Swedish town gives away free bikes to discourage car usage

bikeSweden is already famous for being bike friendly, but a town in Sweden has decided to take a step further. The town of Gothenburgh has adopted a special bicycle programme called Testcyklisterna through which they offer the residents free bikes for six months with the purpose of reducing car usage.

The cyclists that agree to use them for this test are suppose to not drive their cars for about 3 days a week. According to Fascoexist.com, the project manager of this test, Rickar Waern said “Showing good examples is a powerful way to reach out. Through the project, we’re trying to create those good examples–people from many different groups in the population, with a large variety of transportation needs, who all can solve their daily transports with bikes.”

Award winning video explains why we waste food

Here’s an interesting award winning animation called ” Food rules for healthy people and planet”, that discusses the food crisis ( which allegedly exists)and how we use our resources.

Apparently in 2013 there was a food shortage, however we produced enough food to feed 11 billion people. So what went wrong and what is going wrong, why some people have enough to eat, they have even the luxury of choosing what to eat, while others starve?

The video explains how from the food we produced, about half was not eaten by humans, but it was fed to the animals ( pigs, chickens, etc) that we eat. The thing is that it is not a question of how much land we have to produce the food for us, but how we use the food that we produce.

The United Nations Environment Programme says that one third of the food produced in 2013 was thrown away. One third! But this is not food mainly thrown by consumers, as a part of it it is wasted due to mismanagement of storing conditions, harvesting techniques and a lack of coordination between parties involved in producing the food.

Brazil to save and protect Awa tribe

Good news for a tribe in Brazil, as the government has decided to protect them by evicting people that have abusively and illegally occupied their territories damaging not only the territory ( destroying 30% of their territory!) but also the Awa tribe ( that has only about 450 people).

According to positivenews.org, this decision has been taken due to international pressure and thanks to a campaign called Survival International which spread awareness around the globe and included support from Colin Firth and Vivienne Westwood.

International court decides in favour of protecting the whales

The International Court of Justice has decided yesterday, 31 March, that Japan’s whaling program is illegal and  Japan has also agreed to abide the international law. Sydney Morning Herald has added that  Australia has asked the international law court to order Japan to stop its programme, which has been functioning under scientific reasons. Australia claims that Japan has killed around 10,000 whales since 1988 and thus they have broken international laws of preserving the environment.

In spite of this law, the general opinion is that it is unclear if Japan will actually respect the law, given the fact that this is a tradition that the majority of Japanese population agrees with.

According to abc.net, international law expert Steve Freeland says ”

“I think after this decision … countries have to get together with cool heads and still need to talk and that’s always been the issue,” he said.

“Discussions over the past years have been on an all-or-nothing basis where Australia says ‘no whaling whatsoever’ and Japan says they reserve the right because it’s part of their culture and they’re allowed to do it anyway under the scientific whaling.”

Countries get together to save African elephants

Good news for the elephants as it seems several countries have agreed to work together to help save the elephants.  Right now, there are only 500,000 African elephants left in the wild and they are considered a threatened species. According to positivenews.org, last year the African Elephant Summit that gathered together several African countries and Asian countries ( such as Vietnam, China and Malaysia) has decided to take action.

Therefore, starting from this year these countries have agreed to no longer tolerate wildlife crime, to seize ivory and to investigate the origin of the seized ivory.

Hamburg is becoming a car free city

Hamburg is on its way of being a greener, healthier city by becoming a car free city in about 20 years time. The project called Grunes Netz will make this city a safer city for the cyclists and pedestrian by creating more pedestrian routes, paths and green areas on an area that coves about 40% of the city.

As the Guardian, states the project will not only help in reducing pollution but will also encourage people to leave their cars at home, as  Angelica Fritsch, the city spokesperson added “It will offer people opportunities to hike, swim, do water sports, enjoy picnics and restaurants, experience calm and watch nature and wildlife right in the city. That reduces the need to take the car for weekend outings outside the city.”

Solar panels help nuns’ financial independence

The nuns of Mount Saint Mary’s Abbey have been busy installing solar panels around their monastery with the purpose of supporting themselves. This idea came from the monks at Saint Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer. They suggested that the nuns to lease their land for solar panels. Since then, the nuns have been making profits and at the same time helped the environment.

The solar panel system has been managed by a company based in Watertown and the electricity generated by the panels will be used to power Franklin town’ buildings and schools. In total, it is estimated that they will save 300,000 dollars a year and the nuns will not be forced to sell their land and plus they will get enough money to support themselves financially.

If you want to help the nuns in anyway, you can visit their website and buy some candy ( home made candy!)

http://www.trappistinecandy.com/

Source : Boston Globe

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