Green Campus Project Wants Your Vote

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Have you ever had a dream about a great project that would benefit humanity? Maybe it was little more than an idea. Or maybe you actually got to the stage where you had it all planned out and ready to go, but the funding just wasn’t there.

That’s where Marty Leenhouts finds himself today. He has an idea about a Green Campus Project that will benefit college and university students, reduce emissions and traffic congestion, and make the world a little greener. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the funds to make his vision a reality.

But PepsiCo does. And Pepsi has invited people with vision to submit their own project ideas to the Pepsi Refresh Project, to compete for some pretty hefty cash prizes each month. Here’s the story of one of those projects, in the Planet category. As visionary Marty Leenhouts says, “The fulfillment of the Green Campus project will only happen with the winning of the contest.”

Blue Planet Green Living (BPGL) asked Leenhouts to tell us about his vision and what he hopes to accomplish with the Green Campus Project….

LEENHOUTS: I’m an educator by heart and by trade for many years, and so my interest has been with students for a long time. My involvement with electric transportation began with an interest in doing something good for the environment. I started it when gas was over $3 a gallon — about a year and a half ago.

People needed a different way to get around that was economical, clean, quiet, easy to ride. Nothing deluxe. Just to get from point A to point B. That got me involved in electric transportation….

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IC Ecocabs — These Ecopreneurs Are on a Roll

October 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Bicycle, Blog, Ecopreneurs, Front Page, Iowa, Slideshow, Youth

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Imagine that you’re a student at the University of Iowa, living not too far from campus. Running late, you find yourself in need of getting to downtown Iowa City in a hurry. Maybe you have a date, and it’s the first date. Or maybe it’s that last class of the day — the only class of the entire week that takes place at night. Regardless, you need to get moving. What are your options?

Driving? That takes too much effort. Walking? You surely won’t get there soon enough. Calling a taxi? After the wait and the expense, that’s completely out of the question. So what are you to do?

Call my friends, Vik and Veena Patel, who operate a pedi-cab service. They’ll pick you up and quickly get you where you need to go — all at no cost to the environment. …

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Chicago Hosts First Annual Carbon Day Festival

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Chicago-area environmentalists gathered in Lincoln Park on September 15 to celebrate Carbon Day, which the Illinois state legislature designated as an official state holiday earlier this year, as reported on Blue Planet Green Living. The festival was ideally sited amid a beautiful stand of shade trees and conifers adjacent to Lincoln Park’s Farm in the Zoo. The event featured demonstrations, educational booths, speeches, and activist organizations. In addition, visitors learned about sponsoring companies and area businesses committed to the goal of reducing the national carbon footprint and making a positive impact on the environment…

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Join the Fun – Help Plan Chorlton’s 2010 Big Green Festival

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The wheels are in motion once again for the second Chorlton’s Big Green Festival, which will take place on Sat 27 March 2010.

Nobody could have predicted the success of April’s festival, which brought in more than 1,500 festival goers, and saw the likes of a bicycle parade around Chorlton, wheelie bin displays, a solar/wind powered sound system, swap shops and a foot stomping ceilidh, as well as guest speakers, eco workshops and live entertainment…

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Spinning Tires – Biking Out of Town

July 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Bicycle, Blog, Events, Front Page, Iowa, Travel

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A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, usually. Sometimes it begins with a stroke of a pedal. My ambition was not to reach nirvana, so it may be more appropriate to change the adage to something like, “A trip of 65 miles begins with a stroke of a pedal.” It was early June, and I had a three-day break from work. This was still the season when the days get longer, the nights are chilly, not cool, and storms are more prevalent than afternoons at the beach. The perfect time for vacation. A much needed one, at that. Work was beginning to wear on me, and my routine wasn’t allowing the peaceful thinking that helps me enjoy going to sleep and look forward to waking up.

A vacation doesn’t need to be a faraway place. Thoreau and Emerson both thought one should only travel as far as his own means could take him. In this way, he stays connected to himself. With my shoes in the straps of my newly purchased bicycle pedals and my tires on the pavement, I looked forward to a long and adventurous day, one that I had been preparing for by bicycling a few hours every week in the largest hills the region has to offer. The air was clean, the sun was shining, the wind like a scarf wrapped around my neck. We began, my two friends — Joe Scott and Colin Kraemer — and I on a trip from Iowa City to Fairfield…

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Green Living on Wheels – Take a Spin at a Bike Library

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Joe’s post last week about riding a bicycle reminded me that I’m a bike-riding wannabe. I look with envy at friends, who ride with ease down our city streets, then cruise 50 miles down country roads in a single day. I’m awed by people my age — and older — who train for and ride in RAGBRAI (Register and Gazette Bike Ride Across Iowa), the annual bike trek across our state. While a trans-Iowa ride is not on my list of things to do before I die, I hear it’s a lot of fun. But that’s not what I dream of.
All I want is to cruise downtown to the library, ride to my local coffee shop, or zip over to a friend’s house like I did when I was a kid. (My office is a 20 step commute from my bedroom, so biking to work is out.) So what’s stopping me? I don’t have a bike.

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The Green Commute — Bike to Work

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It’s a beautiful spring day. What shall I do to save the planet from self–destruction today? My superhero suit is at the cleaners, so maybe I’ll just ride my bike to work. Hey, let’s bike together!

What do you mean, “Why bike?” I can answer that: It saves gas, reduces my carbon footprint, and doesn’t pollute. It builds muscle and controls weight. (Hey, check out these glutes—you can’t get those sitting in a bucket seat.) It’s even good for my heart. What’s not to like?

Oh, I see. You’re one of those people who has to find something to complain about. Have at it. Nothing you can say will phase me. You’re not talking to just anyone, you know; I’m the Green Commuter!

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