Weekly Links Roundup – July 29: American transportation gets greener, electric apparel, and more
All around us, people are working on innovative solutions to pressing social problems. Often, though, those stories can be difficult to track down. Which is why we’re regularly scouring the Web to highlight who’s solving what and how.
I’m leaving on a jet plane (preceded by a bicycle)
- Portland, Oregon, already one of the most bike-friendly cities in the nation, is opening its airport to bike-lovers everywhere. With a bike path to the airport in place since 2005, all it needed was a spot to assemble and disassemble bikes before and after flights – and now it’s got one. (Spring Wise, “Portland Airport Installs Bike Assembly Station for Travelers”)
Our be-rivered planet
- Last week we mentioned how NASA has mapped the world’s forests. Well, more progress on that front as the rivers of the world have now been digitally catalogued as well. Right now less than one percent of the earth’s water is both fresh and accessible for human consumption. As the population of the Earth grows, this new data will be increasingly useful. (The Star, “McGill Prof Creates First Accurate Map of World’s Rivers”)
Chevy Volt slams on the gas (but first, the electricity)
- The highly-anticipated Chevy Volt is finally available for pre-order. Uniquely, the Volt offers the ability to drive the first 40 miles electrically (more than the average American drives per day) after which the car switches to gas, totaling about 240 miles per gallon. But it may face some stiff competition: Nissan’s new Leaf, a fully electric vehicle capable of driving 100 miles on its battery, has already sold out its pre-order of 13,000 cars. (Daily Finance, “GM Prices the Chevy Volt at $41,000. Will Buyers Plug In?”)
Power the iPod you’re listening to – on your morning jog
- Advances in the flexibility and lightness of solar cells made at the University of Southern California may allow us to reap power from light splashing across our clothes. While not as efficient as larger solar panels, these offer another way to transform our energy landscape, powering ourselves wherever we go. (TreeHugger, “New, Transparent Solar Technology Could Hide Photovoltaics in Your Clothes”)
What solution-focused news stories did you come across this week? Let us know in the comments.
Photo: Christopher Isherwood