Now Playing Tracks

It reminds me of the “bike to work” movement. That is also portrayed as white, but in my city more than half of the people on bike are not white. I was once talking to a white activist who was photographing “bike commuters” and had only pictures of white people with the occasional “black professional” I asked her why she didn’t photograph the delivery people, construction workers etc. … ie. the black and Hispanic and Asian people… and she mumbled something about trying to “improve the image of biking” then admitted that she didn’t really see them as part of the “green movement” since they “probably have no choice” –

I was so mad I wanted to quit working on the project she and I were collaborating on.

So, in the same way when people in a poor neighborhood grow food in their yards … it’s just being poor– but when white people do it they are saving the earth or something.

comment left on the Racialious blog post “Sustainable Food & Privilege: Why is Green always White (and Male and Upper-Class)” (via sister-bell)

(Source: trilliswheatley)

good:

A Stronger Bike Helmet, Made of Cardboard and Inspired by a Woodpecker
Adele Peters wrote in HealthTechnology and Sustainability

When Anirudha Surabhi was a grad student at the Royal College of Art in London, he was in a bike accident. Even though it was a minor crash, and Surabhi was wearing an expensive helmet, the next day he learned that he had a concussion. He spent three days in the hospital. He wondered why the helmet hadn’t worked—and decided to explore the problem for his thesis project.

image

It turns out that bike helmets are not as safe as they’re portrayed to be. Over the last few decades, Surabhi says, some helmets have gotten more aerodynamic and better-looking, but they haven’t gotten any better at protecting us from injuries.

As he began working on his design, Surabhi looked at the anatomy of a woodpecker for inspiration. When a woodpecker slams its beak into the trunk of a tree, the impact is cushioned by a special micro-structure between the beak and head. By mirroring that structure—after testing 150 different materials—Surabhi was able to create a helmet that can withstand three times greater impact than a standard helmet. 

image

Special cardboard ribs inside the helmet are designed for flexibility. The cardboard itself has a honeycomb structure filled with air pockets to provide more cushioning. It’s stronger than a standard helmet liner, and lighter. 

It’s also greener than the ubiquitous polystyrene foam liners. Foam, unsurprisingly, is not great for the environment; the manufacturing process is a health hazard, and it also creates hazardous waste. It’s also more energy-intensive to produce than cardboard. Surabhi used 100 percent recycled cardboard, which he says takes no electricity to produce at all.

For the full design story, watch the video below. The helmet’s in production now, and Core77 reports that the first U.S. version of the helmet will be out next year through ABUS.

Watch video

Images courtesy of Anirudha Surabhi

… it’s not clear that the lack of a helmet should completely deter somebody from biking. “We want to increase people’s ability to get exercise and do things that are environmentally sound,” Fischer [an emergency room doctor at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston] says.

That dilemma is one reason mandatory-helmet laws are so rare. No state requires adults to wear them, and only 21 states require them for younger riders. In Washington, D.C., they’re required for anyone under 16. The argument goes that requiring a helmet doesn’t increase helmet usage so much as decrease bike riding. And studies have shown that the more bikers a city has, the safer biking in that city becomes.

To Tumblr, Love Pixel Union