What Kind of Bike is Right for You?

My Marin bike was stolen last week. It was totally my fault; I left it in front of my house while I went inside to get my garage door opener, got distracted and forgot about it, and of course by the next morning it was gone. However I am not without wheels; there are quite a few bikes hanging around in our family, and they all serve different purposes in different places and seasons. Now that I have to decide what to ride, I have been thinking about the pluses and minuses of each kind of bike. (more…)

How to make and use compost, with Lee Reich

Lee-ReichHOW CAN EVERY LAST SCRAP of goodness we’re all gathering during garden cleanup be put to optimal use? I asked Lee Reich, who joined me on this week’s radio show, to share strategic soil-improving, weed-thwarting, and future harvest-enhancing steps you can take now, as you put the garden to bed. Learn to compost smarter, prep your soil easily. That’s Lee with his trusty scythe, above, which doesn’t figure into composting but into how he cuts his meadow-like fields. Impressive, and mesmerizing! (more…)

Rooted in Mississippi: MSAN Demonstration Farms Program

rootedmsThe Mississippi Sustainable Agriculture Network has established the Rooted in Mississippi demonstration farm program to incentivize continued sustainable agricultural practices emphasizing organic production and localdistribution by Mississippi farms through support of existing farms falling into one of two categories:


Solarbox converts old London phone boxes into free solar charging stations


Two geography students in London have come up with a way to give the city's old red phone boxes a new life. An iconic symbol of the English city, the phone boxes have fallen out of use as the majority of people now have cell phones. Many of the boxes have been discarded, but with the students' Solarbox project, many others will now be converted into free solar-powered charging stations for cell phones and other gadgets.

"I lived next to a phone box in my second year at uni and walked past it every day. I thought, 'There are 8,000 of these lying unused in London and we must be able to find a use for them,'" co-founder Harold Craston told BBC News.

The project reinvents the phone boxes by painting them green and installing a 150-watt solar panel on top. Inside, the boxes have mini/micro-USB and iPhone chargers as well as a screen that runs advertisements while people charge their phones. The advertising pays for the booths so that the charging is free to the public.

The first of six charging kiosks were opened last week on Tottenham Court Road and the other five will be opened elsewhere in the city in April 2015. So far the box has seen about 85 customers a day, but each box will be able to handle 100 phone charges per day. The boxes will be open 5:30am - 11:30pm, 365 days a year and users can expect to get a 20 percent boost in their battery life in 10 minutes.

The team won the Mayor of London's Low Carbon Entrepreneur of the Year Award earlier this year and also won the LSE's Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year award for their idea.

by Megan Treacy



Toyota Garden

toyotaBy Angie Barmer

This Fall, residents from Blue Springs will have an outdoor space to go to for education, relaxation, reading, gardening, and more.

Sean Suggs, vice president of administration at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi, Inc., said, “We thank the community of Blue Springs for the warm welcome shown to our team members and are pleased to give the town something in return.” (more…)

Toyota Environment

sustainability_studiesBy Angie Barmer

In addition to rolling out a plethora of Toyota Corollas every day, the Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi, Inc. facility in Blue Springs is also deemed the model sustainable assembly plant for North American operations.

This is due to the many environmental and sustainability practices that are in place every day at the 1,540-acre Blue Springs facility. Performance, biodiversity, community education, and renewable energy are the keys to these daily practices at TMMMS. (more…)