4 Fun Green Stories and 2 Sad Ones

07/19/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

In the past, the green movement has often been accused of being too "doom & gloom", too serious. That's less the case nowadays, but it's still a good idea once in a while to take things lightly and have some fun. Below are 4 fun green stories, but to remind us that it's not all rainbows and bunnies, there are 2 sad ones at the end.


The smart car has become kind of iconic. The gasoline version is probably not worth getting, as its gas mileage is disappointing, but the diesel version is very fuel efficient and Daimler tells us an electric version is coming in 2010.

The picture above is of a stunt performed to celebrate the smart car's 10th anniversary. They found a way to cram 13 gymnasts inside one! You can see more photos and details on other 'stuffing people in cars' records here.


Another smart car story: The photo above shows a 'smart car vending machine' in Japan. It doesn't really work, it just gives you brochures about the car, but it's very funny and clever.


Once in a while, you just need to have fun with bike culture. This circular bike, aka "Vicious Cycle", was made from salvaged parts by Robert Weschsler. He usually leaves it in public places where people can play with it. More photos of the circular bike can be found here.


We often read about environmentalists trying too save some animals. That usually mean protecting their habitat, but in this case, the saving was quite literal. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist Adam Warwick just couldn't let this bear drown, so he jumped in the water and brought it back to shore.


Making art from dirt, literally. A group in San Francisco is cleaning up walls and making eco-art at the same time. It's a clever way to help beautify the city while sending a message at the same time. You can see a video of them in action here.


I think that encouraging more bicycle usage is very important. It's an extremely efficient transportation method that can also be quite pleasant and good for your health on top of everything. But once in a while there's a big accident that touches us. The photo above is from a bike race that turned to tragedy in Mexico. It should serve as a reminder that, as cyclists and car drivers, we must pay attention to safety (in this case, drunk driving was involved).


The last sad story is about whales, another icon of the green movement. According to Yves Paccalet, a French naturalist, over-hunting is causing loneliness in the surviving whales and can even make them "lose the will to live". The highly intelligent and sociable mammals could be "so exhausted from their combat with humankind that they have simply have given up the fight," according to him. When whales are suicidal, you know there's a problem.