When I was a brand-new parent, my friend Mara O’Connell gave me the best advice I’ve gotten in my life. I confessed to her how overwhelmed I felt with the responsibility of caring for such a precious, helpless creature. I had so much to learn; the enormity of what I didn’t know pressed on me like a heavy weight. I was frightened by it. Her advice was, don’t worry. You learn what you need to know, when you need it, little by little. As you go along.
I have come to appreciate that this is a perfect observation about life in general. Especially life as an innovator or entrepreneur. I don’t have to know everything there is to know about business, nor beat myself up about the things I don’t yet know or understand. In fact, what I DON’T know about business could fill a good-sized bookstore. Yet, somehow I don’t let that stop me.
"Experience is the best teacher" is something I have feared and felt in awe of all my life. Continued
I Buy Different is in partnership with The Center For A New American Dream and is geared toward kids and young adults in saving our resources. It is a website that presents valuable information about how what we buy effects the planet. Youth and adults alike don’t like to be told they’re doing something wrong every time a purchase is made. Find out some hard facts on the connections between your computer and a gorilla in The Democratic Republic of Congo. Why should we care? This website makes being aware of our choices fun and engaging, for any age. Instead of presenting information you might not know what to do with I Buy Different includes how to get involved and tell your friends.
Amanda Lopez was the first Ecobroker Certified real-estate agent in Baltimore City and County, specializing in energy efficiency and sustainable design of Baltimore properties. Lopez of City Life Realty located on West 36th St. focuses on already-established historic communities, such as Hampden, Belair-Edison, Dickeyville, Arcadia and Bolton Hill.
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This short video Julie and I made received a warm response at the 2008 Baltimore Bioneers Conference. Thanks to all the photographers for some amazing imagines of our fair city and to Andrew Grimm for writing and performing the score.
There is so much anxiety in the air these days, along with all that excess CO2 . I was happy to stumble upon this global movement to solve the climate crisis. I’m sure I’m not alone in wondering — hey! When are our elected leaders going to wake up and DO something about this already?! Well, guess what? It’s up to each and every one of US to do something about it, whether that means changing out your lightbulbs, walking more, buying locally, and/or calling your elected officials to let them know your concerns. This website has wonderful graphics to explain the situation, making it perfectly clear even to those of us with science deficit disorder. There is also a way to take action, find events, and sign up to receive action alerts. Bill McKibben is one of the people behind this site, which is not surprising, given his interest in the subject. His book, The End of Nature , was an early influence on my career. Order it from your local bookstore — The Ivy or Breathe Books are two in Baltimore.
Heathcote is an intentional community located in Freeland Maryland just 30 mile north of Baltimore City. It sits on 112 acres some of which is in a community land trust the other owned by several community members. All of the houses and communal facilities are renovated farmhouses and old grain mills. Additional houses have been built using straw bale. There are many efforts within the community to use renewable resources and become energy independent. Whether you decide to live at Heathcote or just take part in one of there exciting permaculure classes you can always expect to enjoy and organic/ vegetarian meal(s), some of which is fresh from the garden, music, hiking, lounging in a stream-side hammock or helping out with some of the many natural building projects. Heathcote is a drug-free and smoke-free community and is currently looking for members. To find out more about everyday life at Heathcote one of its members has started a blog called Hippie Chick Diaries . You can also go to their website or take a visit to the farm.
Sidwell Friends School is the greenest school on the planet. Its middle school is the only Platinum LEED institution of its kind to have been brought to fruition. Most of the materials used in construction were either recycled or salvaged, like cedar wood re-used from wine casts. And 78 percent of the materials were manufactured regionally (within 500 miles) to minimize energy from transportation. All plants for landscaping purposes were native. The rooftop houses an array of photovoltaic panels. Low-VOC paints, glues, and adhesives were used in classrooms to improve air quality.
Passive solar design reduces the air conditioning load through natural ventilating and shading. A green roof reduces the "urban heat island effect" and removes pollutants from rainwater. And about 95 percent of the school’s water is recycled through perhaps the most impressive feature of the middle school: its artificial wetlands. Continued