Omega Center Conference Draws Big-name Speakers

by Jo Borrás

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.Omega Center

Next week’s OCSL (Omega Center for Sustainable Living) conference is turning out to be one of the most power-packed sustainability meetings of 2013. Headlining the event are speakers like former President Bill Clinton, economist and author Jeremy Rifkin, Professor David Orr (who I’ve waved at from my seat at the Feve a few times over the years) and an old friend of Cleantechnica, Paul Hawken.

For those of you unfamiliar with the OCSL, the project’s centerpiece is an actual building that’s designed to be entirely self-sustaining. The building itself uses a number of clever design features to generate solar power, cool the structure, and more. The organizers behind the OCSL conference hope to use the building as a talking point to educate builders, designers, and architects on ways to design good-looking structures that are more “in tune” with their environments. That’s evident in the group’s stated mission …

Omega Center Mission

“Through innovative educational experiences that awaken the best in the human spirit, Omega provides hope and healing for individuals and society.”

… and through the renderings and diagrams of the OCSL shown, below, which were provided to the press as a whole by the Omega Center’s architects when the project was first announced. The conference will be held October 4-6th, with tickets starting at $275. If you’re in the New York area, you should definitely check it out!

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.Omega Center Conference

.Omega Center Conference

Source | Photos: Omega Center for Sustainable Living.

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This article, Omega Center Conference Draws Big-name Speakers, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Jo Borrás I’ve been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.

Barcelona Bike share system “Bicing” – 105,000 people can’t be wrong!

Re-blogged from: sustainaboost

I am amazed! No more being stuck in traffic, no more trying to find a parking spot, no more running after buses, no more time spent on, by tourists and pickpockets crowded metro platforms, no more waiting for the tram or wasting money on expensive taxi fares!

After trying for just a little bit more than a week. I am totally convinced! I love “Bicing” and its great concept of bike sharing here in Barcelona. If I’m alone to see the clever in this? No! Almost 105.000 citizens are using this service and the popularity is growing.

In Barcelona bikes are stolen all the time and you’re recommended to invest the same amount of money on your locks, as you did on your bike in the first place. …but, with Bicing, you’ll need no more worries my friend.

You don’t need to carry your bike up and down the stairs anymore, and no matter where in the city you are, you can almost be sure to have a Bicing station within two or three blocks from you. Where I live, I have six stations within a distance of 300 meters, the closest one is just a block away.

Click on the pic below to see the map showing the locations of all Bicing stations.

Bicing Station by the beach in Barcelona

Bicing Station by the beach in Barcelona

Whenever you want to go somewhere in the city, you just catch a bike from nearest Bicing station. Slip your magnetic card, grab the bike suggested on the display and off you go. You have 30 minutes per ride on your annual subscription included. If you’re holding on to the bike longer than that you need to pay an extra fee.

About 45 euros is the yearly cost, that´s pretty much what I spent before only on Metro cards every month. You can return your bike at any of the 420 stations around, wherever it is convenient for you.

Bicing has 6000 bikes available for its clients and every bike travels an average of more than 550 km per month. That’s pretty impressive.

The photo below is a link to a map of Barcelona with the main bike lanes displayed.

Bike lanes photographed from my balcony

Bike lanes photographed from my balcony

Barcelona is an excellent city for this concept. The weather conditions are great most time of the year. Since the main part of the city is rather flat you don´t need to struggle going uphill all the time. There are also a lot of space, for example if you’re cruising on the beach walk or along the biggest streets and avenues like Diagonal or Gran Via. Usually you just need to go a couple of blocks to find a nice bike lane integrated in the street.

It feels very good to cycle through the city, passing car queues and traffic jams smoothly, and it´s so nice to feel the breeze in your hair while moving around downtown in the sunshine instead of sitting or standing in a really warm bus.

Below you have screenshot of the Bicing smartphone app. It’s really useful, showing you where you can find an available bike or a space to park the one you´re already on. If you click on the pic you will see a listing of the largest bike sharing programs around the world.

Is there bike sharing in your city? If you have experience or thoughts on the concept, please feel free to comment on the blog post! :)

Some of the more than 420 Bicing stations in Barcelona

Some of the more than 420 Bicing stations in Barcelona

Unfortunately Bicing is not available for tourists from outside of Catalonia. I now that in Gothenburg for example you can get a three days pass on the bike sharing there for about €1,20 and that’s a good price. Here the many bike rental shops were strictly against these kind of offers. As a tourist you can find so many alternatives to Bicing, but if you´re living here it´s truly recommended. Personally I think it´s the very best way of getting around here, no doubt.

Sustainaboost just registered on Instagram a week ago. If you like the new photos, feel free to follow us there. Just click on the picture for the link so you can like and comment on all future pictures. Come on now, click! …let’s see if you can click on my nose! ;) Hehe!

Cruising on a mission ;)

Cruising on a mission ;)

Wonderful little movie of a cruise in Barcelona! Looks great don’t you think?!

[Editor’s note: Please visit sustainaboost.com to view the YouTube video showing the “Bicing” bike ride around Barcelona]

Anyway folks, I’m so happy that I started to use Bicing. This city changed a lot in my point of view, and it’s all for the better. If you also want to subscribe on this wonderfully clever bike sharing, that saves you money, improves your health and reduce emissions and noise.

Just click on the Bicing logo below for the official webpage! …and if your family and friends or anyone you know are tired of the traffic situation, just recommend them bike sharing or share this blog post with them, so they can read a little bit about it as well. You can find similar concepts in many cities.

Bike Sharing System of Barcelona

Bike Sharing System of Barcelona

Thank you very much for reading! Have a great day… all boosters out there! Together we’ll make the world better, just keep on smiling! :D

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Adelaide Creates World’s First Solar-Powered Public Transit System

Originally published on Ecolocalizer

Many local communities are looking at ways that they can incorporate green technology into their city’s municipal infrastructure. One impressive success story is the Tindo electric bus in Adelaide, Australia.

Although many cities have experimented with using hybrid or electric technology in their public transport systems, this vehicle is the world’s first 100% solar-powered electric bus; and not only is it powered by the sun, but this service is also offered free of charge.

Bus image via Adelaide City Council
Bus image via Adelaide City Council

Named after an Aboriginal word for “Sun” the Tindo was designed to be part of the Adelaide Connector Bus service, a free service run by the City Council.

What makes the bus unique from other solar-powered vehicles is that there aren’t any solar panels physically on the vehicle. Instead, the bus received electric power from solar panels located on the city’s central bus station. These provide enough energy to allow the bus to run freely from the city centre and the North Adelaide, and will also offer air conditioning and WiFi to its 40 passengers.

The Council commissioned this bus from a New Zealand company called Designline International, as part of a wider green initiative. Adelaide residents have shown a keen interest in reducing emissions, with many seeking out hybrid cars like the MitsMirubishi age, or choosing to go electric, while many residents already choose to carpool or bicycle on their commute as well.

In the City Council’s Strategy Plan for 2012-2016, further plans to make the streets more sustainable are outlined. This includes a more comprehensive network of footpaths and bike trails to enable commuters to get around without a car.

The latest figures from 2010 showed that 36% of the city’s carbon emissions came from transportation. Although residents are turning to hybrids like new Ssangyong cars and the ever-popular Prius to reduce personal emissions, the city’s public transportation network has helped further reduce emissions.

The Tindo has no combustion engine, which makes it a zero emissions vehicle. Its regenerative braking system also saves an additional 30% of energy consumption. In its first year alone it’s estimated that the solar-powered bus saved over 70,000 kg of carbon emissions and 14,000 litres of diesel.

Due to its unique solar photovoltaic charging system and ability to travel over 200 kilometres between recharges, this vehicle has received a great deal of attention from the wider green community. It’s been featured in the Solar City Convention Spirit Festival, Global Green Challenge, and Heritage Bus Tour. Although solar busses can be found in Austria, China, Wales, and India, they have yet to become a widespread public transport solution. Of these various solar busses, the Tindo is still the only one which is completely powered by the sun.

The Tindo’s success shows that public transportation can be further improved to reduce a community’s carbon emissions while improving the residents’ way of life at the same time. Its adoption has helped make Adelaide one of Australia’s most green-friendly cities, an attitude mirrored by its residents.

This article, Adelaide Creates World’s First Solar-Powered Public Transit System, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.