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I seriously love to thrift. It’s partly because I don’t make a ton of money but mostly because I love the challenge of it. Getting something awesome — and often practically brand new — for a fraction of the cost just feels, somehow, like you’re winning. The game. Whatever that is.
Oh, and it’s also awesome for the environment. And in Boulder, there is no less than 30 thrift-type stories. You read that correctly — 30. The thrift stores cover the entire spectrum from clothes (check out Rags Consignment or Buffalo Exchange) to bookstores (The Bookworm and Redletter Secondhand Books).
If you want to check them all out — leave no thrift store unvisited — search no further than Eco-Cycle, which publishes two awesome maps to help you out: a Tour deThrift for both Boulder and Longmont.
Would you take a bus to the mountains to hike in the summer? A “recreation shuttle” that would connect Boulder with Hessie Trailhead and Brainard Lake is just one recommendation of a new mountain transit study released by Boulder County.
Other recommendations were more commuter oriented: a bus from Jamestown to Boulder, from Ward to Nederland and from Lyons to Longmont, among other things.
The county is asking for public input on the plan until Dec. 5. You can read it at the county’s Website and leave comments there, or learn more about the plan at DailyCamera.com.
Lately, it sounds like people have been losing sleep over what they’re sleeping on:
“Eco-friendly bedding and mattresses really just started being popular in the past year,” said Steve Savage, founder, president and store manager at Ellie’s Eco Home Store in Boulder.
“Where they have been educated about organic foods in the past 30 years, people are just starting to learn what chemicals are in their houses in regards to carpeting, bedding and furniture. We’re learning stuff every week. It’s still an ongoing educational process.”
Read more about eco-friendly bedding over at the Camera.
I read somewhere that in explaining motives for action, it’s useful to have a villian. Well! How about a supervillain?
Friday was the third of five times the Kilowatt Kid (and some surprise evildoer) is scheduled to visit Strife’s class. The pilot program, which is being tried in eight classrooms across the Boulder Valley School District, is being supported by part of the $25 million in stimulus funds that Boulder County received earlier this year to expand local energy-efficiency efforts.
Just over half of Boulder commuters drive alone to get to work. Compared to the rest of Colorado, that’s pretty impressive, we’re also built better for it in the city, so we probably should be comparing ourselves to other cities that are bike- and bus-friendly.
The other number that sticks out on this data from the 2009 U.S. Census American Community Survey is our work-from-home number — but we already knew that.
Here’s some of the relevant data:
|Location||Drive alone||Carpool||Public transportation||Bike||Walk||Work from home|
In Amsterdam, they take more trips by bike than by car. Consider that!
In Portland, bike traffic constitutes 20 percent of the traffic on some roads, leading to bikejams.
Until we’re having bikejams — or until I have to stand up for part of my bus commute — it seems like there’s still a lot of education to be done. (But please don’t cut bus service to artificially make this happen. Here’s a great post from our neighbors to the south on that line of thinking.)
Note: When I lived on the Skip line, I did have to stand up — often.
If you’re like me, the pressure is slowly mounting to figure out your Halloween costume. My ridiculously creative friends are putting the finishing touches on their Hollywood-quality duds and I’m drawing a total blank.
Happily, there’s a very cool, very green option out there:
Green Halloween Costume Swap
Swap last year’s costume for a new one, for free. Clementine Art and Common Threads are hosting a green Halloween costume swap. Free light alterations, make-your-own accessories, and refreshments provided, 1-4 p.m. Saturday Oct. 9, 2707 Spruce St. Boulder; 303-447-0473.
I’ve got last year’s space suit neatly tucked away in the closet (and it was a touch too short anyway), so maybe I’ll hop over and see what I can see to trade out.
The city of Boulder is trying hard to get people to bike more, to walk more or to take the bus. They encourage RTD Eco Passes, they sponsor Bike to Work Day… but their latest campaign takes the cake for wacky. (Or cool, depending on your perspective.)
The “Driven to Drive Less” campaign — which will launch in a few weeks — will try to convince people to choose one day a week to not drive their cars based on color. Blue cars should stay at home Mondays. Silver cars should take a break Tuesdays. Red on Wednesdays… you get the idea.
The city wants to get thousands of Boulderites to participate. Would you give it a try?
Hey! It’s a guest post from the Camera’s Allison Barrett!
A few months ago I moved into a quiet apartment that had one amazing feature: A large balcony. We aren’t talking 4′ x 9′ or even 5′ x 10. We are talking a 6′ by 25′ balcony that had so many possibilities that the mind boggled.
I happened to move in next to a green thumb and, throughout the cold winter months, before she ran off to Arizona, we devised greater and greater plans for what to do with my space. Her balcony, even in the dead of winter, was a warm, cozy place with chairs spaced appropriately for company and gardening pots and tools carefully placed on the side, ready to be used again as soon as it was time.
So these grandiose plans came down to one simple fact: I needed dirt. Three options arose.
First, sneak out and “borrow” dirt from neighboring homes in the dead of night. Second, buy dirt from a dirt store. Third, and the most enticing, make dirt. Create compost using all the organic materials left around after making a meal, coffee and reading the newspaper!
The first one would land me in jail, the second was not very appealing due to a small budget and even smaller ambition to carry large bags of dirt up to the second floor where my apartment was located. The last one made the most sense. Eco-friendly, cost-effective and hey, I have a balcony, I have plenty of room to “grow” dirt. Read more
Boulder County has suspended its popular, voter-approved ClimateSmart Loan Program, which lets you borrow money from them (at relatively low interest rates) to make energy-efficient improvements to your home like adding solar panels or blowing in some more insulation.
There are, apparently, a couple of problems that came out last week. One is a set of new rules from the DOE that govern loans like ClimateSmart — though that one will likely be no that big of deal. The second, which is more of a problem, is a letter from mortgage-buying giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The letter implies that the government-sponsored agencies won’t buy mortgages for houses that have ClimateSmart liens on them.
“Every program in the country — in Colorado the programs that are just getting set to launch in Eagle County — are going into neutral and saying, ‘We’ll continue developing programs,’ but nobody is going to issue any additional financing until there’s clarification of the letter,” Commissioner Will Toor told the Camera on Thursday.
“The timing here in Boulder County is very unfortunate because we had a round of residential loans that would be closing tomorrow and we were looking at a bond sale in a few weeks,” he said. “There are a bunch of property owners and a bunch of contractors who were hoping that this would move forward.”
OK, actually, the trellis here won’t make any beer for you at all. The fellow who made the trellis however, Patrick Doyle, will be a strong candidate for Vanity Fair’s “Awesome Gentlemen” issue in about 25-30 years, and does make a good beer.
Here’s what he has to say about his newest design for urban gardening — the Most Indestructible Trellis Ever 2.0:
Introducing the Most Indestructible Trellis Ever 2.0, which is so strong, I’m confident I could grow watermelons and pumpkins on it. (Which I’m not planning on doing, but it’s that beastly.) All that stainless steal is just gorgeous.
Looks awesome. I’m going to grow bowling balls and anvils for my famous Most Inedible Chili Ever recipe.
Check out the specs over at Grown In The City.