Posts Tagged ‘green’

The mayor is always spouting about how green our city is.  There’s all sorts of little initiatives that they’ve done to make it green, and most seem to be construction related, or dealing with government buildings.

They neglect one of the biggest things that would make a city green.

Public transportation.

Because of school, I REALLY need to do some shopping tomorrow.   The busses? Not running. But then, the buses don’t run early enough for me to go to clinicals, don’t run late enough for people to go out after school, or work (realistically you’re in deep doo-doo after 4pm).  No one can take a bus to church unless they are a Seventh Day Adventist, since they don’t run on Sundays.  They give free rides to the pool but stop running before the pool closes!

Furthermore, the people who need the buses the most, the elderly, the disabled, and kids, are the ones who are getting slighted.  Sometimes the elderly and disabled can get the door to door service, if they pass the application process, but even that is limited, just like the regular service.

The only thing that has decent service is the trolley. The one set up for tourists. Longer hours, more days.

So I am proud of my city for trying to be green, but disappointed that this is one of many ways they neglect the really powerful ways of making an impact for so many.  Coupled with how their traffic lights are timed in dangerous and deadly ways to make it difficult to cross some streets, they’re catering to those driving in private cars.  They should be encouraging people to walk, take public transportation, or ride bikes.  They aren’t doing any of that, sadly.

Let’s hope Dubuque makes an honest commitment to being green, and beefs up its public transit. If they want to continue to draw business here, they’re going to need to understand that businesses care about their workers and need to know their workers can get around. Businesses that are coming from places with adequate public transportation will be disappointed in the wholely inadequate transit we have here.

Yes, I’d love a train to Chicago, which gets so much ink in the Telegraph Herald. That would be great! But maybe the paper should look into how we’re not truly green if we keep ignoring our public transit needs.  They say not enough people ride but who wants to ride if it takes an hour to get to the west end to shop, and then you have to wait up to an hour to go home when you are done?  Or if you know you can’t use it after work?

Mayor Buol? Reevaluate your green pledge.  Do something for the environment, the city, and those who don’t drive.  I know there is a lot of focus on the richer part of town, but I think improved bus service can improve the lives of people all over Dubuque.  Telling people ‘replace one ride a month’ is MEANINGLESS if you can’t back it up with adequate public transportation.

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sinkpositive water saving sink

I have an upstairs toilet. My main bathroom is downstairs. Upstairs is just something closet sized, with just a toilet.  No sink. A light, and a very old toilet that needs replacing. It is so old it is Harvest Gold and Avacado Green. Really.

I saw this, the sink on top of the tank, and realized it would make the upstairs emergency bathroom much more functional! It is a sink on top of the tank, uses the water straight from the source, and then drains into the tank, filling it.

So not only do I now have ROOM for a sink, it is a money saver, and it’s green, too!  I’m pretty happy, it seems to be just in the $100 range, which is more than reasonable to add a sink AND save water.

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Moss Acres – Gardening with moss and growing moss

I wonder if I could do this in certain patches of my yard; I already have some moss growing, and if instead of just having it, I could pick the kind I like and design with it, it would look lovely.

I already planted a LOT of wildflowers, and started with some grasses and other more ‘cover’ type stuff.  I’m tired of pansies and petunias.  My veg garden is 3-4x as big as last year.

The whole lawn thing is getting old.  I’ll still have one, but I need more. I want a garden AND a yard. Not just a yard, you know?

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Dynamo Green Keyboard – I Want One Of Those

Absolutely brilliant; a keyboard that makes electricity to power your computer.  Your typing generates power!

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To be green, they’re going to have to change a few things. Despite all the mayor’s crowing about it, policies keep Dubuque from being as eco friendly as they like to make believe they are.

Let’s take, for example, the public school transportation system.  Right now you must live in the zone for the school AND live more than two miles away.  What kind of system expects a child to walk nearly 4 miles a day, in a place where sub zero temperatures are not unheard of?  Furthermore, as Dubuque is not a walker-focused city, a child walking to school is in very real danger of getting hurt. The light on 22nd and Central, for example, is green for a few seconds. Running does not get you across fast enough. A person should be able to walk, not run, across the street.  Who doesn’t drive? Many elderly and children. Short lights are a danger to them.

If you don’t walk, you can take public transportation. It’s free for children, which is fantastic, but the schedule does not match up with the school schedules. Furthermore, the public transportation ends so early that a child cannot go to a job or an activity after school. No wonder all the high school kids drive!  Some schools don’t even have transportation nearby. If you go to Roosevelt MS, if you miss the school bus, or the city bus, it is a $20 cab ride from the end of its zone.  This is insanity.  Zoning kids from at least 4 miles away when there are schools that are closer? Why?  To ensure they can’t participate in activities? To isolate them from their community?

Then there is RTA. RTA is around $35 a week. This is a huge expense for a family who uses it, especially if more than one child uses it.  They aren’t private rides, for a subsidized government transportation option, it sure is expensive!

Lastly is the most common option. The kid arrives in private car. Either a parent drives them, or they drive if they are old enough.  The most common way to arrive to school is by car. This is not green. This is not eco friendly. This is not the way things should be.

Lower the RTA price. Make the range smaller for school busses. The busses are out already. They are a good way to get a number of students to school without clogging the roads with private cars or the air with exhaust.  Consider expanding public transportation in Dubuque. Anything to lower the amount of cars on the road because of some ridiculous cutoff regarding which children can use a yellow school bus.

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