Hybrid versus standard. Incandescent versus compact florescent. Disposable versus cloth diapers…green choices can be daunting these days.
Probably your single most important eco-decision of all is transportation. Driving ranks right up there with electricity as one of the top two causes of pollution that the average American contributes to the environment. But are buses or railways any better than automobiles?
From the coast to the Sierra crest, more terrain hungry mountain bikers are picking up shovels to improve old trails and create new classics each day.
But if you want to build something that will stand the test of time and countless tires without degrading into an environmental nuisance, you’ll need to follow the principles of responsible, sustainable singletrack design.
With its summit soaring 14,162 feet, Mount Shasta stands imposingly over the surrounding landscape, alone in its claim as the dominant peak of northern California. Unlike the highest peaks in the Sierra, Shasta has no peers on its flanks. It’s an absolute brooding, uncontested loner – a mountain “as lonely as God, and white as a winter moon,” as the poet Joaquin Miller memorably put it.
It begins when you can leave town, when you leave your common sense, your guilt and a large chunk of yourself behind. It could be four years of pent-up academic frustrations. It could be the many years at a job that fleeces your ability to connect to the sweet simmering world. It could be simply that you want to let the road show you the pace. To hell with schedules, unwanted phone calls, the incessant hassles of life. To be immersed in the vicissitudes of flux at just a tad above the speed limit is nothing short of being loyal to the human spirit.
In the midst of all false hype—and hope—surrounding corn ethanol and fuel cells, these three lesser-known innovations are gaining attention and research funding. Together, they represent some of the brightest opportunities for a green infrastructure, from the food we eat to the energy that powers our homes.
Although California is widely recognized to have some of the best and most plentiful whitewater boating opportunities in the world, by the time the mid-summer sun blazes over the tawny Sierra foothills there are precious few ribbons of froth left to run outside dam-control runs like the South Fork American and Tuolumne.
Okay, you’ve changed all your light bulbs to CFL’s. Excellent. Now you’re curious about what you can do to color your eco-conscious lifestyle with an even deeper shade of green. Here are five tips guaranteed to make the most dramatic reduction on your carbon footprint. They require more drastic lifestyle changes than replacing your shampoo with organic botanicals, but given the alarming state of our environment, perhaps it’s time for something more drastic.