologies. Take a peak at what we accomplished this year via the Planeta Wiki and on Slideshare.
We are seeking partners and financial sponsors.
Simply put, this online unconference is an excellent way to broaden and deepen our dialogue about sustainable practice and tourism. The event encourages participants to articulate their core values and the way they put noble ideas into practice. It’s an opportunity to introduce new events, tours and research projects as well as an opportunity to summarize recent events. Yes, it’s a high-tech, but we also promote the foam board. For those who can keep track of a hashtag, it’s a new window to the world!
How to participate? You can start now by documenting the stories you’d like to share. In particular we will highlight photos on Flickr, tweets on Twitter, videos on YouTube and recommended blogs and wikis. This year we will start to feature tours using Gowalla and Foursquare. Check out the toolbox!
The talking points for RT 2011will be updated on the wiki. Of special interest in 2011 will be the role of responsible tourism in forests and cities. Join us!
Posted in Buy-local, climate solutions, conference, ecotour, green travel, Indigenous tourism, sustainable tourism, sustainable travel, Technology, travel | Tagged: 2011 Responsible tourism week, Deborah McLaren, ecotourism, Foursquare, Gowalla, local travel, local travel movement, Planeta, planeta.com, responsible tourism, responsible tourism in cities, responsible tourism in forests, Ron Mader, wikispaces | Leave a Comment »
Posted by deborahmclaren on October 20, 2010
La Evolución Silenciosa (The Silent Evolution) by sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor
Just over 30 feet underwater in the Cancun and Isla Mujeres National Marine Park, 400 statues–each based on a real person–have been anchored together as part art, part artificial reef and part tourism. The work, called The Silent Evolution, is in the Museo Subacuatico de Arte, the world’s first underwater sculpture park.
The Silent Revolution
The Silent Evolution by Jason deCaires Taylor
Jason deCaires Taylor, the British sculptor (former grafitti artist who grew up near the sea in Malaysia) who created the project says he built it to reduce the negative impact tourism has had on Mexico’s reefs, as well as show humans and nature living in harmony. The cement statues are part of an artificial reef that coral and aquatic plants will grow on. His other underwater art includes a sea garden in the West Indies and human under water sculptures in a quaint English garden. Go to his website to see how the sculptures look after coral have started to grow on the installations.
The Silent Evolution by Jason deCaires Taylor
Coral growing from sculpture created by Jason deCaires Taylor.
Posted in art, climate solutions, cultural heritage, Mexico, ocean, quite unusual, water | Tagged: artificial reef, Cancun and Isla Mujeres National Marine Park, coral reef, Deborah McLaren, Jason deCaires Taylor, La Evolución Silenciosa, Mexico, Museo Subacuatico de Arte, sculptures, The Silent Evolution, underwater sculpture park, underwater sculptures | 1 Comment »
Posted by deborahmclaren on October 14, 2010
Twin Cities Transition Town and Neighborhood Sustainability Networking Fair
Keynote speaker will be Richard Heinberg, author of The Party’s Over: Oil, War, and the Fate of Industrial Societies and Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World. Richard is a Senior Fellow at the Post Carbon Institute.
Neighbors from Cocoran, Powderhorn, Phillips, Seward, Longfellow, Standish Ericsson and other neighborhoods from around the Twin Cities will meet with volunteers from local congregations, immigrant associations, garden clubs and student volunteers to plan how each neighborhood can build local resilience and find ways to thrive as we adapt to climate change, peak oil and economic disruption.
For more information please contact Sean Gosiewski, Alliance for Sustainability 612-331-1099 email@example.com , http://www.afors.org
– $5, November 13, Minneapolis, MN
Meet you there!
Posted in climate solutions, environmental education, Minnesota, Saint Paul, Volunteer | Tagged: and the Fate, Minneapolis, Minnesota, post-carbon world, Richard Heinberg, The Party's Over: Oil, Twin Cities, Twin Cities Sustainability Fair, War | Leave a Comment »
Posted by deborahmclaren on September 29, 2010
Cloud Cult (stolen from their website!)
Calling all festival goers, music travelers, musicians and fans!
Cloud Cult is an experimental indie rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota led by singer/songwriter Craig Minowa. The name originated from the ancient prophecies of indigenous North Americans. A lot of musicians and bands have become advocates for environmental organizations and Cloud Cult takes it damn serious.
In 1999, lead singer Craig and his wife Connie Minowa formed Earthology with an Earthology Records branch, which was focused on helping to green the music industry. Earthology Records is where all of the bands booking, publicity, CD replication, t-shirt production, and recording take place. Through Earthology, Minowa developed the first 100% post-consumer recycled CD packaging in the U.S. market. Earthology Records was later moved to an organic farm, powered by geothermal energy and built partially from reclaimed wood and recycled plastic. The band’s merchandise is all 100% postconsumer recycled or made of certified organic materials. Cloud Cult has planted over a thousand trees and plants several hundred more each year to absorb the band’s CO2 output. They also donate heavily to projects that build wind turbines as revenue generators on Native American Reservations.
Cloud Cult is music that speaks from the heart, from life, from creativity. After the death of Craig and Connie’s first child they poured their hurt into songs that were extremely personal and painful – yet also celebrated the elements of his life, all of our lives really, by celebrating “the mysteries of life” as Craig says. You can hear and buy their new CD, Running with the Wolves. Their next Minneapolis date is Nov 18th at First Ave. They are also playing Philly, NYC, Brooklyn, Boston and loads of other places.
Cloud Cult is a member of the Green Music Alliance, an organization founded in 2008 for music industry companies and artists who agree that it is time for the industry to examine the way they do business, create products, promote music, sell music and influence their fans. Also, the Green Music Alliance is for music fans who want to know what they can do for the planet. Members of the Green Music Alliance (featured artists this month are soul man John Legend, the lovely and kick-butt Sheryl Crow, and heroes Cloud Cult) strive to reduce the carbon footprint of their companies and raise awareness within their businesses and with their fans about how to reduce our impact on the environment. Their website is a great resource for every aspect of the music industry – everything from where to buy sustainably harvested bamboo guitars to solar stages, and how to tour sustainably. The website also tells the stories of musicians and others who are sending the sustainable world message to their industry and their fans. Radiohead telecommuted for the Conan O’Brian show to reduce their carbon footprint and KT Tunstall tours on a biodesiel bus. I love green rock.
nabbed free and with their permission
Note: Some of this info was blatantly lifted from the Green Music Alliance and Cloud Cult’s websites… oh, and YouTube. Enjoy!
Posted in award, climate solutions, environmental education, green music, green travel, Minnesota, Uncategorized | Tagged: biodiesel tour bus, Cloud Cult, Craig Minowa, Earthology Records, Everybody Here is a Cloud, experimental rock, First Ave, Green Music Alliance, green music festivals, green music industry, John Legend, Minnesota, musicians for the environment, reducing carbon footprint | Leave a Comment »
Posted by deborahmclaren on April 26, 2010
By Harold Goodwin – 30 November 2009
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In 2002 ResponsibleTravel.com was one of the first companies to adopt carbon offsetting and it is now one of the first to abandon the approach. Recognizing that flying is currently one of the fastest growing sources of CO2 emissions ResponsibleTravel.com has mounted a campaign to say no to carbon offsetting and to say yes to carbon reduction.
Justin Francis of ResponsibleTravel.com is reported in The Independent today. He said that he had decided to abandon offsets because he believes they have become “a medieval pardon that allows people to continue polluting”. He went on
“Carbon offsetting is an ingenious way to avoid genuinely reducing your carbon emissions,” he said yesterday. “It’s a very attractive idea – that you can go on living exactly as you did before when there’s a magic pill or medieval pardon out there that allows people to continue polluting.”
As the makers of the excellent film clip Cheat Neutral made clear you cannot offset the damage you do the environment by flying by paying someone else to reduce their carbon emissions. If you have not watched the movie, watch it now. It will make you smile.
As ResponsibleTravel.com say on their site “Offsetting flights has too often been seen as an opportunity to go on flying the same amount or more.” ResponsibleTravel.com’s message is clear fly less, make the essential life style changes and when we do fly make it count by choosing a holiday which will have a positive impact in the destination.
ResponsibleTravel.com have launched a range of lower carbon travel experiences, encouraging the use of the train and public transport and reminding us that there is much to be enjoyed and experienced closer to home with 200 UK holiday ideas.
Whilst as individuals we can make a difference we should not ignore the scale of the problem we need national and international action to slow global warming –
The Independent quotes some of the offers available on offsets, it is surely a matter of considerable concern that the amount of carbon emitted varies so much and the cost too.. The British government’s official Shadow Price of Carbon is £28 per tonne Clearly offsetting provides a cheaper deal, but that is not covering the real cost of the damage caused by the carbon emitted which using the DFRA figure is significantly higher.
The examples reported by The Independent
What do some of the major offset companies charge for offsetting a return flight from London to Sydney for two people?
*Climate Care: 11.23 tonnes of CO2 which costs £98.03 to offset.
*Carbon Clear: 2.82 tonnes of CO2 which costs £21.15 to offset
*The Carbon Neutral Company: 6.1 tonnes of CO2 which costs between £52 and £122 to offset depending on which project you choose
*Offset Carbon: 8 tonnes of CO2 at £76
This Article first appeared on the Harold Goodwin Blog
ResponsibleTravel.com abandons carbon off setting – Responsible travel news. Responsible travel news, responsible views & discussion on responsible tourism.
Posted in climate solutions, Uncategorized | Tagged: carbon offsets, cheat neutral, Harold Goodwin, responsible travel, travel | Leave a Comment »
Posted by deborahmclaren on January 2, 2010
Children’s Outdoor Environmental Education Experience Story of the Week!
Today I helped my nine-year old write down his memories about the week his class spent at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Minnesota’s great northern woods. His group consisted of about 125 4th, 5th and 6th graders from the Twin Cities who braved below zero winter weather during a very cold December to spend a week near Lake Superior. My husband went along as the Dad chaperone.
Founded in 1971, Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center was the first environmental learning center in the nation to be accredited as a K-12 school and is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in environmental education. Wolf Ridge is a place where minds open to the joy and wonder of discovery of our natural world. WRELC’s mission is to “stimulate a love and understanding of nature by involving children and adults in direct observation of and participation on the outdoors and promote self-awareness and leadership development in the process.”
Activities and classes at Wolf Ridge are nearly all outdoors, typically three hours in length (and seemed to go from 8:30 am until 9:00 pm every day). Class subjects include environmental science, cultural history, contemporary environmental issues, personal growth, team building and outdoor recreation.
Apparently these kids had some pretty amazing outdoor adventures (ropes course, zip lines), including orienteering (finding your way around in the woods with the help of a compass), a three-mile Lake Superior trail hike where they spotted wolves and a deer kill (4th graders think that is the ultimate in cool), navigating icy cliffs, and instigating some major snow ball wars. The food was yucky but “way better than our school” and the indoor classes included rock wall climbing, learning that if you live near Lake Superior and choose to go on vacation rather than fix your septic tank your neighbor will have to deal with your pee in the water, and how to make Dream Catchers. I loved the photos of my son dressed as the eastern cotton tail, the smallest of the US hares – including the western jack rabbit and snow shoe hare – using his big buck teeth to demonstrate how to eat bark off a branch (and the stories of the morning they were off tracking the snow shoe hare).
Since I had been the first in our family to volunteer as a chaperone I was slightly bummed not to get to go. However, Dads are a scarce resource and my husband was needed to watch over the wild pack of 4th grade boys, including staying in their dorm room where they apparently threw Fudge (someone’s stuffed spider) around until midnight, spent another hour shining their flashlights around the dark room, and got up multiple times to run into other rooms and the bathroom.
The kids raised their own money to go, and raised funds for everyone who wanted to attend. What I’m truly impressed with them about is that they were determined that every kid could go – and their school is very diverse – mainly Hmong, Somalian, and other kids who are, in some situations, the first person in their families to even go to school. A lot of the kids haven’t been out of the city. Connecting with nature in Minnesota’s great north woods is a fantastic experience for anyone – no matter what your age. Hopefully some of them will be inspired to work in nature. We certainly need them. Handing them our messed up climate is one of the things I worry about the most.
Posted in climate solutions, environmental education, family travel | Tagged: elementary ecology, Lake Superior, Minnesota, Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center | Leave a Comment »
Posted by deborahmclaren on December 27, 2009
The Climate Change talks in Copenhagen were disappointing… and while the mainstream travel industry continues to greatly contribute to global warming the REAL change is, of course, being made by the people who have consistently been the best care takers and conservationists of Mother Earth – our Indigenous brothers and sisters.
The 2010 Award for the best Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website, is a collaborative effort between Planeta.com and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity/UNEP (CBD) with the support of the Heidehof Foundation to showcase best practices in web-based technologies helping indigenous people manage tourism in a biodiversity-friendly way. The award is presented to indigenous tourism operations for websites that promotes sustainable practices and educates visitors on cultural protocols and biodiversity conservation.
A good slideshare description, posted by Ron Mader (host of Planeta.com) is available at ITBW2010 and the ITBW2010 wiki.
So far, the nominees include:
Bicicletas Pedro Martinez is a Zapotec-owned biking company in Oaxaca, Mexico. Pedro prides his operation on respecting indigenous peoples and the incredibly rich ecosystems.
Brambuk the National Park & Cultural Centre introduces visitors to the Grampians National Park (Gariwerd) in Victoria, Australia.
Chitral Association for Mountain Area Tourism (CAMAT) in Pakistan is owned and operated by the indigenous Kho, Wakhi and Kalash communities.
Chalalan Ecolodge is the most successful effort made by indigenous people in Bolivia and is 100% run and owned by our indigenous community.
Hospitality Kyrgyzstan, is an umbrella association uniting 18 diverse destination communities with more than 350 families in Kyrgyzstan.
Kakadu Culture Camp is owned and operated by Fred and Jenny Hunter, Aboriginal people from Australia’s Kakadu National Park. They live out bush (live in a tent) for eight months to operate the culture camp in the ‘tourist’ season, and work as park rangers in the ‘wet’ season.
Nutti Sami Sii in Sweden features reindeer sled trips, which is a way to preserve knowledge. Owners Nils Torbjörn Nutti and Carina Pingi are both Sami. Nils is a reindeer herder in Saarivuoma Sameby and Carina has her reindeer in Gabna Sameby.
Pathways Hotel in Micronesia promotes sustainable tourism through conservation efforts, environmental awareness, community assistance and marine management activities.
Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Canada is the only Cultural Centre in the world that shares the cultures of two distinct indigenous cultures in a visionary partnership on shared traditional territories. The Centre is staffed by Aboriginal Youth Ambassadors from both Nations.
In New Zealand, Taiamai Tours was founded by Ngati Hineira – Te uri Taniwha descendant Hone Mihaka of Ohaeawai Kaikohe in 2001. Our ancient customary practices of kaitiakitanga [guardianship] and manaakitanga [hosting people] connects us to our unique ancestral living landscapes in the Bay of Islands and the wider region of Northland.
Terenga Paraoa Tours highlights the traditional customs – Maori tikanga – in tours based in Whangarei, Northland New Zealand.
TIME Unlimited NZ Tours and Travel provides unique and high quality Auckland and Maori Cultural Tours in New Zealand.
Te Urewera Treks strives to operate in a sustainable manner in accord with Maori principles and values.
Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park showcases indigenous culture of the Tjapukai people, featuring theatrical performances and interactive activities in Far North Queensland, Australia.
Xe Pian National Protected Are features tours and accommodation 100% owned and managed by local communities in Xe Pian NPA, southern Lao PDR.
Posted in climate solutions, dogsledding, ecotour, green travel, Mexico, Native tourism, sustainable tourism, Technology | Tagged: Aboriginal, best practices, Biciletas Pedro Martinez, Brambuk, Canada, CBD, Chalalan Ecolodge, Chitral Association for Mountain Area Tourism, green travel, Heidehof Foundation, Hospitality Kyrgyzstan, Indigenous, Indigenous tourism, Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversityt Website Award, ITBW, Kakadu Culture Camp, Laos, Locally-owned, Maori, Mexico, Nutti Sami Sii, Pathways Hotel in Micronesia, planeta.com, slideshare, Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre, Taiamai Tours, Te Urewera Treks, Terenga Paraoa Tours, TIME Unlimited NZ Tours, Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park, tourism wiki, UNEP, Xe Pian National Protected Area | 5 Comments »
Posted by deborahmclaren on December 16, 2009
Did you hear Al Gore? Perhaps he woke some people up now that we’re watching Greenland disappear before our eyes. Just checking, but I think my conservative/Republican family members still BELIEVE (what? that a “global warming” hoax is good for northern climates), so what do YOUR conservative family members still believe?
Is there any way to work together with them to address the real situation?
Posted in climate solutions | Tagged: conservative family members, Greenland disappears, help! | Leave a Comment »