My car curbed itself in May

Amazing how those handy 12-A and 12-B AATA buses always show up right when you need them, and how the drivers are so friendly when you show them your GoPass. Yes, embarrassing, but my car had been driving downtown a little too much in April, dragging me with it. When it landed in the shop in early May, well, I found myself suddenly, magically, and completely aligned with Curb Your Car Month! Good news: My bus rides downtown are generating more green ideas, including a plan to read the new book Climate Solutions: a citizen’s guide by Peter Barnes with a foreword by Bill McKibben. At 93 pages, this book looks like good bus reading. I'm also planning to go to The Mayor's Green Fair on Main Street June 13. Maybe in my car, probably not.

State of Ann Arbor's Environment

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More than 60 environmental indicators for Ann Arbor are tracked in the City's State of Environment report. The report is packed with data on topics like air quality, landfills, creeks, sidewalks and renewable energy. This interactive site lets you see the relationship between the goals we, as a community, have set and where we stand in achieving those goals. Don't forget that you can begin positively impacting Tree Town's environment today by walking, biking or busing to work during Curb Your Car Month.

Alternative Commute Testimonials

Everyone is invited to hear four local citizens who walk, bike, carpool or take the bus to work explain why their commute is important to them. Audience members will also have a chance to talk about their favorite way of commuting. Click here for more information on this program, which takes place Thursday, May 8, 2008, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm in the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room. It's a great opportunity to get to know many people who want to make Ann Arbor a better place and live healthier by burning less fossil fuel. Cosponsored by getDowntown and the Ann Arbor Area Chamer of Commerce.

Roll Out the Rain Barrel

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We'll get the rain, it won't run (away.) It's time for the Huron Rivers Watershed Council's annual Spring Rain Barrel Sale. Buy your rain barrel online from HRWC and pick it up on Sunday, May 4, 2008, between 1 -4 p.m. at Huron High School. You'll get a credit on your storm water bills, water for your gardens and help reduce the overflow into the storm sewers.

Gelman Cleanup Update

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The Coalition for Action on Remediation of Dioxane (CARD) and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold a public meeting on Monday, April 28, 7:00 p.m., at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District Center to update citizens on the status of the dioxane contamination cleanup. The groundwater contamination has expanded in Washtenaw County to an area over three miles long and one mile wide. The remediation of this site is likely to take an additional 20 years or more based on Pall Corporation and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality estimates.

What does being "green" really mean?

"There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew." ~Marshall McLuhan, 1964

Today, April 22 is the official anniversary of Earth Day which was first observed in 1970. Since then, both national and local groups hold celebrations, usually either the weekend before or after. In Ann Arbor, Earth Day festivities will be sponsored by the Leslie Science Center on Sunday, April 27. To become more knowledgeable about enviromental issues, check out the Library's wide ranging collection of materials on global warming and energy conservation.

Star Dreams: Exploring the Mystery of Crop Circles

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Huge, sweeping patterns of intricate, geometric shapes appear in fields of standing wheat and barley over night. No tracks appear leading to the shapes. The crop circles are perfectly formed - with mathematical precision and utilizing ancient symbols - they have created a following of “croppies” all over the world. Star Dreams investigates the phenomenon, interviewing true believers (in the other-worldly artists) and researchers, and providing dozens of aerial shots of the most breath-taking circles. Though you may argue about how they get here, there is no doubt they are mysterious and beautiful. Hundreds of circles appear in England every summer and you can track each one as it is reported. For more on crop circles try Secrets in the Fields: The Science and Mysticism of Crop Circles.

Go Team Go!

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Winter is really over now -- it's time to get going on your Commuter Challenge strategizing. Get your team going to by visiting GetDowntown, register and develop a plan to use every sustainable transportation method for getting to work in May. You may just win one of the fabulous prizes! But wait -- there's more -- plenty of Curb Your Car Month events for everyone including a Free Transit Day and a Downtown Main Street Walk.

Free Energy Efficiency Seminar at The Ark

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DTE Energy is offering a free energy efficiency seminar at The Ark in Ann Arbor. You’ll get suggestions and solutions from experts, suppliers and installers on managing energy costs for your new or existing home. As another resource, check out the new book This Cold House: The Simple Science of Energy Efficiency.
Saturday April 12, 2008, 11am. Doors open at 10:30 am. Free.
Make sure you register for the seminar here!

Earth Hour

Did you notice Google turned its lights off? The website has been temporarily revamped in order to raise awareness for Earth Hour, an international event coordinated by the World Wildlife Fund. They are encouraging all people to turn off their electrical lighting on March 29th from 8 to 9 pm, with the purpose of making a statement about global climate change. If you are interested in the greenhouse effect, you may enjoy reading An Inconvenient Truth, The Ice Chronicles, The Change in the Weather, and The Two-Mile Time Machine.

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