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This Dutch City Has Transformed Its Bus Stops Into Bee Stops
By Michiel de Gooijer
From Bus Stops to Bee Stops
In the Dutch city Utrecht 316 bus stops now have a green roof. They do not only look great, they also help capture fine dust, storage of rainwater and provide cooling in the summertime.
It is one of many measures that could improve Utrecht's air quality. Did you know that after smoking, an unhealthy environment (including bad air quality) is the second cause of diseases in the Netherlands?
Watch the video at the bottom of this article.
More Biodiversity: The green roofs of Utrecht's bus stops have also become bee stops and contribute to the city's biodiversity, supporting insects like honey bees and bumblebees.
Sedum Plants: The roofs mainly have sedum plants. They are maintained by municipal workers who drive around in electric vehicles.
LED lights: The bus stops are outfitted with efficient led lights and a bamboo bench.
Recently Utrecht has replaced 10 diesel buses for electric buses. Utrecht aims to only operate CO2 neutral buses by 2028. In the meantime, Utrecht incentivizes bus drivers to adapt to a more environmentally friendly driving style. The buses register how efficient and comfortable each bus driver operates the bus, and based on how well they drive, they can "win" prizes the cleaner, more comfortable and safer they drive.
More Electric Buses: Utrecht is expanding the number of buses powered by electricity. The electricity used by Utrecht comes from Dutch windmills.
Your Own Green Roof: The citizens of Utrecht are incentivized to transform their own roofs into green roofs too and can apply for special subsidies.
And How About Bee Stings?
Speaking from personal experience, the bees are attracted by the plants and flowers on the roof, not by the people sitting underneath the roof. And as you can read here, in general bees are not aggressive at all. They are often mistaken for the more aggressive wasps, but there really is no need to fear these busy bees on these bus stop green roofs.
Reposted with permission from our media associate BrightVibes.
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Poverty and violence in Central America are major factors driving migration to the United States. But there's another force that's often overlooked: climate change.
Retired Lt. Cmdr. Oliver Leighton Barrett is with the Center for Climate and Security. He says that in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, crime and poor economic conditions have long led to instability.
"And when you combine that with protracted drought," he says, "it's just a stressor that makes everything worse."
Barrett says that with crops failing, many people have fled their homes.
"These folks are leaving not because they're opportunists," he says, "but because they are in survival mode. You have people that are legitimate refugees."
So Barrett supports allocating foreign aid to programs that help people in drought-ridden areas adapt to climate change.
"There are nonprofits that are operating in those countries that have great ideas in terms of teaching farmers to use the land better, to harvest water better, to use different variety of crops that are more resilient to drought conditions," he says. "Those are the kinds of programs I think are needed."
So he says the best way to reduce the number of climate change migrants is to help people thrive in their home countries.
Reporting credit: Deborah Jian Lee / ChavoBart Digital Media.
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.
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