“The health benefits of walking are so overwhelming that to deny access to that is a violation of fundamental human rights,” declared Dr. Robert D. Bullard, father of the environmental justice movement in a keynote speech at the National Walking Summit in Washington, D.C. “All communities should have a right to a safe, sustainable, healthy, just, walkable community.” We found inspiring stories from places across the U.S. where people got things started in communities not so different from where you live.
We are in the midst of a walking renaissance as millions of people discover a daily stroll can prevent disease, boost energy, ease stress, connect us with our communities, and is just plain fun. The number of us who regularly take a walk has risen six percent in the last decade. Oklahoma City is taking part to improve life for people who walk — and reaping big benefits.
Assembled in China from native bamboo and recycled 6160 aluminum tubing gussets, this bike frame seemed the perfect complement to the ZeHus motor. I not only ended up with one of the most beautiful e-bikes Iʼve ever seen, but it also turned out to be one of the lightest. Learn how you can reserve a future production version of the e-bike.
Albert Lea, Minn., shows how walking and other healthy habits can rejuvenate a rural community. Learn about how to build a walkable community guided by ideas presented in the Blue Zone Projects and see examples of walkable communities around the United States.
Suburban life has always been synonymous with long hours in the car. That’s changing now. Arlington, Virginia, shows how feet on the street helps a community thrive. Learn about how Arlington is promoting walking through city initiatives as well as 10 more cities that are striving to make their communities more walkable.
Ford Motor Company’s electrifying presence at the 2014 Pennsylvania MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR included sponsoring the event, giving test drives, and updating fairgoers about the latest news on electric and hybrid vehicle technology.
This is a modified version of a guest post written by Zach O’Connor, Communications and Publications Coordinator for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), for the "Building the U.S. Bicycle Route System" blog. In it Zach explains how his coworker’s bicycle commute from the suburbs to the heart of Washington, D.C., makes use of the District’s newly improved bicycle facilities.
John D. Ivanko discovered that those in the hospitality business on Mackinac Island showcase the best of the past, blending it perfectly with modern sensibilities and, by default of it being an island, an ecological awareness to protect and preserve exactly what the millions of visitors come to see and experience every year.
As soon as my wife, son and I stepped off the Shepler’s Ferry, one of only three ferry services to Mackinac Island, our connection to motorized transport ceased to exist. Since 1898, cars and nearly every other form of motorized, gas-guzzling transportation are illegal on this Michigan island.
If MAX is a bit too Spartan for your tastes, here's a homebuilt high mileage sports car that's a bit more plush - a Mazda Miata with a Geo Metro engine - and it's coming to the Mother Earth News Fairs.
We can cut projected U.S. oil use in half over the next 20 years and create more than 1 million jobs, reduce annual oil spending by $550 billion, and eliminate 2 billion metric tons of global warming emissions per year by 2035.
The solar-powered tractor was painted Terry’s favorite color—green—before the motor was strapped in. After the motor was installed a battery stand was welded over the top of the DC drive motor which is large enough to accommodate twelve 250-amp deep-cycle batteries. Once the performance controller was installed battery cables were run, linking the batteries together.
In less than a month, Citi Bike – New York’s public bicycle option – has taken the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn by storm. Unfortunately, the highly anticipated bike share program already has its share of haters.
My friend Tom and I arrived in the USA on June 13th, ready to start the biggest cycle of our lives. It didn't start smoothly. We have completed 361 miles to date after 7 days of cycling, this is pretty much bang on schedule which is a good position to be in for the Trans-America cycling tour.
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will launch the city’s new bike share system – called “Divvy” – later this year, with the goal of expanding to 4,000 bikes at 400 neighborhood locations.
Ride the Future Tour, a 43-day cross-country trip in electric vehicles, will start July 4 in South Carolina. Event organizers hope to build awareness for green transportation and break a few records along the way.
So, I separated my bicycle gear for the cross-country cycling trip into two piles: needed, and nice. The needed items came in at 43 pounds. I will be traveling through towns almost everyday so replenishing items like soap, insect repellant, sun tan lotion, first aid items, bicycle parts, and personal hygiene should be easy. With this in mind I drastically reduced the quantity and different types of consumables: 37.8 pounds.
Last year, more than 30,000 Americans participated in the National Bike Challenge and rode more than 12 million miles. This year, the League of American Bicyclists wants to know if riders are ready for a bigger challenge.
Cuba's bike transformation was the result of a change in context induced by external forces. It was a disruptive event that forced them to adapt. Here in America, a land of such excess, no such sudden disruption looms (nor could it be predicted, I believe). Our transportation context is centered on the car. Our culture and economy are “driven” by the car. So, how do we create a culture of transportation that is dominated by bicycles?
Most Americans use vehicles to travel less than three miles, a distance that can easily be walked. Choosing active transportation over vehicles can improve your health, decrease your spending and minimize all that time you spend at stop lights.
Recent studies and stories from around the world indicate that bicycle travel of all kinds has increased in popularity. The Adventure Cycling Association lists nine new indicators that bike travel and tourism are booming.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) recently released an updated version of its Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities -- the go-to bicycle infrastructure guide for planners, engineers and contractors.
I was gratified when, two weeks ago, Consumer Reports announced that the Chevy Volt was the best-loved car in the world among people who drive one – for the second year in a row. I have never loved a car like I love this one. And I have loved some cars.
As gas prices go up, more motorcycles appear on the roads. There's a strong belief among commuters that bikes are cheaper to own and operate. But which machine is really the winner in the battle of motorcycle vs. car?
A Louisiana State University forestry researcher is looking at a fast-growing plant called switchgrass as a potential biofuel feedstock. Using switchgrass biofuel is practical because the plant requires little fertilizer and can tolerate drought and floods.
This fall's Fuel for the Body T.O.U.R. ("Total Organic Understanding Ride") will educate the public on the benefits of living a green lifestyle that includes eating organic food and supporting local, organic farmers.
Portland is the nation's most bike-friendly city, yet this Oregon community has had to deal with cycling disparities among its population. One nonprofit organization addressed this issue by developing new programs targeting low-income immigrant communities.
What's it take to build your own SOLAR-POWERED Electric Car? How about starting small with some hardware store parts and an old child's ride-on toy? Read how a tinkerer Dad builds a Solar-Powered Power Wheels with just basic tools and skills.
Alternative transportation magazine, A To B, is chock-full of innovative bicycle tecnology reviews and test drives for everything from folding bikes to E-motorcycles and all the accessories in between.
Hybrid cars now have a 12-year history in the United States, but hybrid car battery replacements have been surprisingly unnecessary. Most of the hybrid cars on the road are still using their original battery packs — even many of the 300,000-mile Ford Escape Hybrids used as taxis in New York and San Francisco.
Our Summer 2012 MOTHER EARTH NEWS Guide to Green Cars features the most up-to-date information about the world of fuel-efficient cars, including more than 50 car reviews, an update on biofuels, the truth about electric car safety, expert advice and much, much more.
Today’s full-size pickup trucks are more efficient than trucks of just a few years ago, but it’s still common for truck gas mileage to be in the mid-teens. The best overall full-size pickup fuel economy can be found on the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid and GMC Sierra Hybrid.
Right before the new millennium, automakers and vehicle technology innovators are looking to decrease emissions and bring new, greener cars to the masses. Originally published as "'Cell'ing New Fuel" in the August/September 1999 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
There are small things that any city -- large, medium, or small -- can do to become more bike-travel friendly. Minneapolis is a great case study -- a place that many other communities can aspire to emulate.
Building my own electric car seems to have caught the attention of the Media. As though getting on the front page of the County paper for a speeding ticket in my electric car wasn't notorious enough, now I'm getting calls from big-shot reporters!
Every day, Wayne Keith proves that wood gas can be a practical, renewable and sustainable transportation solution. Certainly not for everybody, but certainly for anyone with moderate welding skills, a sustainable source of wood or other type of biomass, and a sawmill or access to a sawmill. I think there are many, many MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers who fit the previous description, just for starters.
On a summertime cross country trip from Oregon to Ohio, I restricted MAX's radiator inlet air a little at a time, demonstrating that very little inlet area (28 square inches) provides sufficient air for cooling.
Trojan Battery Company, the world’s leading manufacturer of deep-cycle batteries, today announced expansion of its AGM product line for the renewable energy (RE) market space with the launch of the U1-AGMand 22-AGMmodels.
It is hard to believe but after more than 20 years of successful federal investment in biking and walking facilities, Congressional leaders are poised to eliminate dedicated funding for biking and walking.
Recently my passion for pickles was reignited, burning green, burning bright, and leading me to think constantly about food, even as I'm thinking about bike touring. Pickles led to bread, stew, then fudge (the kind my grandma used to make)...
This week Adventure Cycling Association announced that our 2011 Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It. campaign for the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) surpassed its $30,000 goal, raising over $31,000 for the project during National Bike Month!
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Managing Editor John Rockhold talks with Jonathan Holloway about the Mitsubishi i, an all-electric car on display at the 2011 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Washington. Mitsubishi is one of the FAIR's main sponsors.
On Wednesday, Adventure Cycling Association announced that AASHTO is providing Adventure Cycling $5,000 to assist states with route selection and the technical aspects associated with the development of a U.S. Bicycle Route System.
Adventure Cycling Association and the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) today announced that AASHTO’s Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering has approved six new U.S. Bicycle Routes.
On Monday, May 2, Adventure Cycling Association kicked off its second annual grassroots fundraising effort to raise $30,000 to support ongoing coordination efforts for the emerging U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS).
Known for their popular bike touring website, Pathlesspedaled.com, this spring Russ Roca and Laura Crawford are embarking on their next big bike touring adventure, aided by Amtrak, but otherwise astride two Brompton folding bicycles.
Yes, you can power a car or truck on wood. Chip Beam thinks it won’t be long before we encounter a gas shortage and/or significantly more expensive gas. So what can be an alternative source of energy to power our vehicles? How about wood chips or pellets of plant matter? It may sound bizarre, but it really works. Here’s the first post in a new blog devoted to wood gasification for transportation.
Our expert explains what really happens when fuel additives are put in a gas tank, and how this may cause more harm than good. If you really want to increase your mpg, our expert has a few tips for that as well.
Use a digital tire gauge and learn how to check tire pressure regularly to get better gas mileage. While other types of gauges exist, the digital tire pressure gauge is an accurate and simple way to keep your tires properly inflated. Read this digital tire gauge review to see what digital tire pressure checkers you can buy.
Current Motor Company recently introduced a line of electric scooters that could take you where you need to go without using a single drop of gasoline. And with a potential $2,000 discount for new customers, the electric scooters could help your wallet while you help the environment.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS managing editor John Rockhold picks the brains of his colleagues at Motorcycle Classics magazine (editor in chief Richard Backus and senior associate editor Landon Hall) about the new Honda CR-Z hybrid. Apologies for the wind noise!
Jack McCornack tells the story of how he got lost in the Oregon outback and how MAX was damaged such that the DIY-, super-fuel-efficient car couldn't make it to the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
How do you turn on a Prius? Is it a small, cramped car, or does it have room for the whole family? Answers to these questions and more when MOTHER EARTH NEWS Managing Editor John Rockhold takes a look inside a prototype plug-in hybrid Prius at the 20
So here you have it: MAX with a crumpled rear fender, crumpled trunk section, a turn signal bashed out, a door knocked loose, and a flat tire. It's fully reparable, but not today, and not in time to drive to the MEN Fair.
World Car Free Day is an annual international event to raise awareness about alternative transportation. Every Sept. 22, cities and towns around the globe recognize the negative impacts of car pollution and encourage walking or biking as ways to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Rally Green starting flag drops in Knoxville Iowa, Sunday August 15, beginning a cross country fuel economy rally ending in San Francisco the folowing Saturday. MAX will be there and going for the gold.
The Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid electric car won't be for everyone, given its high price tag. But this sleek and cutting-edge electric car could break the mold for green cars and raise the bar for electric car technology and production.
The all-new 2011 Honda CR-Z sport hybrid coupe will debut Aug. 24, 2010. Developed as a stylish, driver-focused vehicle with an emphasis on efficient performance, the all-new 2011 Honda CR-Z introduces a sleek two-passenger coupe design with quick, sporty handling to the gasoline-electric hybrid segment.
Electric car charging infrastructure will be launched in major urban areas nationwide. This is in part due to $15 million in stimulus money being set aside for the charging stations. Now we need to get the remaining $22 million in co-funding.
We're modifying the Lola race car's nose to fit MAX's chassis. The first step is cutting the nose down the middle so we can move the fenders apart a few more inches, which will let us steer enough for parking and other normal street activities.
Two Spoke, an online forum devoted to cycling, gives cyclists a place to discuss everything from commuting bikes to cycling apparel to cyclist rights. This interview with a Two Spoke site administrator discusses the forum and its role as a resource for cyclists.
Taking a bus or a train can be a great green way to reach your vacation destination. We'd like to hear more about your bus or train travels and what you liked, or didn't like, about the experience. Share your story here!
How often, if ever, do you check your the gas mileage of your car or truck? Did you know it's super simple to calculate mpg, and observing it over time can help you improve your gas mileage and save money?
One would think a car wouldn't need a mechanical inspection at 5,000 miles. But when you're building a 100-mpg car from scratch, and the builder is meticulous, it's wise to look for problems even when there are no signs of problems.
If you’re tired of using fossil fuels to run the lawn mower, but aren’t quite ready to fence the sheep in the front yard, take a look at electric riding mowers. Soon, both zero-turn and rear-wheel drive models will be available.
The launch of the 2010 Honda Insight marks the return of North America's first commercial hybrid gas/electric car, but with improved technology and performance. Originally published as "Honda’s New Hybrid: 40+ MPG for Less Than $20K" in the April/May 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
The Wike Softie is a bike trailer-stroller suitable for pavement, gravel roads, or forest trails, and is a great way to take the smallest family members along on bicycle rides. Originally published as "Wike: Best Bicycle Trailer-stroller Combo" in the April/May 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
President Barack Obama signed an executive order to help reduce automobile gas emissions in the United States. This is the first of many steps that the Obama administration plans to make to improve global warming.
Using straight vegetable oil for fuel, Jack McCornack and MAX took first prize in the Escape from Berkeley alternative fuels road rally. Originally published as "MAX Wins 800-mile Race, without Gas" in the February/March 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Eco-friendly electric cars are coming soon. Just over the horizon is a host of electric vehicles that tout improved range and speed, and state-of-the-art battery technology. Here’s a list of the models that are hoping to make an appearance in 2009 or shortly thereafter.
Odyssey Day embarked from Washington D.C. a few weeks ago as a nationwide effort to encourage and promote the use of petroleum-free fuel. The day is sponsored by the Department of Energy's Clean Cities, which has helped reduce petroleum use by almost more than 2 billion gallons so far.
Everyone's talking about drilling in Alaska, so why learn some numbers to do some talking of your own? Here are some statistics about why drilling in Alaska may not be the saving grace some think it is.
Discover how to save money using an electric vehicle, using an electric scooter is good for the environment and uses renewable energy instead of gas. Originally published as "Country Lore: Go Electric!" October/November 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Today Ford announced a long overdue shift in its business emphasis: away from trucks and SUVs and toward small cars. Before setting this new direction, there has been plenty of struggle between old think and new think.
Read about how UPS expects to save 176,000 gallons of fuel per year in order to reduce CO2 emissions from company vehicles by 1,786 metric tons annually. Originally published as "What Brown Can Do to Reduce CO2 Emissions" August/September 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
100 mpg with off-the-shelf technology? Jack McCornack isn’t crazy, he just believes cars can have a lot better fuel economy than we’ve settled for historically. Enter MAX — the MOTHER EARTH NEWS entry in the Auto X Prize competition, a $10 million race for 100 mile-per-gallon alternative cars. This article details MAX’s origins and the early stages of its development. Originally published as "Here Comes the 100-mpg Car" August/September 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
You can run a truck on wood chips! No joke. Mother Earth News reported on this idea more than 25 years ago and the idea lives on. Using recycled water heaters, you can burn wood chips to power a truck, with little or no engine modifications required.
It's surprisingly easy to figure out how many carbon dioxide emissions come from producing the electricity for your home, or burning a full tank of gas. Check out this carbon calculator, or find out how to do a quick ballpark estimate.
Check out these 30 affordable, fuel efficient cars that get 30 mpg or better. Originally published as "Affordable Cars Fantastic Fuel Economy" in the December 2006/January 2007 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
With a few modifications, you can run a diesel vehicle on vegetable oil to power your car or truck. People across the country are using conversion kits to retrofit their vehicles. Others are taking a do-it-yourself approach. Some burn free waste vegetable oil from local restaurants; others burn clean straight vegetable oil. But there’s a catch: Technically, it may not be legal. Originally published as "Would You Use Veggie Oil to Fuel Your Vehicle?" December 2007/January 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
The X Prize Foundation wants to break our addiction to oil and slow the effects of climate change. They’re offering a multimillion dollar prize to the first team to create a low-emission, 100 mile-per-gallon car that’s safe, affordable and ready for mass production. The contest is gaining speed internationally, with more than 30 teams from numerous countries. Originally published as "Racing to a Revolution" December 2007/January 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
School buses are heading back to school with reduced school bus pollution. Those familiar yellow school buses may be the safest way to get our children to school, but they also subject children to harmful pollution. Thankfully, there are many emerging means for communities to clean up what carries our most precious cargo. Originally published as "Back to School with Better Buses" August/September 2007 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Check your tire pressure with a digital gauge regularly to improve your gas mileage. Digital tire gauges are the easiest and most accurate way to maintain the right pressure and get better mpg. Originally published as "Tire Pressure: Use a Digital Gauge and Get Better Gas Mileage" August/September 2007 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Gas mileage calculations have recently changed to more accurately reflect real-world mpg. Here’s what you need to know about the new math and how to improve your mpg, save money and reduce air pollution.
Forget the foul, sooty impression you may have of diesel. With federally mandated low sulfur diesel coming on the market, this once dirty fuel is getting cleaner. Originally published as "The New Diesel: Cleaner and Greener" in the December 2006/January 2007 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Honda and Toyota continue to advance the prominence of hybrid gas-electric cars with new versions of the Civic Hybrid and Camry Hybrid. Originally published as "Two of America's Favorite Cars Go Hybrid" in the August/September 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Once you have the correct type of vehicle, you can do your own electric car conversion or hire someone to do it for you. Originally published as “Make Your Own Electric Car” in the April/May 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
California is leading the way to greener transportation by setting new limits on automobile emissions of carbon dioxide. Originally published as "Cleaner Cars Are on the Way" in the February/March 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Learn how clean, renewable biodiesel fuel is a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based fuel and how it can power any diesel engine. Originally published as "Biodiesel: Homegrown Oil" in the February/March 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Great Green Vehicles of 2003
MOTHER EARTH NEWS shares a chart showing the top-scoring green vehicles of 2003, with detailed information on green cars and how they score for green transportation.
James Kliesch shares important information on SUV's that pollute and how to find an environmentally friendly SUV. Originally published as "Greener Cars and Trucks" October November 2003 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
James Kliesch shares important information on diesel fueled vehicles and finding an environmentally friendly diesel car. Originally published as "Greener Cars and Trucks" October November 2003 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
James Kliesch discusses the latest green cars and trucks, including suggestions for the top green cars and hybrids for the environment and those that have the best mileage. Originally published as "Greener Cars and Trucks" October November 2003 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Change over to economical electric vehicles, includes cost savings when owning an electric car, environmental benefits and comparing gas and electric vehicles. Originally published as "Energy and Environment" October/November 2002 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Environmentalist are concerned that ethanol fuel made from corn is not as an environmentally friendly ethanol production process as creating ethanol fuel from wood chips and straw. Originally published as "Fuel From Straw" June/July 2002 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
The California Assistance Program is helping car owners to repair their cars or compensation for cars unable to meet the state's tough clean-air standards. CAP's goal is to eliminate 50,000 polluting vehicles within four years. Originally published as "Roads Less Traveled" December 2000/January 2001 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
A sleek transportation feat, the Moller Skycar can reach speeds of up to 350 miles per hour at altitudes of up to 30,000 feet. Originally published as "Dad, Can I Borrow the Skycar" in the October/November 1999 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.