Somewhat rough week here in the Big Apple. Last week, I was distracted by a stretch of beautiful, springtime weather. This week, I'm distraught over news that the Metropolitan Transit Authority — the folks who operate NYC's commuter trains, subways, buses, etc. — approved drastic fare hikes and service cuts as part of a "Doomsday plan." Basically, the state won't bail out the fiscally irresponsible MTA so, in turn, straphangers are being slapped with outrageous inconveniences.
The elimination of entire subway and bus lines and fare jumps (from $2 to $2.50 for a single bus/subway ride) isn't the worst of it: The environment will also suffer. Folks put out by the changes, particularly NYC's dwindling middle-class, will no doubt be forced to abandon public transport and travel by car, increasing gridlock and carbon emissions. For a city that prides itself on eco-friendly public transportation, this is a mammoth step backwards.
Moving on, there has been some good green news this week, particularly in the home arena. The links are below for your perusal. I'll see you next week with live reports from the Architectural Digest Home Design Show and the Green East Expo.
Women’s Day enlightens with the “right way to dispose of 10 common recycling stumpers.” On this list: trophies, candle jars, and crayons.
The New York Times sits in with the co-op boards of residential apartment buildings in New York City to see how they are going green. Like getting approved to live in an only-in-NYC co-op building, it ain’t easy.
Dwell dines at Founding Farmers, Washington DC’s only LEED Gold certified restaurant. The restaurant follows the popular farm-to-table concept and I can’t help but wonder if new DC resident/garden enthusiast Michelle Obama has been in for a nosh.
Inhabitat digs Brit designer Sarah Turner’s ReDesign lighting collection that makes creative reuse of old plastic beverage bottles.
The newly online-only Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Seattle voters will get to decide in August whether or not to enact a “green fee” for using paper and plastic bags at grocery stores.
GreenBiz gets sporty with the news that GE is planning on adding various green features to the London 2012 Olympic Village. Plans include rainwater harvesting systems, LED and solar lighting, and smart meters that will show the public in real-time how much energy different buildings are consuming.
Ecofriend takes a seat but doesn't buckle up in a new sustainable cardboard seating unit for the home — chair, ottoman, side table — from automaker Volvo. The design won first place in the "Volvo for Life Design Awards."
TreeHugger gives props to unusual furnishings designed by Brazil's 2Z Moveis. Included are chairs made from discarded skateboard decks, a table/bench made from old surfboards, and various furnishings crafted from sustainable and reclaimed wood.
Gawker tours Candy Spelling's 56,500 square-foot manor. The for-sale home was recently featudred on an episode 20/20. The widow of producer Aaron Spelling and estranged mother of actress Tori is moving to smaller digs: a 17,000 square-foot condo.