Tag Archives: air pollution

10 reasons why you’re not green!

Recycling is not the answer

Recycling doesn't mean you're green

First, there were the hotels with their “Please reuse your towels so we can save water” cards. They were one of the first industries to get on board with greenwashing about a decade ago. I admit, at first, I was happy to see this, and reused my towels. Yet, it was really just a ploy to save money for if they really cared about the environment, they would have also had recycling boxes in every room and offered non-disposable plates and cutlery in the restaurants.

I’m starting to see this same kind of green superficiality making its way into our society. With its guise of being positive (and I’m not saying it’s 100% not) it’s not challenging us to question our daily habits and make changes that will really make a difference. I constantly hear  “Oh I’m green because I recycle” or “I’m green because I buy energy-efficient lightbulbs” and “Oh cool, my X brand coffee cup is compostable”. As if it took just a purchase to be green.

You are not green simply because: Continue reading

Europe's grass-lined railways provide beautiful solution to rising city temperatures

Grass-lined tram and railways in Europe

Grass-lined tram and railways in Europe

I just read a  great article this morning that I wanted to share with you. It’s about green urban design that is not only beautiful but ecological. It seems that certain cities across France, Spain, The Netherlands and The Czech Republic are implementing grass-lined railways in the city. The benefit, aside from being more beautiful then concrete, is that it helps to reduce urban heat island effect which is when the temperature in cities is more warm than surrounding areas. This happens because dark surfaces, notably cement, absorb the sun’s heat as opposed to vegetation which cools it down.  The imbalanced ratio of dark surfaces to vegetation in urban sprawls increases the temperature. The result is higher air pollution due to smog which occurs in hotter climates and increased energy consumption from air conditioning needed to offset the heat. It also provides a permeable surface for storm water absorption and reduces pollution.  Reading articles like this leave me feeling optimistic for a green future. Not to mention, wanting to travel in Europe!