Micro Farms, Wooden Neighborhoods and Cargo Bikes – New Ideas in Eco Living

Faelledby – A Car Free Danish Neighborhood

Just outside of the city center in Copenhagen a development is planned that will create 2,000 homes in a new environmentally friendly neighborhood made entirely of timber.  With an expected 7,000 residents it has been designed to show how people can live alongside nature, even in a city, and with people emphasized over cars.

Building and construction account for 40% of global carbon emissions, but replacing steel and concrete with timber can flip that on its head, as one ton of carbon is stored in a single cubic meter of wood.  In addition, about 40% of the forty-five acre site will be left undeveloped to preserve biodiversity, and the overall design of the three “islands” will be linked by footpaths to foster a walkable community.

The architect is hoping the project can serve as a template for future communities around the globe.  You can read the full article on Fast Company here.  I fell in love with the city of Copenhagen when I visited back in 2019 so this provides yet one more reason to make a return trip to see the progress on this and some of the other innovative developments that are in the works.  It’s a toss up to where I would rather live next, Copenhagen or Edinburgh, but I am hoping at some point to make that a reality.

Turning Your Front Yard Into a Micro Farm

Crop Swap, a start up in Los Angeles, wants to use your front yard to grow vegetables for their product – swapping program.  The extra bonus – you get a share of the revenue.

The typical front lawn in South Los Angeles can be transformed into a farm growing enough produce (think kale, tomatoes and other veggies) to feed 50 families in the neighborhood each week.  The farms/gardens are actually maintained by Crop Swap, as the homeowners just provide the land, but the homeowner does get both a share of the vegetable bounty plus a cut of the financial proceeds.  Plus, these micro farms can be set up quickly and sustainably in areas that are currently designated as food deserts.

They use a variety of innovative, but proven, techniques to maximize yield and a water recycling system that allows them to use only 8% of the water that would be needed to grow and maintain a lawn.  This type of program could be expanded to backyard spaces, and could eventually incorporate egg and honey production.

You can read the full Fast Company article here.  This seems like such an elegant solution to providing good, healthy food to neighborhoods, and has the added side effect of reminding us how food is actually grown and produced.

Slashing E-Commerce Emissions in Seattle

If there is a city synonymous with e-commerce, it has to be Seattle so it’s not surprising that a delivery lab of sorts has been formed by the city.  “The last mile” of delivery is viewed as the easiest target for emissions reduction or elimination in the rapidly growing e-commerce economy.  The city of Seattle has designed a “micro-hub” that will be home to cargo bikes, electric vehicles and food trucks – all to drive a shift to a neighborhood-scale delivery method.

It is not a model in and of itself, but has been designed to facilitate and support the ability of various partners to test, revise, refine and improve their delivery methods.  Realizing that shoppers’ appetites for online shopping is not going to abate, the opportunity exists to use land and resources differently to help create delivery systems that are compatible with how we want our communities to look and operate.  At this point the micro-hub is an interesting amalgam of existing solutions like pick-up lockers, electric cargo bikes and even some deliveries made on foot, but who knows where the experiments will eventually lead.

I highly recommend reading the full article here.

Those were some of the interesting things I have come across recently in terms of eco-living and I hope you found them as interesting and educational as I did.

The Free Range Viking

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