We’re about to leap into 2015, but not without looking back at how far (or not) we’ve come since Jan. 1. Whether it was consumers’ further embracing the need to reduce/reuse/and recycle or the popularity of Bike to Work Day this past May, Nutmeggers found it really is easy being greener.
Following are this examiner’s 5 fine ways Hartford got a little greener in 2014:
- Malloy won. There is not much else to say, other than if his competitor Tom Foley had won, environmental concerns in the state would take a backseat to big business. So cheers, a toast, and a sigh of relief as the governor moves forward on an array of green issues, from continuing to invest in clean water projects such as those that helped Long Island Sound to successfully fighting against building the Keystone XL pipeline, furthering conservation efforts in the state, and exploring wind energy.
- Hybrid-electric buses still rule. In 2012, the state introduced them in downtown Hartford and New Haven, and they are not only a huge help in moving people thoughout the cities, but the so-called “bendy buses” are not choking the environment with carbon-spewing pollution. The 60-foot articulated hybrid-electric buses cost $813,100 each, are 100 percent federally funded with dollars from Transportation Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction Grant, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Grant and Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Grant.
- The community became inspired. For example, at Hartford’s Recreate CT festival at Elizabeth Park in May, festgoers learned what to do with old records in their basements and piles of scrap wood in the backyard, moving far beyond recycling to upcycling this year. At the event, they learned about re-purposing, and using green materials to create art, jewelry and household items. The community expanded their green interests by visiting farmers’ markets, buying organic, and forgoing unhealthy habits such as smoking/smoking in public places.
- Yoga became the new happy hour. Whether you were taking a free class at the New Haven library or joining a workshop downtown in the Elm City or the capital, you were flocking to join yoga classes in the way you raced to the bars a decade ago. Some doctors advise patients with back problems to try yoga, and in cities such as San Francisco, yoga sessions are enhanced beautifully by performances from musicians such as dijeridoo players.
- Uber is super, including here in Connecticut. In a state where soccer moms love their SUVs, getting folks onboard this hot community-sharing ride trend was a real coup. Rather than taking the bus, those with a bit of discretionary income can go green in style. Take the lowest cost ride, UberX to Milford from Hartford, for example, and it will run you about $93 tonight. Rates fluctuate based on demand. Uber is a boon tonight, New Year’s Eve, and it will be interesting to see if its prevalence helps curb the rate of drunken driving. (Follow them on Twitter @Uber_Conn).
Here’s to a green and greener 2015!