Posts Tagged ‘human habits’

A Heart That Beats for Daily Commuters!

Tomorrow Thursday February 14th on Valentine’s Day, the Commute Greener team will meet daily commuters in Gothenburg to spread love for the city, nature and for our planet. You can find more information about the event here.

We would like to encourage commuters to change their habits to more environmental friendly ones and influence them to start using the Commute Greener Facebook app. An app designed to give you alternative ways of commuting, you receive benefits, and it allows you to connect, compare and share your progress with friends and family.

In the app you collect points and get rewarded each time you change your travel habits for more sustainable ones. Points can be redeemed into various offers and prizes from companies and organizations that Commute Greener collaborate with, these include but are not limited to mat.se, WWF and Volvo Group. Why not join a challenge and try it out – it’s easy quick and fun!

The application is free and can be downloaded from Apple Store for iPhones and Google play for Androids G. It’s also available on facebook Appcenter.

We wish a Happy Valentine!

Commute Greener team

Share

Carpe Diem and Commute Greener!

People use to say I am impulsive, sometimes it’s good but maybe not always…but today I took the opportunity to grab my bike when I recognize that it was such a wonderful winter day, clear, sunny, just a slight wind. I had no, absolutely no excuses to not ride my bike to work this morning! So after some struggling to find all equipment, again… also lights, since the days are getting shorter here in the north (at first I find three lights for the front and not any to the rear…. ). And I got rewarded immediately, such a great ride, wow!

Nice bike ride Nov 15th

And using Commute Greener Facebook app also gives you points and badges and other real life benefits! Do you now that? If not, try it out, or contact me at support.commutegreener@volvo.com and I will be more than happy to introduce you.

And do you know more? The more I ride my bike the more turns I can do on my skis this winter, and that motivates me! And I also have a goal, in August 2013….. What motivates you? Do you have goals that motivate you to take the bike also during winter?? Get the app, make an improvement and post a comment on our Facebook page what’s motivating you and you may be the winner of a Commute Greener bicycle kit, useful during winter or just when it, dark, wet and cold…

Enjoy life and Carpe Diem!
/Karin

Share

It’s the full experience that matters

A posting from guest blogger Frances Sprei, PhD, Stanford University 

I keep having my love-hate affair with public transport in the Bay area. The love part is primarily a love to public transport that doesn’t let me give up on it despite my misfortunes. And just to be fair, some misfortunes are due to my poor planning. As today when I just missed the train because I didn’t have time to buy the ticket. Had I left home 5 minutes earlier I would have been on my way to the city and not sitting in the sun writing, anyway, I finally got a Clipper* card – which you can’t buy at the Caltrain** stations (why make it simple?) but luckily Wahlgrens wasn’t too far away. So let’s see if this helps smoothen my trips from now on.
But what I really wanted to get to was how the design of different trains or vehicles and the stations contribute to the commuting experience. I realized that I have a certain aversion to the BART***, which has lead me to try to minimize the length of trip on BART, sometimes to the prize of increasing my total travel time. So what is wrong with the BART? Well, first of all I must say nothing if you are just traveling a short trip, say max 20 min. But to get, e.g., to the East Bay from Menlo Park in the Peninsula I have to be on it for over 1 hour and I just don’t like that. There are no express options, so no matter where or when you are going you are forced to all those stops. There is this on and off running and you are not sealed from it in any way. On the Caltrain you can often choose to sit up high and create your own bubble, and I love that. I love being in motion in my own world, and it’s just harder for me to get that feeling in the BART.

Public Passenger in harmony

Then there is Millbrae station, ahhh, just the thought of it… This barren place with no esthetic charm, no place to wait in shelter, no cafe, nothing appealing. Still it’s the only connection place between the BART and Caltrain, so people really easily get stranded here. So what about engaging a designer when planning a public transport system? I believe the whole experience of commuting and going on public transport should be taken into consideration, not just time and costs, of course I acknowledge that these are important – but maybe not sufficient. The idea is to start thinking of how the experience can be made more pleasant for the customers. Other businesses think this way, why shouldn’t public transport? So starting here: What is important for you when you travel on public transport? What would enhance your experience?

Frances Sprei

* A card that you can fill up with money and that you can use on all the different systems in the Bay Area – the only way you can pay for a the whole trip simply, otherwise you have to get a new ticket each time you transfer to another operator
** Caltrain is a commuter train that runs in Silicon Valley between San Jose and San Francisco.3
*** BART – Bay Area Rapid Transfer, Something between subway and commuter train that supposedly connects the whole Bay Area.

 

Share

respectful rolemodels

To take steps on the way towards sustainable transport solutions I relate with respect to grate role models. My blog post today will be extra personal at the same time as moving like a copycat relating to three ways:  a trip to a guiding light in bright nature;  a background journey origin in my magic motherhood (yes today is Mothers Day in Sweden);  a future road including the successful sister of adventure to re-energise efforts for sustainable progress.

The copycat is in the text below trying to make a magic Swedish text into something that can be read as simply English – a challenge per say. ( are what respectful role models take on – I hope to endure, like they are <3 )

Last weekend the target was set to Pater Noster as part of a birthday celebration. Already at the start did signs of marvel and magic appear. What a wonderful world could be heard at the arrival on the central station and was followed by a tram trip in a beautiful sun set. Morning after begun with a ride share impacting the environment with 107 g/km (divided by 4 multiplied with 42 as the answer to everything).

Then came the RIB trip out to the charming little lighthouse just north of Marstrand om the Swedish west coast. Pater Noster, in the respectful role model as lighthouse, is 144 years old and has at least as many stories to tell in its natural setting. We checked in to be lighthouse keepers, to take part of background journeys and enjoy the present by the sea. Sharing experiences with a taste of salt and setting sails in the wind. Non of this would have happened without my magic mother. Today is just another ordinary day while I am extra grateful for the opportunity to have climbed the houndredthirtysomething steps up to the top of Pater Noster. As well as seeing the eternity into the maze of the surrounding archipelago from the top, take on oysters, bubbles and bath tub. To search and find treasures of nature dating back to lava flows and ice age. We encountered seals sunbathing, the fin of porpoises breaking the waves and birds nesting in every crevice.

Copykitten of this text has an origin, with modifications without getting lost in translation, in the objective to cherish Mothers Day. My mother is also a blogger (more than one post makes a blogger). My mother is true inspiration and a respectful role model. Age is just a state of mind and I so happy for the youth in her soul and sharpness in mind.

Curious and eager for quality of life, with the smile that create happiness. The Swedish text and for so much of future progress comes from my sisters. All love to all you great people and please continue to Commute Greener!

/magnus

Share

Finally I met our blogger Ruth and I am touched!

I know that many of you reading and appreciating Ruth Anianssons blog posts, and me too. Ruth is living in Copenhagen, Denmark, and except blogging for us Ruth also works as journalist, stage poet and conferencier.

This Saturday Ruth was engaged in the inauguration of the exhibition “Make a difference” (in Swedish) at the Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg, Sweden. Ruth did a stage poetry about being an observer. Thank you Ruth for your great performance and finally I also met you!

Main focus in this exhibition is the role of the observer, and the consequences and responsibility for taking no-actions, with examples from the history but also from today’s violence. And I will say also relevant in our decisions about taking actions or no-actions to contribute to sustainable environment, or?

Yesterday I took the bike to work, again, my bike was not in good shape, rusty after the winter…but yes I did it, I made a difference, I was not an observer, I was taking an action. Why? Because I was touched, thank you Ruth!

(By the way, Dadongwo is the Chinese expression of “I am touched” and also the name of our coming Facebook app, included in the Commute Greener concept, that soon will be released. The purpose with the app is to have fun, get touched and motivate you take actions to commute smarter in your daily life. )

Commute Greener!

/Karin

Share

How to start a movement!

A posting from guest blogger Jessica Gold, Sustainergies

It takes courage to question and challenge existing systems and behaviors. To start a movement requires leadership, guts and the right people. Luckily some forerunners have the courage to become first leaders; they stand up to spread their ideas. Some people have the ability to recognize and willingness to join great ideas. Derek Sivers shows in his TED-speech a wonderful example of how a movement can be started.



For change to happen there is a need for someone to start the movement process, likewise followers are always needed. This is very true for the travelling choices we make. If individuals, both leaders and followers, work together, we can establish a sustainable way of travelling.

Jessica Gold

Share

What motivates us?

What drives us in life – really?

Enjoy this interesting video from RSA, The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce, an enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges, based in London:

 

Share

Biking in end of November could be – wow!

End of November in Gothenburg, Sweden, is not always perfect for biking. But Magnus blog post the other day, reminds me that it could be very nice biking also during winter!  What happened with my bike commuting?? It started out so good after the vacation, but then more than a month past by…  It is so easy to take the car due to not so good public transportations where I live, the family logistics, etc etc. End of excuses, never too late to go for a bike ride! So yesterday I joined my diligent bike friends for a magic MTB trip in the North Mountain, Ljungkile. Wonderful surroundings with a lot of lakes, ruins from the 1600-century farms, and really nice and sunny weather, wow! But after a 2,5 hours on wet roots and a very very moddy track, it also reminds me that condition is a “fresh commodity” and the ski-season is coming closer…this inspired me to take the bike to work again, thanks Anders, Fredrik and Ulf for a fantastic ride!

And I could also log a Zero CO2 activity to my current week, which will gain me another green heart!  Find out more and learn about the solution here and log in  to Commute Greener and get going you too. Feel free to contact me regarding your efforts and experiences on commutegreener@volvo.com or  facebook  or via this blog below.

Commute Greener!

/Karin

Share

Be positive, enjoy weekend and go by…

Hope you are having a great weekend, maybe you did some parkour?
On youtube I enjoyed above with reference to VANOC Sustainability National Video Contest and to Recycle. Which favorites do you have on youtube or other sources?

Final countdown, the song by Europe can be heard together with some extreme skiing compilation as another way going through nature. It is essential to care for the environment at the same time as there are many ways to go around…

Going around is a common activity in cities, this one is presented as the best trial biker of the world while being accompanied by music that seems to sing ‘only to show you are wrong’. I rather think there are many ways to be right…

Skateboarding often shows that ‘balance is movement’ and I got this through a very positive ski instructor. Her hat also had a funny, and serious message: ‘Drop cliffs, not bombs’. There are ways to go up on a mountain and then almost flying like a missile:

The Wingsuit proximity flying shows adrenaline in a need for speed.

Bockers are not making you that fast but still giving a thrill, as you may have seen already last weekend. The trick made by Welsh Bockers and Jurassic Jumpers while Powerbocking are certainly more exciting. Way to go, way to go…

Freeride in the nature accompanied by a lyrics to Wake up!

Last Paradise is the youtube description of above. Let’s make sure we change many of the current behaviors so that we rather help to create more paradise feelings by also including innovation perspectives. A new week soon begins, please take action, go by better means of transit and Commute Greener!
/magnus

Share

Telecommuting, part 3

Winter is a wonderful season. The snowy landscape looks wonderful, the kids loves playing in the snow, and you can do various activities not available in other seasons. But winter weather can make the commute an annoyance. So why not try some telecommuting? A two minutes commute (from bed to the desk) sure beats struggling through snow and rain to get to work.

A telecommute is a nice way to save some money, time and CO2. Talk about gathering Zero emission kilometres. But not every supervisor want their employees to work from home. It can be a matter of trust, a matter of control or just a matter of wanting to be able to see the employee. Or some other reason. So how to get the your boss to agree on a telecommute? Well, there are many ways, like this article describes. Some of the arguments are better then others, and some may not work on every workplace, but it sure is a good way to start. Well worth a look.

A telecommute can really be a good thing. There are so many good points in telecommuting, for the environment, for the health situation AND for the greens (ie.$), both the companies and the environments. Reducing stress gained from the commute, and being able to work in peace and quiet in the comfort of ones own home is very nice. In our modern information society were everyone has the means to communicate by voice, text or video, not being able to keep in touch with your co-workers is not really an issue. Security might be an issue though, as a private computer on an unsecured connection is easier to attack then a computer on a big company. But there are secure workarounds for that too today. In other words, why not try it out.

In an environmental perspective, telecommuting is great. Radiators and electricity is running at home whether you are there or at work, and you save in on CO2 and other pollutants from driving. Not only that, but there is also the matter of traffic congestion, less exposure to particles and noise. From a health perspective, less noise, particles, stress and a more comfortable environment of ones home may even lead to less sick days due to health issues.

Do a youtube search on telecommuting… You will be amazed with how many videos of happy home-workers there are out there. One of the funnier features a cat with a fondness of sleeping on the keybord. Small things like that can make it fun to work, or should I say more fun then usual, and burn of some stress without affecting the daily productivity.

So, for the environment, your health and your wallet, try it out or at least suggest it to your superiors. Maybe once or twice a week. See if it works, and be flexible. And if that doesn’t work, be sure to commute greener.

/

Fredrik

Share