First Place – Save Your Lungs!

Bam, 1st place! Congratulations, Gentry! – OnAir Team

The land in Arizona is flat and dry, allowing you to see the horizon all around. Year after year, visit after visit, I can gradually witness the pollution in the air getting thicker and thicker. As technology grows and society becomes more dependent on transportation, car fumes and pollution take over the rest of the clean air we have left. For example, in the United States alone, car emissions single-handedly cater for well over 30,000 deaths. These emissions being released into the air not only affect air quality but can get into your lungs and can result in long-term diseases, such as lung cancer. If we aren’t careful and don’t take a stand for reducing this pollution, our air will no longer be clean and our society will no longer be living.
There are a few things you can start to do to reduce this life-threatening problem. The first, I’m sure you hear a lot, is to carpool. If everyone carpools to work, we can reduce more than half of the cars on the road, resulting in about a 50% decrease in yearly pollution rates. So call your co-worker up and tell them you’ll see them first thing in the morning, because breathing is more important than listening to your own music on the way to school or work! Another thing you can do is to choose your car wisely. Gas is what produces these fumes that are shot into the air, so find a car that is more gas-efficient. Now, let’s be real; not everyone can afford an electric car. Although they are the most ideal and the most “green”, there are other alternatives if it’s not for you. For example, choose a smaller car. Several pollution statistic reports indicate that the average SUV produces at least 47% more pollutants in the form of carbon emissions than the average car. So dump that Hummer and hop on into your Prius, knowing you’re saving your lungs! Also, if able, ride the bus. They are there to provide transportation so you don’t have to drive; take up that opportunity!
As you can see, changing one simple thing, like how you get to work in the morning, can change the air around you. Seeing that gradual increase in pollution and the thickening of the air in Arizona, my heart has been changed. Do your part and let’s work together to save our air and protect our lungs!

Outside sources: http://www.topenvironmentalissues.com/pollution-statistics.shtml

Why These 2 Schools are the Greenest on Earth

So California, you’re doing a great job…but…Hong Kong and Kenya have the best green schools of all time.

But all jokes aside, these two schools have been named the Greenest Schools on Earth for 2013. Usually, there is only one winner; however the Global Coalition for Green Schools, which is an initiative of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council and the World Green Building Council, simply couldn’t decide. They granted each school $5,000 to continue to work on their sustainability projects.

Say hello to the winners:

Sing Yin Secondary School – Hong Kong

What’s great about this school?

It has an organic farm.

It has two green roofs.

It even has an aquarium.

All classrooms are equipped with solar panel lighting, LED sensors, and motion sensors.

And, last but certainly not least, the school has assigned 100 students to be “green ambassadors” to carry out green initiatives in the community.

et-english.com

 

Uaso Nyiro Primary School – Kenya

It has a Waterbank School Building, which is made from materials found in the surrounding area and local labor.

soyouknowbetter.com

The facility stores and filters clean water for its students and the surrounding community.

It even provides protected gardens with organically grown fruits and vegetables.

Which includes a courtyard theater and a community workshop where they have gatherings and “environmental theater”.

^ Dead Poet’s Society, Midsummer Night’s Dream reference. Edumacation.

And they did it at a disadvantage — 25% of the community lives on less than $1.25 a day, and it increased school attendance from 70% to 90%. You know what else? The risk of waterborne disease has dropped to zero.

So, yeah. These schools win.

OnAir: Thoughts/opinions? Know how you can make your school a candidate for 2014, or even a winner? Share your insight in a comment below!

Source: http://asumag.com/green-design-amp-buildings/2-schools-chosen-greenest-world?NL=ASU-02&Issue=ASU-02_20131024_ASU-02_886&YM_RID=sales@cxgbs.com&sfvc4enews=42

Bike gear a la cartoon

The more we grow up and “adult” we become, you’d expect us to stop messing with toys and anything to do with our youth. But do we? Do we ever?

cosplayisland.co.uk

NOPE.

So it’s not surprising that we’re all about this bike contraption:


Why is this so cool? WHY.

What you’re looking at is a stream of LED lights that fit onto bike wheels, letting you upload graphics/animations. And the result is pretty fantastic. It’s the ultimate cyclist self-expression.

Sure, you could shell out for a new outfit or a handful of flashy apps for your phone. OR–you could put sweet light-up graphics on your bike wheels and pedal your way to notoriety.

We feel like the choice is pretty simple, actually.

OnAir: Speaking of bikes, have you entered the Teen Bike Challenge yet?. It has been launched, my friends.

Want to share other types of awesome bike gear with us? Share it with us in a comment below!

Source: http://grist.org/list/worlds-coolest-bike-lights-turn-your-wheels-into-lightning-flames-or-cartoon-animals/

Bike-Powered Elevator

Yes, we know what it sounds like initially. Like…why in the world would you have a bike powered elevator when you could just walk up the steps?

Thing is, this isn’t just a normal elevator. It’s an elevator created for a treehouse. SO NO STEPS, Y’ALL. NONE.

When Ethan Schlussler of Idaho was building a treehouse, he got tired of climbing up and down the tree to do work. So naturally he decided that pedaling into open air would be the way to go. We love it.

BIKES SOLVE EVERYTHING. Seriously.

(Also, maybe don’t try this at home.)

OnAir: Oh, but speaking of bikes…and how they basically solve all of life’s problems…please tell me you’ve signed up for our Teen Bike Challenge. If you haven’t, YOU ABSOLUTELY SHOULD. Click here to learn more and join now!

Thoughts/opinions? I’d love to see what you guys have to say 🙂

Source: http://grist.org/list/bike-powered-treehouse-elevator-is-the-worlds-coolest-way-to-climb-a-tree/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=tweet&utm_campaign=socialflow

Biking for love.

Okay, so this post is so romantic it’s almost gross.

Just kidding; it’s actually incredibly beautiful. And it involves our favorite thing:

©turbosquid.com

Snuggle up children, because this is definitely a story that will make you go “awwww”. Maybe it will even bring tears to your eyes. And also, we hope it inspires you to bike.

Once upon a time there was a man named Pradyumna Kumar Mahanandia, or P.K. Today, he is a brilliant artist, but this story dates back to when he was still in art school. He fell in love with a woman from Sweden by the name of Charlotte von Sledvin, and their story of love is pretty sweet. Click here to read about how they met.

©P.K. Mahanandia

They decided to marry, and Charlotte had to return to Sweden. She offered him a plane ticket, but he politely refused, stating he would make arrangements to get to Sweden on his own.

When it was time for him to go to Sweden, P.K. quickly realized that he had no means to get there. So what did he do? Inspired by hippies that backpacked and biked all the way to India, he decided to do that for himself. That is, ride a bike. From India. To Sweden.

How’d he do it? He sold all of his belongings, which brought in about 1,200 rupees, and then bought a secondhand bike and started pedaling. His trek to Sweden took just under five months. Just let that sink in a little. Talk about minimalist lifestyle, right?

What is our take-away here? Sure, P.K. left his country to go be with the love of his life, but he had turned down her offer for a plane ticket. He said no to a gas-guzzler, which is what makes P.K. so inspiring (to us, anyway). Now we aren’t saying to drop everything and run off to Sweden, but it is a great example that it is possible to have a minimalist lifestyle and bike where you need to go. P.K. biked for love — would you bike for your love for the earth? Especially if it’s just a mile or less?

Share your thoughts with us on this charming story in a comment below!

Dual-eco-friendliness

So we totally support public transit. We think it’s a brilliant idea, especially for metro areas. The way we see it, when more people go on public transit, the air gets clearer  because there are fewer cars on the road spitting out pollution.

So YEAH, we love buses.

ratestogo.com

(How cool would it be to see THAT in Atlanta?)

But do you know what else we love? Gardens!

Plants help clean the air, and growing vegetables in local gardens could potentially cut down on the amount of food that needs to be hauled in on trucks. (And look how pretty!)

So hey, why not put both of those loves together?

DAS RIGHT, double the eco-friendliness!

A Spanish landscape artist by the name of Marc Grañén decided to put these not-so-similar things together. Result: Garden Bus.

They’ve been seen in towns outside Barcelona, but Grañén is now working on a project with a busline within Barcelona metro. So residents will be seeing a lot more of these green buses (lucky them).

What do you guys think of this concept? Is it helpful, or just pretty? Share your thoughts with us in a comment in a below.

Source: http://grist.org/list/these-buses-have-gardens-on-their-roofs/

Rise of The Great Copenhagen

Looking past the fact that the name of the city would totally be a cool dictator name, Copenhagen is pretty awesome. Why do we say that?

Bikes, of course. AS USUAL.

Stunning, amirite?

According to city officials,Copenhagen sees more bike traffic than any other city in the world. Salud, Copenhagen.

Here are a few more statistics on bicyclists in Copenhagen:

  • Queen Louise’s Bridge sees over 40,000 bikes per day.

  • More than a third of Copenhagen’s population — or 36% — bike to school or work every single day.

  • 75% (HOLY CRAP) of Copenhagen residents ride the bike year-round, no matter the weather (btw, that’s a climate similar to Alaska’s).

  • They love it.

Yep, that’s right. They enjoy biking, and they are incredibly proud of the biking culture that they’re known for. And that’s more than we can say about the bike culture here in the United States. New York, please be an example to all the other states!

What are your thoughts on the bike culture of Copenhagen? Do you think the U.S. will look like this one day? Share your thoughts with us in a comment below.

Source: http://grist.org/cities/spin-cycle-copenhagens-rise-fall-and-rise-again-to-cycling-supremacy/

And we finally have a flying bike.

That’s right, y’all. This is the new flying bike that flies over traffic jams in London.

This is of course, after some failures. Such as…

The Wright Brothers.

Napoleon Dynamite.

This one is a fail because he was an alien. That technology was CLEARLY not taken advantage of, otherwise we would have had it for about 30 years now. -.-

Two London engineers sat down together in a pub and decided to design the best way for a bike to be able to fly over the crazy traffic jams in London, which are dangerous especially for bikers.

Pretty epic, yes we know.

How is this beneficial to the environment? Well, other than the fact that it is a FLYING BIKE, it can last in the air for up to three hours — this is helpful in reducing the amount of people on the roads. It also is helpful that it doesn’t use anything harmful for the air — it’s all manpower.

What are your thoughts and opinions on this thing? Would you get one? Would it be cool to see flying bikes around in the United States? Tell us what you think in a comment below!

Local bike news!

Oh Atlanta, we love you more than ever now.

©foreveriloveatlanta.com Who wouldn’t love a city that looks like this? *dreamy sigh*

The City of Atlanta announced on July 16th that construction will be going underway for a BRAND SPANKING NEW TWO-WAY BIKE ROUTE AROUND 10TH STREET. You know, around the Piedmont Park area.

It will look similar to this.

To get into where it will be specifically, Phase 1 of the bike route will be at 10th Street around Piedmont Park between Charles Allen Drive and Monroe Drive, and will then be extended into Myrtle Street and Peachtree Street for Phase 2. Which is later this year. *squeal*

Here at OnAir, we are super excited about this. Midtown Atlanta is a beautiful area, especially for biking around on. And now, it has gotten easier. You’ll be able to spot us biking around there, so if you’re an ATLien, keep your eyes peeled for the OnAir logo (I’ll probably be biking to a local coffee place to catch up on blogging).

If you live around here, will you be using this? Tell us your reactions in a comment below!

Source: http://www.atlantaintownpaper.com/2013/07/10th-street-cycle-track-to-connect-midtown-to-beltline/

4,000 MPH.

Commuting is stressful. It can take hours to get to a certain destination because of traffic, and a plane flight is obviously much faster (if you’re going around the United States, state to state) but it still takes around five hours to get from East Coast to West Coast. And burns a ton of harmful jet fuel along the way.

But what if that took only a few minutes?

Say hello to the Hyperloop System.

This is a project that is currently being worked on by Tesla Motors and SpaceX, and it is essentially a tube transport system which would allow passengers to travel at extremely high speeds. The way it would be built is through a magnetic levitation system, similar to high-speed bullet trains. It would consist of “capsules” for six passengers and travel up to 4,000 MPH.

The best part? It would cost a fraction of what it would cost to make a high speed rail or a freeway. Tickets would be around $100.

How is this important for the environment? Well, less time being spent in commute (score!) means fewer resources lost. Plus, because it will be built off of a magnetic levitation system, it uses less fuel than what a plane would use. Double whammy.

What is your opinion of the Hyperloop System? Do you feel it is necessary? Will it make a positive impact on the environment and populations all over the world? Tell us what you think in a comment below.

Source: http://www.industrytap.com/la-to-nyc-in-under-an-hour-hyperloop-system-will-let-you-travel-at-4000-mph/10194