Suzuki's Green Guide

By David R. Boyd; David Suzuki | Go to book overview

4
Travelling Light

If I had asked people what they wanted,
they would have said faster horses.

HENRY FORD

Transportation caused environmental problems long before the automobile age. Only a century ago, horses were a major source of urban pollution. In New York, an estimated 1.1 million kilograms (2.5 million pounds) of manure and 272,400 litres (60,000 gallons) of urine hit the streets daily in 1900. Citizens complained about dust from pulverised horse dung blowing into their faces and homes. Manure piles were fertile ground for flies spreading infectious diseases. The combination of manure and rain created quagmires in the streets. Dead horses were also a problem, with New York removing fifteen thousand horse carcasses from its streets annually in the 1880s.

Despite these difficulties, the emergence of motor vehicles initially inspired fear and loathing. Great Britain passed a law requiring all motor vehicles to be preceded by a man on foot waving a red flag or lantern and blowing a horn. The law set speed limits of 6 kilometres (3 miles) an hour in the country and 3 kilometres (2 miles) an hour in cities. In 1875, the U.S. Congress warned that “horseless carriages propelled by gasoline engines might attain speeds of 14 or even 20 miles per hour…

-81-

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Suzuki's Green Guide
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • 1 - Help Wanted- Join the Sustainability Revolution 1
  • 2 - Home Smart Home 24
  • 3 - Food for Thought- Eating a Planet-Friendly Diet 52
  • 4 - Travelling Light 81
  • 5 - Less Stuff- The Zero Waste Challenge 106
  • 6 - Citizen Green 128
  • 7 - Smaller Footprint, Bigger Smile 157
  • Appendix- Background on the Global Environmental Crisis 168
  • Resources 178
  • Index 191
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