Attempting to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle in St. Louis

Environmentally friendly decisions are tough

Really impressed by Portland (and Oregon) July 9, 2009

Filed under: General Green 2.0,Live Green 2.0,Transportation — budint @ 4:24 am

I must say that I’ve never liked a city as much as I liked Portland.  It really felt like a place that i could live, granted I wasn’t there for 6 cloudy/rainy months either.  The ethos of the city though is very much in line w/ mine.   The bike cultural, the voluntary adoption of mass transit, the sustainable building practices, the artisan like community, the hybrid cars out the ying/yang, the dual flush toilets in many of the commercial buildings, the urban growth boundary, locally sourced foods, etc. etc.

A few specific examples of what I saw:

LEED certification – There were so many buildings that were LEED certified that it made no sense to take pics of them all.  I read in this NYC report that Portland had 63 LEED certified buildings. The Ikea we went to was LEED certified, so was the REI, our hotel and even a winery we visited.

Ikea of Portland

Ikea portland

Sokol Blosser winery’s solar panels. They were also the first LEED certified winery in the nation.

sokol blosser

Locally sourced food was available/promoted at all of the restaurants (it was a foodie town). Even Burgerville, which I initially laughed at, uses sustainable locally produced food. I mean, have you ever seen a burger chain’s website with wind power, bicyclers and kayaker’s on it??

Though Burgerville was a chain, it was a local enterprise. This theme was very prevalent in Portland and they appeared to be very supportive of their independent businesses.  Another example of this is the downtown Portland food campers.  These are groups of 10 campers on a single parking lot selling really good food for a decent price. (see pic below)

food cartslastly and not least is that Portland favorite non-microbrew beer appears to be PBR.  A city after my own heart.  I never drank one though, because with over 50 microbrews in town, why drink something I can get from my local store for less than $.50/can.

pbr art

We’ll miss you Portland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I heart Portland’s bicycle culture July 3, 2009

Filed under: General Green 2.0,Transportation — budint @ 4:59 pm

While in Portland for the first time recently, I learned how infused biking is into their culture. It’s a phenomenon that any city would be envious of, especially when combined w/ their public transit system.

For our Portland bicycle education we went with Todd owner of Pedal Bike Tours just northwest of downtown.  He offers a range of tours from brewery and coffee cycle tours to old neighborhood and green tours.  We opted for the ‘historic hoods’ tour because we were interested in portland’s old neighborhoods.  We rode around for 3 hours and Todd explained each neighborhood and pointed out all of the unique bicycle friendly features.  Throughout the whole tour i was completely amazed by how friendly, tolerant, whatever you want to call it, that the drivers were.

If you follow biking or bicycle advocacy seriously, none of this is new to you. Portland actually obtained Platinum status last year from the League of American Cyclists last year for being the largest bike friendly metro in the U.S.

portland plat

Needless to say, they have alot of things going for them here that we can’t pull off in St Louis.  Nice weather, hippy culture, better mass transit to tie in w/ biking and nice weather.  Even with all of that, there are still things we can do in St Louis it make biking for common.  Just need to figure out what that is.

Thanks for the ideas Portland.