Monday, November 05, 2007

Green of another Kind.

The New York Times has an article detailing how the city of Portland, Oregon pro-bicycle policies have ended up being pro-business as well. A bicycling workforce is good for employers too, since they tend to be healthier.

The gist of the article is that Portland's pro-bicycle infrastructure has created a mini eco-system of merchants and businesses that support bicyclists. Most of the businesses cited are niche players, focused on high-personalization and customization. Meaning that no one company takes it all (well Nike might be an exception). I dream of one day having a custom bicycle, one that fits my strange body dimensions.

In the Bay Area there are a few craft bicycle vendors including Rivendell Bicycles headed up by the retrogrouchy Grant Petersen in Walnut Creek.

Mass Production means creating a value chain far away from home, some communities such as Ithaca, NY have experimented with their own local currency such as Ithaca Hours. This close to home approach is often more green, meaning less pineapples from far away places. Somethings are unavoidably far like coffee, but you do what you can.

The notion that green cannot be green is one we need to change, and glad to see Portland is leading the way.


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