CAR-FREE CITIES MIGHT BE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK (OR MAYBE NOT)

Giethoorn is a small Dutch village that was built in the 13th century;  it’s also one of the most popular destinations in the world for Chinese tourists, drawing hundreds of thousands of them each year despite having a population under 3000.  Why do the tourists come?  Because Giethoorn is car-free.  Founded by convicts and later populated by Mennonites, it doesn’t even have roads.  (The reason this is so appealing to Chinese tourists will be apparent to anyone who’s ever witnessed firsthand the smog-clouded horror of a heavily-trafficked, crosswalk-less Chinese city.) CAR-FREE CITIES MIGHT BE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK (OR MAYBE NOT)

CHINA’S FOREST CITY: BATTLING POLLUTION ONE PLANT AT A TIME

It’s no secret: China is an industrial powerhouse. They serve up consumer-oriented goods faster than we can serve up burger and fries State-side. But, those factories and that enviable material making has come at a price: heavy air pollution. Overseas, it’s not uncommon for school to be cancelled due to a day ruined by smog, masks are worn regularly, and there are mornings that look like night as the sun fights to peak through a heavy layer of pollution soot. In other words, conditions are not ideal…they’re concerning. The pollution problem is actually responsible for over a million deaths in China each year, with many urban areas being subject to conditions that rival those in the middle of forest fires. CHINA’S FOREST CITY: BATTLING POLLUTION ONE PLANT AT A TIME

CLEARING SMOG – WITH A BIKE

No matter what way it manifests itself, pollution is a gross problem to have. It could be plastic floating about in the sea, trash strewn about among trees, or perhaps the greatest culprit in today’s times…smog. With some industrial powerhouses in the States’ biggest cities, the US certainly can’t point fingers, but perhaps the place that is deepest down the rabbit hole in terms of pollution, by a lot of standards, is China. CLEARING SMOG – WITH A BIKE