Metrobus in Mexico City Wins Harvard University Award for Sustainable Transit Project.

3053226323aa3240a9ffMexico City’s Metrobus project received the 2009 Roy Family Award for Environmental Partnership from Harvard University. Metrobus is a sustainable transit project in one of the world’s most populated and congested cities.

“Metrobus, which focuses on massive transport systems and better vehicle fuel efficiency, has shown to be a viable and economically efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Gloria Grandolini, World Bank Director for Mexico. “Mexico is at the forefront when it comes to implementing this type of projects and once again demonstrates its willingness to improve the environment,” she added.

By introducing cleaner, more efficient buses, and convincing many commuters to leave their cars at home, Metrobus has reduced carbon dioxide emissions from Mexico City traffic by an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 tons a year. In addition, the project removed 800 polluting minibuses from the road and encouraged greater use of sidewalks and bicycles throughout the city.Metrob%C3%BAs_Set_Dominguez
The World Bank has supported Mexico’s efforts to attain a sustainable environment with loans totaling US$2.7 billion for the 2008-2009 period. The projects seek to integrate environmental considerations into public policies, in order to increase competitiveness and economic and social development while simultaneously protecting the environment. 

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Manure to Electricity

There is concrete evidence that climate change is mainly due to anthropogenic actions. We are emerging into a world where consumers are becoming more concerned on where their food is coming from and the impacts that food production has on the environment.  Recently, cattle farmers are targeted in terms of rearing practices and amount of methane gas cattle emit.  Although, methane is a natural by-product from a cow, there are increasing concerns with the high demand of beef and therefore an unhealthy amount of cattle that are reared to meet the beef consumption—especially in the United States.   Continue reading

Looking ahead to Copenhagen, seeing REDD

Here at ecociety we are paying close attention to developments in the run up to COP 15. One of the most important areas of negotiation involves the issue of deforestation. The UN established the Program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing countries (REDD) to encourage developing nations to reduce deforestation through economic incentives. As with many aspects of climate change policy, deforestation is intimately linked with issues of equity and development. The bottom line question is who will pay for it and how much? Continue reading

A City’s Quest for a “Green Boulevard”

flying bus

Just yesterday I was looking through the Green American Fall newsletter, and read an article about Hasselt, Belgium (4th largest city in Belgium) reclaiming its streets from traffic nightmare roads.  In the mid-1990s this city was very similar to many US cities, with a massive suburban sprawl and urban businesses experiencing great deterioration.  There was an increase in traffic congestion, thus a plan to ease this by building another road around the city (already two known as “ring roads”).  By the advice of a green consulting group, the then mayor of Hasselt—Steve Stevaert—halted construction of the new road (saving billions of dollars) and decided to turn half of the inner ring road into a pedestrian friendly thoroughfare by being car-free.  This is now known as the Green Boulevard.  Additionally, he created a more accessible bus system by increasing the number of busses (40 total) and letting residents ride them for free. Continue reading

Eco-labels

There have been several proposed programs for eco-labeling seafood products in an effort to provide incentives to fisheries managers to create sustainable fisheries. The purpose of these initiatives is to provide a market-based incentive for sustainable fisheries management

 MSC Eco-Label                                            
According to the UNFAO, about 70 per cent of our global fisheries are now being fished close to, already at, or beyond their capacity.

Eco-labeling has become a useful tool for governments in encouraging  environmental practices. It serves as a market-based instrument intended to bring about environmental improvement.

Having certified eco- labels on its products shows the public that fish companies are committed to providing healthy and safe products for consumers.

Are you willing to pay for sustainable fish?

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Cradle to Cradle

Cradle to CradleI have just finished a review for William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s book entitled Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things and wanted to share my thoughts and get some feedback! The main tenet of this book is that Waste=Food. That being said, I focused more on the argument they made in regards to the idea of eco-efficiency as a means of working toward a ‘greener’ society. The authors’ main goal is not only to create products themselves that are environmentally sustainable and have as close to a ‘zero impact’ as possible, but also to convince others that this is the way of the future. Continue reading