News Low Carbon Diet

Lou

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I'll post the link to the article at the bottom but here are a couple of my favorite quotes

The American Psychological Association has even coined a term for the feelings of “loss, helplessness, and frustration” people experience in response to the catastrophe: Ecoanxiety. But there is one way that we can actually make a big positive impact, and it’s actually very simple. We can stop eating so much meat.​
In his 2019 book We Are The Weather: Saving The Planet Begins At Breakfast, Jonathan Safran Foer argues that eating a plant-based diet is “one of the four highest-impact things an individual can do to tackle climate change.” The three others are avoiding air travel, not owning a car, and having fewer children; so diet may be the simplest adjustment an individual can make​
“Everybody has not only an opportunity, but also a responsibility to reduce their carbon footprint. And three times a day, you can make an impact, just by choosing one food versus another.”​

 

Emma JC

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I'll post the link to the article at the bottom but here are a couple of my favorite quotes

The American Psychological Association has even coined a term for the feelings of “loss, helplessness, and frustration” people experience in response to the catastrophe: Ecoanxiety. But there is one way that we can actually make a big positive impact, and it’s actually very simple. We can stop eating so much meat.​
In his 2019 book We Are The Weather: Saving The Planet Begins At Breakfast, Jonathan Safran Foer argues that eating a plant-based diet is “one of the four highest-impact things an individual can do to tackle climate change.” The three others are avoiding air travel, not owning a car, and having fewer children; so diet may be the simplest adjustment an individual can make​
“Everybody has not only an opportunity, but also a responsibility to reduce their carbon footprint. And three times a day, you can make an impact, just by choosing one food versus another.”​


I had the book from the library and didn't get a chance to read more than the first chapter so had to take it back and now have it on order again.

Emma JC
 

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@Emma You always seem so uplifting in your messages.

"not owning a car"

- I am all for not owning a car. But, my family would kill me. My wife would probably worry that we look like a homeless family. Please share any convincing arguments for getting rid of the car.
 

Emma JC

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@Emma You always seem so uplifting in your messages.

"not owning a car"

- I am all for not owning a car. But, my family would kill me. My wife would probably worry that we look like a homeless family. Please share any convincing arguments for getting rid of the car.

well, I can only say that in August of 2018 we did our bit by getting rid of 3 vehicles and going down to one vehicle

I don't ever wish to be without a car, it is wired into my DNA as I was almost raised in a car dealership - the smell of exhaust smells like home.

I am open to an electric vehicle at some point, not right now as I live in a complex with underground parking and no place to plug in.

The only argument I would have for getting rid of it is if you live in a large city with good public transit.

Emma JC
ty @wonderfularizona
 

PTree15

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Totally. Some places were just not designed from the very beginning to be public-transportation friendly. California is one of those places, sadly.
It is sad. If public transportation were better in my area, I would happily ditch my car. I tried to calculate taking the bus to my old job (I got laid off). The drive was usually 40 minutes, most of it highway. By bus, it would have taken more than 3 1/2 hours. Not really practical. What I have tried to do is walk when I can and reduce my trips with better planning of errands.

I am trying to eat more locally as well, though that isn't always possible. Next year, I will do a better job of canning vegetables and such so that I can avoid buying produce that isn't grown locally. Imagine the change if millions of people actually tried at least one of these things to reduce their carbon footprint. That could seriously make a difference.
 
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David3

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It's OK to own a car - driving the car is what generates the greenhouse gases.

Riding a bicycle can be as "classy" as you want it to be. Some of the high-end electric bicycles can cost several thousand dollars.

If you equip an electric bicycle with grocery bag panniers, lights, higher handlebars, and a comfortable seat, you've got a practical, super-green vehicle that doesn't even require a driver's license or insurance. They only use a tiny amount of electricity, too - perhaps 1 cent per mile. Just be sure to buy an electric bicycle from an actual (brick-and-mortar) bicycle shop. If you buy an e-bike from the internet, hobby store, toy store, or electronics shop, these types of stores aren't equipped to repair/maintain the bike.

1580356569130.png


On some of the newer electric bicycles, the battery and motor are so compact that it just looks like a normal bicycle:

1580357270031.png
 
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I think I will go with a red wagon one these days. I am not sure if my wife would fit inside. But, it would be worth a try.
Wagon.JPG
 

Andy_T

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Those in the US, do have a look at the awesome products made by the company called Juiced Bikes.


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If those are legal in your area, they would be an awesome alternative with a speed of up to 28 mph.

Living in Europe, we are limited to 25 kph (16 mph) electric bicycles which you can use on bicycle paths or 45 kph (28 mph) "speed-pedelecs", which are, however, quite expensive (typically upwards of 3,500 EUR) and you are only allowed to ride them on the roads, not on the bicycle path where you are safe from cars.

So that's what I got, two used 25 kph "pedelec" type bicycles for my wife and myself, which we have been using instead of the car to commute to the office every day (10 miles single distance) since last summer.
 

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I do all my commuting and grocery hauling on a bike, and I work at a bike shop selling and repairing all kinds of bikes including e-bikes.

@David3's advice to buy from an actual store is sound. If you buy a bike online you'll either have to pay a bike shop to put it together (and they'll likely charge extra because e-bikes are more work to build and you didn't buy the bike from them) or you could put it together yourself. It's really not that hard but it will take a lot of time if you haven't done it before and don't have a bicycle workstand, plus new bikes almost always need their wheels trued and brakes adjusted. I can't tell you how many times I've seen bikes put together wrong.

Another reason to avoid internet e-bikes is because most of them are junk. Low-quality everything that even with the right tools and experience can't be properly tuned. If you experience a malfunction in the computer/sensors/motor on some off-brand system there's not much you or a bike shop can do besides clean the connections and cross your fingers. If it's a bike I've sold I can run diagnostics, update the firmware, and have access to replacement parts.

If you're interested in buying a bike for grocery hauling, as opposed to purely recreational riding, get one with a standard double diamond frame design. Step thru frames generally sacrifice handling for comfort and can wiggle around like a wet noodle when loaded down. If you're riding in traffic you need to prioritize handling - even more so if you're riding on the sidewalk where "traffic" is super unpredictable and you'll be dodging fire hydrants, opening doors, clueless people and their dogs etc (honestly, bikes don't belong on the sidewalk). Those cruiser style bikes which put you in an upright body position are the worst for handling, accelerate poorly - even with a motor it makes a difference - and make it harder to look over your shoulder for oncoming traffic. Avoid anything with rear suspension. Front suspension is totally unnecessary but not a deal breaker...just make sure it's an air spring instead of coil, you can add more air to compensate for the added weight of groceries but a coil's spring rate is fixed. Tires wider than 2.2" are pointless, skinnier than 38mm will be a harsh ride and more likely to pinch flat. Wheels need to have double-wall rims, no fewer than 28 spokes. Disc brakes...any e-bike with rim brakes is probably a death trap.

You'll want a high-quality rear rack...no matter how stiff your frame is, if the thing your groceries are attached too is wobbly your whole bike will wobble in response. Avoid bags/panniers that rely on "soft" connections like velcro straps. Pack your heavy stuff down low, towards the front, and inboard.

Okay I could go on all day but point is if you buy an e-bike for utility riding make sure it's decent quality, with the necessary design and features, from a local retailer who can help with any issues. There's a lot of junk e-bikes out there so beware. Of course if you have the fitness the same money will buy you a much better non-motorized bike, in which case any mid-level touring bike will be pretty ideal.
 

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It's OK to own a car - driving the car is what generates the greenhouse gases.

Riding a bicycle can be as "classy" as you want it to be. Some of the high-end electric bicycles can cost several thousand dollars.

If you equip an electric bicycle with grocery bag panniers, lights, higher handlebars, and a comfortable seat, you've got a practical, super-green vehicle that doesn't even require a driver's license or insurance. They only use a tiny amount of electricity, too - perhaps 1 cent per mile. Just be sure to buy an electric bicycle from an actual (brick-and-mortar) bicycle shop. If you buy an e-bike from the internet, hobby store, toy store, or electronics shop, these types of stores aren't equipped to repair/maintain the bike.

View attachment 1470


On some of the newer electric bicycles, the battery and motor are so compact that it just looks like a normal bicycle:

View attachment 1472
I love this idea, but I am not confident that it would safe, given the way people in the U.S. drive, plus distracted driving. Many roads also don't have dedicated bike lanes or even a breakdown lane to cycle in. The U.S. sucks in this regard. Everybody is car-happy!
 

David3

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I love this idea, but I am not confident that it would safe, given the way people in the U.S. drive, plus distracted driving. Many roads also don't have dedicated bike lanes or even a breakdown lane to cycle in. The U.S. sucks in this regard. Everybody is car-happy!

Definitely, riding a bicycle is more dangerous than driving a car. Bicycles lack seat belts, impact-protective crumple zones, and air bags. On the other hand, bicycling regularly will improve your health, which can lengthen your life.

I commuted by bicycle for 6 years, and I never had a collision with a vehicle or pedestrian (though I did crash into the pavement a couple of times).

I avoided accidents by doing like this guy. I wore the brightly-colored vest during the daytime, too.

1580439264431.png


Now they even have bicycle spoke lights that show patterns and cartoons as the wheels spin. There are several different brands - with some, you can upload your own video. They do add weight to the bicycle, though, and make it harder to accelerate.

 
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Andy_T

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Another reason to avoid internet e-bikes is because most of them are junk. Low-quality everything that even with the right tools and experience can't be properly tuned. If you experience a malfunction in the computer/sensors/motor on some off-brand system there's not much you or a bike shop can do besides clean the connections and cross your fingers. If it's a bike I've sold I can run diagnostics, update the firmware, and have access to replacement parts.

Sax, do you have any suggestions for decent quality brands of electric bikes in the US you can suggest?
 
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Sax

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Sax, do you have any suggestions for decent quality brands of electric bikes in the US you can suggest?

I'd see what brands are carried by your local bike shops (LBS) and let that guide your decision. As opposed to a general sports or hunting supply store an LBS will only carry reputable brands. They will usually negotiate on price as well, talk to the manger if you need to but if they really want to make the sale you should be able to get roughly 10% off.

Of the bikes I sell the Trek Verve+ 2 would be the best option. If I could have any ebike for grocery hauling I'd get the Surly Big Easy.
 

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Thanks, those look very nice.

The Verve+2 looks nearly identical to the German bike I am currently riding, similar Bosch and Shimano components, very similar style but one generation back.
The Surly Big Easy looks huuuuuge, don't know if that would not be overkill for all the days when you are not hauling groceries, or moving your apartment.
 
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Please share any convincing arguments for getting rid of the car.
Nobody would mistake you for a homeless person. In fact, most people I know do not own a car. It's easy, anyone can do it!

First, you get a job at a hedge fund or an investment bank. Alternatively, you can start a company and sell it to Google. Then you buy an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan (West Side, around the Lincoln Center is nice too, if you're into culture). This way you can take the subway to work and rent a car for an occasional ski trip.

PS. As an added bonus, once you are loaded nobody cares if you are vegan. Even if they do, you probably will not care what they think :)
 

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I would not give up the car unless you live in an urban area with everything you need right nearby or easy to get to by public transit.

However, I highly recommend reducing your use of a car or moving to a place where you don't need it, then getting rid of it.

Benefits:

Save money! In addition to the obvious, cars come with a lot of hidden costs. These include parking tickets, maintenance, potential rises in insurance costs if you're in an accident (could happen to anyone), and the health costs of being more sedentery.

Less stress! I know driving feels relaxing, but take a week off from it and tell me how you feel. My stress levels are lower when I'm not driving regularly.

Connection to where you are. Driving is a bit like watching television. It can make you feel detached from your surroundings and drawn into the reality you create in your car. If you ride the bus and walk, you'll feel more in touch with your actual community and that dose of reality can be helpful.

Your own health. Breathing in car exhaust is unhealthy. Car maintenance can be unhealthy too. Ditch the gasoline, motor oil, all of that. You're better off never coming into contact with that stuff.

And all of the obvious environmental reasons.

It'll simplify your life and finances, leaving you more energy (and money) for other things.