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Beyond Bikes and Busses, Part 2: Human Powered Transit

Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Community, Social Justice By February 22, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

This is part four in a series I’m running about car culture. If you would like, feel free to read part one, part twopart three, and part four, which make the case for why we should move away from car culture, what barriers prevent us from doing so, and what alternatives we have to it. Subscribe and you’ll be notified by email when the rest of the posts in the series are published, as well as other cool posts about urban homesteading, environmentalism, and feminism!

What was originally meant to be one post on the various alternatives to a car centered culture has gotten so long that I decided to break it up into multiple posts. There are, it turns out, a lot of alternatives to car culture we could be utilizing, and that means there is a lot to discuss. That’s the benefit of discussing this in a series rather than trying to squeeze it all into one post. We left off talking about the different options for mass transit that we could use to replace some of our car usage in society, their benefits and their applications. Today, we’re going to discuss personally owned, human powered transit.

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Beyond Bikes and Busses, Part 1: Mass Transit

Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Community, Social Justice By February 15, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments
Beyond Bikes and Busses: Mass Transit - exploring transportation options beyond car culture

A map of the expanding mass transit system in Denver, making low cost, efficient, and low carbon transportation more accessible to more people. #transportationjustice #masstransit #climatejustice Image obtained here

This is part four in a series I’m running about car culture. If you would like, feel free to read part one, part two, and part three, which make the case for why we should move away from car culture and discuss what barriers prevent us from doing so. Subscribe and you’ll be notified by email when the rest of the posts in the series are published, as well as other cool posts about urban homesteading, environmentalism, and feminism!

I’ve been putting a lot of thought into how I would proceed from where I’ve left off with this series. I’ve made the case that a transportation culture built around cars is not pleasant or good for us and that we should be eager to do away with it, and I’ve also laid out a few of the reasons why doing so is unlikely under current conditions. Now I want to discuss the alternatives to cars that we have available right now or expect to have available in the near future, which will then lead us into a discussion of what kind of changes need to be made to make all of these options more practical and viable for daily transportation (that will be the next post in this series). Because this post would otherwise be very, very long, I’m going to break it down into three separate posts, so this series is going to be quite a bit longer than expected. I think it will be worth it, though, because otherwise this one post will be a monster. I’ve been working on it for a month.

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Poverty fetish: Pros and cons of trendy simplicity

Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Community, Social Justice By February 1, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

I recently read this article about poverty appropriation, and it brought up a lot of feelings in me about the rise of trendy simplicity. I grew up fairly poor. Not super poor, probably on the richer end of poor, always hovering just around the poverty line. We also lived in fairly wealthy neighborhoods. My mom worked her ass off (often in multiple jobs) to keep us living in those parts of town, even though we could have likely afforded much more in other parts of town, because the schools were better in the wealthier ends of town, and probably because of some sort of internalized classism my mom felt. Because of this, I always felt I was in some uncomfortable middle area between the middle and lower classes. I was definitely dramatically poor at home, and did not fit in with peers, but in other parts of my city, I felt like the bougiest poser on earth. To this day, I have weird class issues, many of which have only been exacerbated by having married into a more middle class family.

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How To Be Alive: RTH Book Club Selection January 2016

Activism, Book Club, Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Community, Parenting, Social Justice By January 30, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

A quote from How To Be Alive, by Colin Beavan.

A quote from How To Be Alive, by Colin Beavan.

Our first ever book club! Woo! How did we do? The selection for this month was Colin Beavan’s latest book, How to Be Alive: A Guide to the Kind of Happiness that Helps the World. I chose this book for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that I was a huge fan of Beavan’s last project and book, No Impact Man. I discovered his No Impact Man blog when I was pregnant with Elijah, and it launched me down a new road in environmentalism. I was especially drawn to his ideas about what really brings happiness in life, so when I heard he was writing an entire book devoted to that subject, I was pretty stoked.

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Transportation equity: moving from car culture to more just transportation

Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Social Justice By January 4, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , 1 Comment

This is part three in a series we’re running about cars and the transportation system. Here’s part one, Cars suck! 11 reasons why, and part two, Cars suck! But we can’t live without them. Subscribe to be notified when the rest in the series are published!

We’ve talked about why cars suck and why we’re compelled to own them anyway, but I would be majorly failing if I didn’t acknowledge that some people still don’t have access to cars. As much as cars are a lousy burden, they are also a privilege, and a pretty crucial one in a society that is so dependent on cars.

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The annoying classism of tidying up – KonMari minimalism vs. environmental anticonsumerism

House keeping, Social Justice By December 28, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , 17 Comments

The first time I heard of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and the KonMari method of housekeeping, I was intrigued. I am, after all, a wreck when it comes to keeping house, if there was some new house keeping innovation, I wanted to hear about it. People were gushing about this book. Calling it life changing, revolutionary, even spiritual. That’s one hell of a cleaning book! People described to me its revolutionary message to the world, “Keep nothing that doesn’t bring you joy!” They’d say, half a gasp, half reverence.

And I’d be left blinking. That’s it?

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Activism vs. Personal Action: The most important thing you can do to combat climate change

Activism, Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Social Justice By December 14, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

I have been thinking about the best way to write this for months, there are probably a good 5 half finished blog posts dedicated to this subject in my drafts folder.  I’ve decided not to get flowery or mince words.  I’m about to make the case that activism is the most important thing you can do to fight climate change, and that personal action is good, but just not enough.

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Hosting a Rocking Thanksgiving – Part One

DIY, Holidays, Home cooking, Recipes, Social Justice By November 24, 2015 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

It’s fall break!  Which means the kids and I (Jessica) am home all week.  Usually, I spend this week dicking around, avoiding homework, and then rushing around last minute getting ready for Thanksgiving almost entirely on the big day it’s self (to include cleaning), but that sucks so this year I vowed it would be different.  I’m going to be productive (which means there will be more on my plate than just Thanksgiving dinner) and I’m not going to spend the whole day on Thursday cooking my ass off so that my back is killing me and I just want to go to bed by the time everything is ready.

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Get used to it: Terrorism and conflict in the age of climate change

Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Current Events, Social Justice By November 17, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

jean-julliens-peace-for-paris-symbol-goes-viral

While I wrote this post the day after it happened, I decided to wait a while before publishing it, because I believe strongly that everyone, no matter what their privilege, deserves to have some time to just mourn a horrific event like this without it being picked apart to figure out the political implications, or used to make a point. It’s important to evaluate this stuff, but not more important than compassion in the face of the tragic loss of human life.

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