BayCycle: Bike by Land or Sea

Want to bike to school, but there’s a river in the way? Fear not: meet BayCycle. This bike features a raft, which means you can pedal by from land to water and back.

Learn more about BayCycle here.  Would you paddle/pedal on one of these bad boys? Let us know in a comment below!

 

Rent-A-Bike

Have you heard about the newest eco-friendly thing going on in the big cities? Well, here’s a hint: rent-a-bike. That’s right! You can rent a bike from one part of the city to get to the other part and return it to its “slot”. It’s a lot like renting out a car on a trip or those shopping-car things in the malls for little kids. It’s a great idea for a step forward in helping the environment.

This mean of transportation has become popular in cities like Chicago, New York, Washington DC and Miami. Specially designed to have a little basket for briefcase and book bags in the front along with a GPS, this is one of the coolest ways to help lower air pollution.

This bicycle-sharing rental program has swept several big cities into frenzy. According to the Chicago Tribune, the federally funded program is envisioned for the public to ride the bikes on short trips of mostly 30 minutes or less, instead of taking a taxicab or a bus or, worst of all, driving.

This new way of transportation is definitely geared towards saving the environment and keeps a couple of bills in your pocket. According to Denver’s B-Cycle bike sharing program, a 4-mile bicycle trip keeps 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air that would have been emitted by a car driving the same distance. On top of that, it’s not just a great workout but a way to avoid that nasty traffic congestion. It’s more convenient, affordable and helps overcome theft and storage barriers.

This is a great idea and I hope it comes to Atlanta soon as well. As they say, one pedal forward for a man, one giant race for mankind.

Running to Brook Run

What do dogs and skateboards have in common? I’ll give you a hint. It’s not the latest viral Youtube video. Still haven’t got it? It’s Brook Run Park! Brook Run Park in Dunwoody, GA is actually two separate parks. The first is a 4-acre dog park. The second is really cool skate park.

The Dog park is completely free. You can bring your buddy, and meet other loving pet owners such as yourself. There are trails and benches and you can bring toys. It is a great way to spend a Saturday and your furry friend will be forever grateful.

The skatepark is also a great way to spend time, and meet lots of cool people. It accommodates not only for skateboards, but also BMX bikers, and in-line skaters. It costs $3 for minors, and $4 if you are over 18. The crowd In the park is mostly teenagers, and everyone is very friendly.

I highly recommend visiting both websites to read all of the fun things the parks offers, as well as get your release forms for the skate park and read the reasonable regulations. Especially now that the weather is getting cooler, I’m sure you want to be inside with the heater cranked up but remember that you can stay warm, stay fit, and help keep our world cleaner if you get outside and get active!

iOS6: Transit Maps Alternatives

In our previous post about Apple’s iOS6, we talked about the new Apple maps feature not having transit directions – an absolute necessity for the modern clean commuter.

To their credit, last Friday, Apple admitted to their short-comings with the new maps app, and said that they are hard at work to rectify it. We don’t know what that means for transit riders, specifically, but we’re hopeful.

In the meantime, we’ve done some research and come up with the best alternatives for you to easily navigate around town. Unfortunately, only one of these apps works in Atlanta (for now), but we’d still like to showcase some of the world’s best transit apps.

1. Hop Stop – This is one of the top transit apps available, and it’s free! Not only does is work on the iOS system, but also on Android and in a web browser. The best part is that it works with MARTA.

2. NextStop – If you’re ever in NYC and need a great app for getting around on the massive subway system, this app will come in handy. It’s even got train delay notifications.

3. iBart  -This app is for the San Franciscans. It include directions for both trains and buses. This system is created by Embark who have developed several transit routing apps for major cities. Unfortunately Atlanta is not one of them.

4.NYC Mate – This another great app for New Yorkers, but this app has got bus directions too. It even includes New Jersey!

5. LTWatch – One of Canada’s better apps for London-Ontario offers real-time bus tracking in addition to its directions function.

6. London Tube – Obviously this app is for London, but it offers all of the official maps for each system, as well as a trip planning function.

7. Google MapsNo, Google has not released a downloadable maps app for iOS6 (rumor has it that it’s in the works), but all smart phones can access Google Maps through their web browser via the HTML 5 app. It’s no flashy app, but it is the exact same interface that you’ve been using for years.

8. ChiTransit – This app not only provides transit directions for Chicago, but it also tracks the buses and trains in real time.

9. The Transit App –  This one’s got loads of potential; it’s just a matter of ironing out the kinks with iOS6. Offering multi-colored routes, trip planning, departure time, and even a trip memory, this could be the most comprehensive transit app yet. And the best part is that it’s FREE! It is available in 21 major cities–unfortunately, Atlanta is not on the list yet.

Sources say that Atlanta’s MARTA is in the works of outsourcing with some third-party developers to bring Atlantans a better, more powerful app. For now, we recommend you use HopStop, or plan ahead with Google and Marta’s real time bus locator before leaving the house.

 

A Park Themed Vacation

Photo credit: National Geographic

The first half of summer is already over for most people, and the camps and time spent at the pool are starting to become mundane. Now it is about time to take the great family vacation, which can be the best or the worst part of the entire break.

On one hand, you may get to go somewhere new or cool, but on the other hand, you will have to share a room with your whole family for possibly a number of weeks, and you might not really enjoy the activities that your parents pick.

A good idea is to give a little friendly input about the trip. I’m not saying you will get to pick the location, but I bet your parents want you to have a good time on the trip, too. If they didn’t, then they wouldn’t pay the money to bring you along.

Probably one of the best suggestions you can make would be to spend part of your time outdoors. You won’t get cramped into small spaces with your baby brother, and you can pick from thousands of things to do. Each state has its own, very unique features, activities and scenery, but most importantly each state has its own national parks!

National parks are some of this country’s most underestimated sources of not just fun, but of beauty and wonder. The western national parks and forests in the United States will literally take your breath away. Pictures can’t even depict the magnificence of the natural world. Water is so blue it looks unreal. Trees are bigger than thirty houses, and pebbles shine like millions of diamonds.

No matter what state you are in, and no matter where you are in that state, a national park is never more than a car ride away, and is always more fun than anything your parents will think of. This summer, think whitewater kayaking in a river, not White Water rides.

This summer, think park themed, and not theme parks.

OnAir says: Wanna visit a national park, but not sure which one’s closest? Check out the National Park Service’s Find a Park page. Enter your location or just click on the map to find the park closest to you. Now go outside!

Greencation!

This summer, you and your family might be planning to go on a vacation or two. And while your parents will be making most of the decisions and reservations, etc., there are things you can do to help and remind them to have an eco-friendly trip!

If you’re staying at a resort of hotel, look for places that have a low impact on the environment, like campsites and green hotels.

Remember that air travel is a really big offender in the greenhouse gas department, so consider other modes of transportation like the train. If flying is a must, then check out frequent flyer miles so you can also track your carbon footprint. Some companies (like Sustainable Travel International) let you buy credits that put your money towards projects that aim to lower CO2 in the air.

A good thing to remember is to pack light, because carrying heavy luggage uses lots of energy. When out and about in the world, make sure to unplug your phone or laptop chargers when you’re not using them, because this also saves energy.

Wherever you may find yourself this summer, have fun and do what you can to save our planet, little by little.

Have a Clean, Green Spring Break

Spring Break is here! And I’ve found some great green vacation ideas that can also help keep the air clean. If you’ve already got set plans, we’ve added some ways for you to green and clean up your already planned vacation, too.

Have a staycation

The state of Georgia has millions of fun things to do. Pick an activity near you or take the trip by bus!

• Take a trip to the Georgia Aquarium and/or the World of Coca-Cola
• Catch a Braves baseball game at Turner Field—opening day is upon us!
• Journey to Jekyll Island for beach fun and relaxation
• Go see an act at the Cobb Galleria Centre
• Watch an IMAX movie at the Fernbank Museum
• Ride roller coasters at Six Flags Over Georgia
• Explore the city of Savannah, which is full of fun, historic sites
• Take a trip to Tybee Island beach, only 20 miles from Savannah

Have a volunteer-based trip

It’s called “volun-tourism,” and it’s getting very popular. Basically, it means traveling during your break to amazing, sometimes exotic places and volunteering while you’re there.

Habitat for Humanity offers several youth programs that send young people to different places nationwide or even out of the country to volunteer. Also check out Voluntourism.org, a site dedicated to helping people volun-tour.

Have an outdoor vacation

Plan a massive camping trip! Carpool to the nearest camp-approved park and enjoy the great outdoors. Here’s a list of ways to keep your time in the open air clean and green:

• Pack light!
• Unplug unused, unimportant electronics before you leave home
• Use organic bug spray and sunscreens.
• Use biodegradable soap, cleaning supplies and waste bags (for pets)
• Bring LED flashlights and use rechargeable batteries for any lanterns
• Bring dish towels from home rather than paper towels
• Recycle any used plastic or aluminum.
• Bring stainless steel utensils and hard plastic plates and cups rather than plastic throw-away ones
• Did we mention carpool?

Have a sustainable trip

If you’re going to take a trip, remember to carpool or consider renting a hybrid vehicle or riding a coach-style bus. Nowadays, most buses are Wi-Fi enabled, and riding can often be less expensive than driving.

Consider booking a “green” hotel. Travelocity has a website dedicated to green hotels and also offers tips on air friendly transportation.

If you’re staying in a hotel, consider reusing your towels and sheets instead of asking for new ones each day. Also, consider requesting paperless billing, and try to get outdoors and walk or bike as much as you can! Remember to turn the lights off in any unused rooms and try to unplug all electronics while they’re not being used. Remember, any effort to stay green will also help keep the air clean!

How are you making this Spring Break greener and cleaner? If you do any green or clean Spring Breaking, remember to log it on AirCreds!