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Commuter Challenge: Alternatives to Driving

May 29, 2015

Events for the Environment

The first week of June is full of events that remind us to respect the environment. It all starts off with Canadian Environment Week (May 31-June 6) and the week-long, Canada-wide, sustainable transportation competition called the Commuter Challenge. Also, World Environment Day takes place on June 5, which is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment.

RRC’s Past Success in the Commuter Challenge

Red River College has fared well in the Commuter Challenge in past years, and is currently seeking more registrants to go for gold. Suggested methods of transportation include: transit, carpooling, telecommuting, walking, and biking. Click here to sign up for the Commuter Challenge.

Read more about RRC’s success here: Commuter Challenge: Another RRC success story (June, 2014).

Selected Library Resources

Below are a selection of Library resources to get you in an environmentally friendly mood, that will make you realize the impact your driving has on the environment and develop awareness of sustainable fuel and car designs.

Carbon Nation (DVD)
Carbon nation

A documentary movie about climate change solutions. Even if you doubt the severity of the impact of climate change or just don’t buy it at all, this is still a compelling and relevant film that illustrates how solutions to climate change also address other social, economic and national security issues.




Algae: Fuel of the Future (streaming video)

Algae: fuel of the futureThis documentary reveals the global search underway to develop a renewable energy source from algae. The film explores the groundbreaking research being done by the National Research Council in Halifax, Nova Scotia and explains why algae fuel isn’t that far-fetched. It could be a commercially viable option since the crude oil we currently use was created by algae a few million years ago.

Towards Sustainable Road Transport (book)

Towards sustainable road transportIncreasing pressure on global reserves of petroleum at a time of growing demand for personal transport in developing countries, together with concerns over atmospheric pollution and carbon dioxide emissions, are leading to a requirement for more sustainable forms of road transport. Major improvements in the efficiency of all types of road vehicles are called for, along with the use of fuels derived from alternative sources, or entirely new fuels. Towards Sustainable Road Transport first describes the evolution of vehicle designs and propulsion technologies over the past two centuries, before looking forward to possible new forms of energy to substitute for petroleum. The book also discusses the political and socio-economic drivers for change,investigates barriers to their broad implementation, and outlines the state-of-the-art of candidate power sources, advanced vehicle design, and associated infrastructure. The comprehensive technical information supplied by an expert author team ensures that Towards Sustainable Road Transport will provide readers with a clear understanding of the ongoing progress in this field and the challenges still to be faced.

Two Billion Cars: Driving Toward Sustainability (e-book)

Two billion carsIn Two Billion Cars, transportation experts Daniel Sperling and Deborah Gordon provide a concise history of America’s love affair with cars and an overview of the global oil and auto industries. America is still the leading emissions culprit, and what is especially worrying is that developing nations are becoming car-centric cultures as well. The authors explain how we arrived in this dangerous state, and also what we can do about it. Sperling and Gordon expose the roots of the problem– the resistant auto-industry, dysfunctional oil markets, short-sighted government policies, and unmotivated consumers. They zero in on reforming our gas-guzzling culture, expanding the search for low-carbon fuels, environment-friendly innovations in transportation planning, and more.

Environment Equation (book)

The environment equationAmericans currently make up 5% of the world’s population, yet create 50% of the world’s waste. But what if there were a way that we could eliminate some of that waste, and the other harmful effects we have on the environment? There is. This full color guide uses pluses and minuses to calculate the damage we do when we make poor choices – and the good we do when we make green choices. You will add and subtract from the size of your carbon footprint, measured in pounds of carbon dioxide. This is a green manifesto that anyone can live by. Delivered in a fun, readable way, it’s perfect for those who care about issues such as global warming, pollution, and sustainability. After adding and subtracting your way through the book, you will be inspired to live green every day in every way.

Bike to Work Guide: Save Gas, Go Green, Get Fit (e-book)

Bike to work guideBiking to work can save someone loads of money and lots of calories–all the while, the earth, too. But bike-commuting isn’t always easy–there are many things a rider needs to know to get to work on time, safely, and happily. Expert bikers Roni Sarig and Paul Dorn teach potential bikers the tips and tricks to traveling to and from work. From buying the right bike, to fueling the body, to road safety, this all-inclusive primer will get bikers on the road in no time. Whether someone is buying a first bike or is a bicycle enthusiast, this book will teach how to: buy the right equipment; pick a route; weather-proof the ride; maintain the bike; follow traffic laws and ride safely; and enjoy the experience! Like a roadmap for the future, this guide teaches bikers how to make a difference in their bodies, wallets, and communities–and get to work–today.

Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change (e-book)

Cartoon introduction to climate changeClimate change is no laughing matter, but maybe it should be. The topic is so critical that everyone, from students to policy-makers to voters, need a quick and easy guide to the basics. The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change entertains as it educates, delivering a unique and enjoyable presentation of mind-blowing facts and critical concepts.
“Stand-up economist” Yoram Bauman and award-winning illustrator Grady Klein have created the funniest overview of climate science, predictions, and policy that you will ever read. You will giggle, but you will ll also learn about everything from Milankovitch cycles to carbon taxes.

e² transport (DVD)

e2 transportThis series examines sustainable transportation alternatives with potentially far-reaching effects. Explores real solutions to pressing environmental and social challenges, presented with a combination of storytelling, cinematography and an original music score. Narrated by Brad Pitt. Includes six episodes: 1. London: the price of traffic; 2. Paris: vélo liberté; 3. Food miles; 4. Seoul: the stream of consciousness; 5. Portland: a sense of place; 6. Aviation: the limited sky.