Archive for September, 2008

Green Giant

September 29, 2008

An article in today’s Chicago Sun-Times highlights the green strides being made at Chicago’s tallest building, the Sears Tower. The Sears Tower now has an I-GO Car Sharing vehicle (a Honda Civic hybrid) in its garage, available for both tenants and businesses. Additionally, they’ve also made three “courtesy bikes” available to tenants through an online reservation system, and quadrupled their indoor bike storage program—although, admittedly, that only brings the indoor storage count up to 49 bikes, a rather small allocation considering the building’s tenant population. Tom Dempsey, Sears Tower vice president and general manager, says they plan to add more courtesy bikes, along with bike locks and helmets.

Car Sharing Across the Border

September 26, 2008

Check out this Canadian news report on car sharing in Canada. Car sharing is booming in Canada, just as it is in the U.S. and the rest of the world. In fact, the city of Tel Aviv also recently jumped on board with the car sharing concept.

I-GO is already partners with 2 car sharing organizations in Canada- AutoShare, in Toronto and Co-operative Auto, in Vancouver. This means that as an I-GO Car Sharing member, you can also drive AutoShare and Co-operative Auto’s cars when you’re in their respective cities- cool, huh?

Bike Sharing in Barcelona

September 26, 2008

This morning I stumbled upon an interesting, detailed article on Bicing– the thriving bike sharing program in Barcelona. Earlier this month, I talked about the accretion of bike sharing across the globe. The more I learn about these successful bike sharing programs, the more I want this in Chicago! I mean, Mayor Daley did pledge to transform Chicago into the greenest city in the U.S…. What do you think? Would you utilize a bike sharing system if it came to Chicago?

Bicing Station in Barcelona

3 New I-GO Car Locations

September 25, 2008

I’m happy to inform you that we have added 3 new I-GO spaces over the past few weeks.

1250 W Van Buren (Car #4540: Silver Prius)

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1501 Maple, Evanson (Car #4441: Orange Element)

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6301 N Sheridan (Car #4404: Blue Prius)

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CNT’s 30th Anniversary Pictures

September 24, 2008
The Mystik Krewe of Laff

I posted earlier this week about The Center for Neighborhood Technology’s 30th anniversary party and now I have pictures as well! Check out the photo album of the night’s festivities here.

Power to the People, Right On

September 23, 2008

This past weekend I finally got around to reading an article in WIRED’s September issue that a colleague had recommended. It was weighty subject matter for a Sunday, but I’m glad I did. The piece, headlined “Driven”, outlines visionary entrepreneur Shai Agassi’s audacious agenda to put electric cars on the road. It lays out a bold, yet totally believable, plan to transform personal transportation and help achieve global energy independence in our lifetime.

Agassi, a prominent Israeli-born software programmer who switched gears a few years ago to devote his energy toward solving the transportation emissions problem, is turning complex theory into exciting and optimistic reality. Agassi’s environmental engine was sparked in 2005 at a Young Global Leaders conference in Switzerland. Just three years later, he’s already got a country, millions of venture-capital dollars, and automakers on his assembly line.

Early on, the electric car became the focal point of Agassi’s plan. While the idea of electric vehicles is far from new, “Agassi reimagined the entire automotive ecosystem by proposing a new concept he called the Electric Recharge Grid Operator,” writes reporter Daniel Roth.It was an unorthodox mashup of the automotive and mobile phone industries. Instead of gas stations on every corner, the ERGO would blanket a country with a network of ‘smart’ charge spots. Drivers could plug in anywhere, anytime, and would subscribe to a specific plan—unlimited miles, a maximum number of miles each month, or pay as you go—all for less than the equivalent cost for gas. They’d buy their car from the operator, who would offer steep discounts, perhaps even give the cars away. The profit would come from selling electricity”.

In May 2007, Agassi launched Project Better Place, the world’s first global electric-car grid operation. Since then, Agassi has been spreading his vision of Better Place on an international scale. In January 2008, Israel became the first nation in the world to declare a plan for oil independence by 2020. Partnering with Better Place and Renault-Nissan, Israel has committed to widespread deployment of an electric recharge grid to power electric vehicles by 2011. The renewable energy needed for such an operation will be supplied through Israel’s growing solar power sector.

Denmark also jumped on board, in March 2008, when DONG (Danish Oil & Natural Gas) energy company partnered with Better Place and Renault-Nissan to power electric vehicles with energy generated from wind turbines. Renault-Nissan is already developing the first line of battery-powered electric cars for Better Place.

Through Better Place, Agassi is ushering in a new chapter in sustainable, personal transportation. Better place your bets now.

RedBall Project (Chicago Edition)

September 19, 2008

Check out this picture Craig, our brand-spanking new Communications & Marketing Coordinator, took this past Tuesday just down the road from the I-GO offices. The big, RedBall has been making appearances all over Chicago this past month and has 4 more stops to make- so if you haven’t seen it yet, you still have a chance to check it out.

RedBall Project: Chicago Schedule

1 Millennium Park
3 Spertus Institute
5 Wishbone on Washington
6 Field Museum
7 Grant Park Underpass
10 Wacker & Wabash
12 LaSalle Bridge
13 Damen & North Ave
14 Chess Pavilion
17 Union Station & Jackson
19 Hyde Park Art Center
20 IIT Campus Center
23 19 S. LaSalle
24 Federal Plaza
25 Cultural Center

The Center for Neighborhood Technology Celebrates 30 Years!

September 18, 2008

The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT)—the larger non-profit org that first conceived and rolled out I-GO Car Sharing in 2002—celebrated its 30th anniversary in style last night at Chicago’s Garfield Park Conservatory. The evening featured a lineup of eco-conscious speakers, including Sadhu Johnston– Chicago’s resident green guru, as well as a festive soundtrack furnished by the post-bop Patrick Mulcahy jazz quartet and a New Orleans-style Mardi Gras marching band.

The verdant landmark venue, designed in 1908 by legendary landscape architect Jens Jensen, is celebrating its own significant birthday this year—100 years of cultivating plants, folks—so the setting couldn’t have been more apropos. Garfield was green long before green was cool.

CNT is a creative think-and-do tank that focuses on issues related to climate change, energy, natural resources, and transportation and community development. Founded in 1978, it has been a leader in promoting more livable and sustainable urban communities, both in Chicago and around the country. I-GO is proud to be affiliated with CNT, and we wish them many more decades of successful innovation.

I-GO at UIC’s Sustainability Roadshow

September 16, 2008

I-GO had the honor of appearing at the University of Illinois’ Sustainability Roadshow this past weekend. The Sustainability Roadshow is made up of a group of environmental activists and educators who are traveling around the U.S. highlighting issues related to sustainability, with an emphasis on going local and renewable. I-GO participated in the event, along with other Chicago-based green businesses; there were booths on green education, sustainable clothing, toxic-free cleaning products, natural health and environmental activism.

The event had an interactive and informal feel to it, with live music and games. According to Zach Carson, co-founder of the event, they wanted to “bring in the circus vibe, the music. It’s education and entertainment”. Click here to check out a recent article on the roadshow from the the Chicago Flame, UIC’s school newspaper. Next up, the Sustainability Roadshow travels to Knoxville, New Orleans and Austin, TX.

I-GO Car Sharing Weekend Events

September 12, 2008

The weekend is once again upon us and I-GO is gearing up for a busy weekend around Chicago. If you swing by any of the events below, make sure to stop by our booth and say “hello”!

Edgewater GRalley Festival
September 13; 12-6pm
Corner of Glenwood & Granville
Event will feature 18 bands and a Battle of BBQs staffed by Chicago’s top culinary schools and restaurants competing in dueling pig roasts. Ecoscene, one of my favorite online eco sites, will also be there handing out organic lollipops and educating people about their great new website and newsletter.

Q101 Block Party
September 13-14; noon-6pm
3320 N Campbell
Come by the I-GO booth at Q101’s annual block party for $50 off the cost of membership and to pick up a copy of the second annual Audio Emissions cd.

DePaul University Involvement Fair
September 14; 1-5pm
2250 N Sheffield
Interested in learning more about I-GO Car Sharing? Ready to join I-GO? Visit us at DePaul University’s involvement fair to join I-GO for only $25!

Hope to see you around town this weekend!