quickie: enviro peeves

comfortable public transitalexander over at planet thoughts asks, “what’s your pet enviro peeve”? what a great question!

i’ve left a comment there (hope it’s approved by now) about plastic bags at the supermarket.

another one of mine is public transit. coming from europe, and having lived in south america, i’m used to public transit in all shapes and forms so i’m a bit enured to its challenges. actually, one of my peeves is people not moving to the back of the bus when it’s full. here in vancouver, when the bus driver deems the bus is too full, it just drives past any waiting passengers until the driver feels the bus is at the right capacity again. much of it has to do with how full the bus is near the bus driver. it irritates the bejeezus out of me when the driver yells, “move to the back!” and no-one reacts. have none of these people ever had to wait for the next bus when a too-full bus drove by??? it always seems incredibly selfish to me (“i’m on the bus now, so who cares.”) so when i’m near the front of the bus and the driver needs room, i push relentlessly.

anyway, the other day, it was like that again, and a woman towards the back of the bus shouted, “we’re already packed like sardines, we’re not gonna move!” i looked over, and saw nothing sardine-like. however, i did notice that there was pretty much the same number of people as there were slings to hold on to. all of a sudden it dawned on me – people need their space! and if they’re used to space, as they are here in canada, they’re not going to give it up unless they get something pretty good in return.

ever since having had the very pleasant experience of using the go-train in ontario for my commute many years ago, i have been thinking that transit needs to be comfortable and pleasant, otherwise people won’t use it. this experience on the bus the other day just reconfirmed it.

all of which illustrates one of my pet peeves: we need a transit system that entices people to use it.

what’s the solution? well, here in greater vancouver, one solution is certainly to vote paul hillsdon into surrey council, one of my fellow vancouver bloggers, and 19-year-old environmental wunderkind.

so, friends, what’s your enviro peeve? and what do you think is the solution?

(image: kim bach)

(this post was included in the eco blog carnival)

7 thoughts on “quickie: enviro peeves

  1. Evan

    My major enviro peeve is the lousy design of houses (here in Australia) – they are so badly designed that people need air con all year round to make up for it.

    Public transport my major peeve is the lack of it on weekends. Weekend nights there are very few options.

    Evan’s last blog post..Changing and Adapting

  2. Evan

    Solutions.

    Here are a few ideas. I think all of them can be implemented immediately.

    On housing.
    1. Decent design.
    2. Those who give development approval introducing appropriate legislation.
    3. Those who give design approval giving preference to those with lower energy requirements.
    4. Education. Simple stuff like workshops in how you would design your own home. Most people wouldn’t have the interest or time but it would introduce a whole different level of awareness to the market.
    5. Breaking the control of developers (Australia is especially dreadful for this). Government sponsored development with ecological criteria. Preference given to co-housing developments (they deliver health and community benefits so why shouldn’t these savings to government funds be given preference?)
    6. Subsidies for the installation of solar/other forms of electricity generation and/or removal of subsidies to big oil/coal. Alternatives employ more people too!

    On public transport.
    1. Car drivers aren’t required to pay the full cost of their travel why should public transport users?
    2. Issuing free tickets to various groups such as students.
    3. Smaller buses so they cost less and can run more frequently.
    4. Not granting development approval where there are not public transport options.

    Keen to hear other peoples’ ideas too.

    Evan

    Evan’s last blog post..Changing and Adapting

  3. Matt

    Noise pollution. Esp intentional noise pollution:

    1. Intruding music in public spaces
    2. Intruding newscasts in public spaces
    3. Lawn maint. decibels from leaf blowers

    Soon we may not be able to escape. What we’ll consider as quiet will be a mash of whitenoise in the background.

  4. isabella mori

    matt – aren’t we already there with the white noise? although it’s all relative; i’m told that our noise level here in vancouver is nothing compared to tokyo.

    what would you suggest as a solution, matt?

    oh, and thanks for the solutions, evan. quite comprehensive!

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