Gas prices started 2012 at an all-time nationwide record high and they are still on the rise. As of January 1st, 2012, $3.66 would buy you a gallon of 87 octane unleaded in California. Coupled with horrible traffic, traffic lights and traffic patterns in the City of Los Angeles, driving almost anywhere at anytime is like flushing fuel and dollars down the toilet.
Since I have been trying to use as little premium unleaded as possible, I walk, ride my bike and take the bus. Taking the bus allows you to get places quicker than walking and biking in most situations, except in extreme grid-lock traffic. Riding the bus is another way to experience new farmers markets. Metro Rapid 720 starts in Santa Monica and travels down Wilshire Blvd through West LA, Westwood, Beverly Hills, Mid LA, Downtown, East LA to Commerce. Lets see how many Farmers Markets one can visit throughout the week with a maximum walk of .6 miles from the bus stop. Also note that if you live near a Metro 20 bus stop, the following applies as well.
This past week’s Green Living class was focused on my favorite subject, transportation. Ever since I was a young’in I have loved cars. Many pictures showcased me clutching a Matchbox or Hotwheel car. I had a race car bed and created traffic jams in the entryway of my house with those Matchbox and Hotwheels. Luckily, no one in my family ever tripped on them while navigating in and out of the front door.
Last night I started my first sustainability course. Sustainable Works puts on this 6 week, 1.5 hour course focusing on environmental education and action. The City of Santa Monica and LA Department of Water and Power fund the class which makes it free for residents! Check here for upcoming courses in the Los Angeles area. Inquire with your local area government if a sustainability program is offered.
I really enjoy riding the bus for no other reason than it gives me an opportunity to make some good progress on my latest read, Fresh Food From Small Spaces on my iPhone Kindle application. I highly recommend this book for all urban gardeners.
I admit that riding the bus is not all roses and unicorns (do those two go together?).
Let me say upfront that I apologize for talking about this subject so much. Cars and driving are two subjects dear to my heart and traffic is one of my least favorite attributes of Los Angeles. I know Carmageddon didn’t come true and was over-hyped but it actually made a difference. This city felt like a real city. The public transportation could actually move freely through this part of the city. I noticed more people taking to their bikes and the sidewalks. I was able to ride my bike on Wilshire between the Veterans Affairs West Los Angeles Facility, which has a beautiful park setting, to Bundy Dr during rush hour on Friday. That was my first indication that this weekend was not going to be a nightmare as it was marketed to be.
Whether or not Carmageddon is going to come to pass starting at 7 PM tonight, Friday, July 15, 2011 AD, no one knows for sure. No matter what happens, there are opportunities to take advantage of and positive messages being sent out.
How about free rides on Metro buses and subways, check here for more information. I will definitely be taking a free ride on my favorite lines, Metro Rapid 704 and 720.
Economic news is consistently “weaker than expected”, food and energy prices continue their ascent, genetically modified (GMO) ingredients sneak into organic products. No doubt we are living in unsettling times and the light at the end of the tunnel seems to get further and further away. The good news is you have a community that wants to share and learn ways to make your life and environment better. Cooking, cleaning, commuting, gardening, conserving resources and saving money is just the tip of the topic iceberg.
This event is for you if you want to:
* take control of your environment
* produce more and use less
* share your skills with others
* grow your own food
* support your local economy
* save money
* learn new things in a fun & caring environment
Queen sang it best in the song “Bicycle Race.” I want to ride my bicycle and I will. Especially since it is Bike Week LA, a week full of bike related events promoted by Metro, the purveyor of bus and rail lines in Los Angeles. This Thursday, May 19th is Bike to Work. Not only can you ride to work but you can encourage your co-workers to do the same.
Biking in this city is not an easy task, it requires concentration, staying alert