What happened next? The two decided to create a smartphone app called the “Carpooling Mate Finder”, aimed at helping people in their island community find someone to ride with based on common routes and schedules.

Other practical, sustainable solutions around transportation are spreading elsewhere, too.

In the US, the recession has demonstrated some “back to basics” lifestyles. The bicycle industry, for instance, saw sales increase up to 15 percent in 2010 from the previous year. And it's also helped to create new jobs. In the state of Massachusetts, a study shows that bicycle lanes created 46 percent more jobs than car-only road projects.

Meanwhile, in Europe, places like Copenhagen have developed into “cycling cities”. In our June newsletter, we highlighted Copenhagen's efforts via a CNN video, which captured the city's efficient biking system which supports more than half of the adult population who ride a bicycle to and from work (view Video: Copenhagenization' in the Danish Capital).

So what does this have to do with Bermuda? Our tiny Island is unique and not always in a position to adopt transportation methods that work in other countries due to our scope and size. However, Bermuda has been quick to adopt modern luxuries of a large city lifestyle that do not fit and are not sustainable with our environment and surroundings.

What is possible in Bermuda given our size and close proximity to one another is that we too can adopt a "back to basics" approach.

Instead of following models of bigger is better trucks, SUVs, widening of roads let's look at what would complement and sustain our unique heritage, which ultimately has made Bermuda a charming and distinct place to visit over the years.

Some ideas to look at:

  • Overhaul the current public transportation model create an efficient system so that people can rely on buses and ferries regularly
  • Encourage large companies in Hamilton to implement car-pooling systems and offer them incentives to do so
  • Provide auto dealers with incentives to supply electric vehicles and promote them to consumers
  • Increase tariffs on regular vehicles
  • Create bicycle lanes to support those who do or want to opt for this alternative mode of getting around (recent legislation allowing bigger trucks on the roads and a seemingly unenforced speed limit makes this option more and more daunting for the alternative commuter)
  • Install bicycle racks in Hamilton for commuters to park/secure their bicycle and also supply rented bicycles to those who do not own one (like cities such as Chicago, Zurich, Montreal)
  • Commit as a country and community to implement programmes to support more walking and cycling in our day-to-day activities consider what this would do not only for car-based CO2 emissions, but for our obesity/diabetes rates?

Innovation, creativity and an openness to considering what's possible and trying it is key to 'Changing the Mindset' here in Bermuda just like those two college students in Costa Rica and places like Massachusetts and Copenhagen are doing.

Click here to read original article.

About Greenrock

According to The Footprint Network, which measures the ability of the planet to produce resources and absorb waste, our resource use and waste production is 60% more than the earth can produce or absorb annually.

This overshoot is the result of decisions that we each make every day. We seek to generate debate and to influence people to change their behaviour.We strive to be catalysts: Success for us is when we can Change the Mindset so that sustainable use of resources is included in decision-making for individuals, government or businesses. ... read more

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