The image above isn't from New York. It's from Amsterdam, where moving house by bike is almost certainly old news. But a recent article and slideshow in the New York Times suggests that moving house by bike is becoming a thing in the Big Apple too.
Covering a recent move by a video training manager named Ms. Ross, from the Lower East Side to an apartment near Union Square, the article describes how four cargo bike riders from the New York City Cargo Bike Collective helped Ross move everything from video production equipment to a seven-foot-tall wooden bookshelf. The cost for Ross—a member of the collective—was $400. The regular price would have been somewhere around $600.
Now, we've covered bicycle-powered house moves before. So, in some ways, this story is old news for us TreeHuggers. But besides the awesome fact that the New York Times is now covering cargo bike culture, this story is also worth noting because it's an important reminder of some really basic green-living principles:
1) The smaller your living space, the less stuff you will need/want to own.
2) The less stuff you own, the less resources it takes to move it around.
3) The closer together our homes are, the easier it is to move from one place to another—and potentially dispense with the private car altogether.
In other words, how we live very much shapes the types of solutions available to us. We already know that city living tends to reduce your carbon footprint. But we tend to forget that this reduction isn't just about the amount of stuff/resources we need—but rather a reflection of the fact that by using fewer resources, we open ourselves up to entirely different solutions for the lives we want to live. It's a qualitative change, not just a quantitative one—but the quantitative one is what makes the qualitative one possible.