Bamboo Bicycles

The Economist has a short article – On your bike -  a program in Africa that is promoting the use of bamboo to build bikes. The bamboo will be harvested locally in Ghana and use some imported parts. The goal is to encourage a local bike building and consuming industry. The project is being led by Craig Calfee and others and he has kept a journal from his trip. But before I write anything else, check out the bamboo bikes Calfee is making. They look awesome! They are pretty pricey but it would be great to test ride one just to see what it feels like.

His journal is pretty interesting and the pictures of the beta bike are surprising. Calfee provided training, as well, so people can both build and fix these bikes. The beta bamboo bike looks very different than the one pictured in this blog.


Good Times at Green Drinks – Boulder

Great time at Green Drinks last night at Scotch Corner a cute little pub on the corner of Arapahoe and I think Walnut. I tell you what, every time I go to Green Drinks it seems like there are more and more people. It must be Bryan from EcoGreenOffice – he has really developed this group and what's more people seem to be having a genuinely good time.  I haven't been to too many networking shindings but at this one everyone is smiling.  And once again, I met some great people doing some pretty interesting things:

  • I met up again with Nate of Eco Handman.  His business seems to be growing from strength to strength. Good for him. 
  • Matt Lebeau has just moved back to Boulder and is helping companies with their marketing/strategy  over at Greenhouse Partners.
  • I spoke with Mike Olson from Johnson Printing very briefly as we were walking out and his company is using FSC paper and they are an environmental silver-level printer!! That's cool. Not quite sure what it is but I'll look more into it over the weekend.
  • Pepper Clayton from Emerge Green is an energy audit company that manages your energy rating strategy from testing to implementation to measurement. This is sooo needed. We had an energy audit completed several months ago, with the end deliverable a document. So, someone there to help you review that document and implement measurable changes is a great next step.

Another great thing about this group is that you get to meet and talk with so many people representing different companies and even individuals from various city programs are present. I spoke with one woman about the new recycling effort and she was very eager to talk about how her team supports this new effort by talking with people (particularly seniors) about the changes, what they mean and why they are happening.  Communicating the changes to how we live and why they are so important is critical to getting people involved and enthused.

Great time. Thanks Bryan!

New Chapter in Climate Change – Things are heating up (but in a good way)

President-elect Obama speaks about America's changing role when he takes the lead.  To use a bad pun, feels like things are heating up. Check out his speech.
Now, I can't say I remember exactly how the whole cap and trade idea works. But I do remember the Economist tearing into it at one pt. Unfortunately, you have to have a login to read it.

Green Building Expo – Van Jones

He has a great line from his speech – "The new green economy icon is the caulk gun" (or something like that)…Check it out Van Jones' speech.
Very inspiring speech!! Now we need to get to work.

Cool New Blog – Environmental Capital from WSJ

My company provides access to the Wall Street Journal, where I found this cool blog called ENVIRONMENTAL CAPITAL. It's also where I found an entry about Boulder and a new plug-in electric car that has been rolled out by Xcel Energy. It is a converted Ford Escape SUV and the cool thing about is that it can store energy – "it contains about 8 kilowatt hours of stored energy, enough to power eight homes for an hour."

This effort is all part of Xcel's SmartGrid program, which includes the “SmartGridCity” project. Unfortunately, there aren't any pictures of this car but I guess it probably wouldn't look that different than one that hasn't been converted. It costs 30 grand to convert so it is not likely they'll have a big market for this yet.

It's great to hear about these types of efforts  but I wonder if we can start extending that type of thinking to our mass transit. Can we set up a bunch of solar panels on the roof of our buses and power them?  Wouldn't it be great if we could come up with a solution that reduced the number of cars on the road or our dependency on them and improved our mass transit?

I passed my LEED exam and damn was it hard

I woke up at 5am on Saturday, the day of my exam, tossed and turned until around 6:30, and finally got up around 7.  I opened up my notes and started my final review before my exam, which started at 11.  I was a bit fidgety and really wanted a cup of coffee from Joes but they don't open until later on the weekend.  So, I took a couple of practice exams and then drove over a double-shot americano.

I don't know that waking up 6 hours before my exam and studying really helped me.  Where I was weakest I did poorly and where I felt most confident I did well on the exam. The test was hard – no doubt about it – and my prep would have benefited from a better understanding of the role of key players in the LEED process.  But it's over now – THANK GAWD!!!  Now what? Well, I have met a number of great people recently all committed to the ideas of sustainability, so I intend to meet more with them and talk and learn.

One of those people is David Johnston over at What's Working. He has written a number of books; Green from the Ground Up,  Green Remodeling and one other that I think is coming out soon. So, I will be reading through those, attending green drinks and hopefully continue to learn more about how I can help.  That's one thing I realized after studying and finally passing the test – I have a lot to learn. 🙂

Green Drinks, Boulder

Another Green Drinks is planned for Tuesday, October 28, 5:00PM


Redfish Fishhouse and Brewery
2027 13th St. See you there!