City Hippy

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Friday, July 14, 2006

NEWS: The CityHippy Week

Ladies & Gentleman, it's Friday night! Welcome to...

The CityHippy Week!

The NICE car (No Internal Combustion Engine) hits the British International Motor Show this month and if I lived in an uber-urban environment I would pick this type of vehicle if I picked one at all.
Imagine a car built for the streets of London.

A car that does not pollute, runs silently, requires no car tax and is exempt from the congestion charge. Virtually free motoring and a clean conscience. That's nice.

NICE. The car designed for city life.
The car will be unveiled at the British International Motor Show at ExCel London from 20th-30th July 2006.

Apparently the car can range about 50 miles on one charge, claims to reach nearly 40mph and believes it is the cheapest electric car to own (about £8,000) and to run (1p a mile).

I also heard or read somewhere (and I think it was about NICE) that they are doing a tie-in with Streetcar (the UK version of Zipcar) to enable you to jump into one of their hybrids for that longer distance trip out of the city.

Nice ;)

What else caught my little green eye?

Hats off (or should that be speedos on?) to Lewis Gordon Pugh for attempting to swim the entire length (325km!!!) of the River Thames here in the UK to raise awareness of Climate Change.

Lewis has done this sort of thing before and recently 'broke long-distance swimming records in the icy waters of both the Arctic and Antarctic.'

Turns out that during his time in the Arctic 'he saw first-hand the effect that climate change is having on this region's fragile beauty - rapidly retreating glaciers and melting sea-ice threaten its existence and that of Lewis' namesake, the polar bear.'

His goal is to raise awareness as Climate Change affects 'not just the Arctic - the impacts of climate change will be felt globally including in regions such as the Thames and the south-east of England.'

Lewis wants to spur us all into immediate action to support the WWF in their efforts to combat this global concern. Bravo that man! Swimming cap anyone?

I must say I am loving what the folks at quintissential British retailer, Marks & Spencer, are upto. Fairtrade coffee in all their store cafes. Sustainable fish. Fixed milk price for British Farmers. First major UK retailer to offer Fairtrade clothing. Really pushing the boundaries. Prince Charles, on presenting them with the award commented that
M&S has had a hugely successful year on the high street and has not only reinvented itself, but in doing so has never sacrificed its commitment to responsible business practice, indeed it has continued to lead the way.
Well done M&S, keep up the good work.

The massively increased charge ordered by the London Mayor (expected in 2008 or 2009) will be based on a vehicles CO emissions so not just SUV drivers will be affected. Those driving other high emissions vehicles will also need to pay more.

Equally, low emission vehicles will suffer lower increases or even no increase at all.

I have discussed the dangers of SUV demonisation before and whilst this scattergun tax approach claims innocents and focuses on a small group of drivers only I do agree that dealing with the WHY we drive and WHEN we drive is the key. Therefore taxing us for our cars CO emissions is the only obvious way forward as it forces us to question why and when we drive and seek cheaper alternatives.

Overall I think this is the bigger picture developing here: we are moving to personal emissions permits (and trading) for cars and hopefully this will spread across our entire lifestyles. As far as I am concerned the sooner this happens the better.

Cityhippy bookmark of the week: New Green Mountain coffee cup uses liner made from sugar instead of plastic
Thanks to a tip from Living in Dupont I found out about the new developments in Coffee Cup land. Millions of these disposable cups are used daily so the news that a company has developed a variant that uses a biodegradable alternative is welcome news indeed. Sometimes I love the free market...when it is visible.

…and that's the way it is folks!



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At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Veggies,Yarns & Tails said...

Thanks for this interesting and info-packed post Al. Im going to check out a couple of the links too. Amazing about those coffee cups!

Cheers, G


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