One Planet,Ours! Sustainability for the 22nd Century is an outdoor interactive exhibition now on view until Oct. 13th, in the National Botanic Gardens in DC. The exhibit demonstrates a variety of examples of how systems of sustainability work with demonstrations of; solar cookie baking, a solar water pump, and rainbarrel catchment. You can also visit a strawbale house built by Baltimore’s very own Polly Bart , a strawbale construction specialist working with Builders without Borders . Other programs and lectures are scheduled throughout the exhibition run and are sponsored by non-governmental organizations, government agencies, and individuals who are leading efforts toward sustainable lifestyles.
View a slide show or press videos of the project through their website.
One Less Car is an advocate for safe and effective transportation alternatives in Maryland. They accomplish this through education, lobbying, and facilitation between communities, governments, and state and local representatives. Their website is a great resource for finding cycling clubs, stores, maps and trails, and commuting and mass transit options. At One Less Car, they believe that people walking, biking, and using public transportation (essentially: people interacting), are all indicators of a healthy, working city.
Green School of Baltimore is an elementary school with a different approach to learning. Adopting a curriculum that embraces what they call “EIC” (Environment as an Integrating Context”, the school’s surroundings and community are used as the context for math, reading, science, and social studies. Each grade participates in year-long studies and projects that include creating rain gardens, planning and growing an edible, organic garden, developing a recycling program, and creating a tree nursery. The school’s mission is not only to educate its students, but help them increase environmental stewardship through experiential environmental education.
Living Classrooms Foundation is a non-profit organization, operated for the benefit of the community at large, providing hands-on education and job skills training for students from diverse backgrounds, with a special emphasis on serving at-risk youth. The foundation uses maritime settings, community revitalization projects, and other challenging learning environments, along with a low staff-to-student ratio, to promote career development, community service, self-esteem, and multicultural exchange.
The Baltimore City Forestry Board is composed of unpaid volunteers who work closely with state foresters to serve as advocates for trees and forests. It seeks to improve the management of Baltimore’s urban forest, facilitate school tree plantings, promote educational activities about the city’s urban forest resources, and assist the Baltimore City Forestry Division with its mission. Their website features information on tree and forest care in Baltimore, as well as ongoing projects and activities like tree plantings, tours, and conferences.
Simplicity Matters is a forum that organizes meetings all over the MD, DC area that encourages individuals to make informed choices on leading a more sustainable future. Started in January 2002 some of their discussion titles have been Global Warming: Change CO2 Use , Choices for Sustainable Living, Exploring Deep Ecology , or topics of your own groups choosing. Find or create a group near you by visiting their webpage.
Buy Local is an educational and marketing campaign encouraging Baltimore area residents to shop at local independently-owned businesses. They educate the public on how supporting locally owned business keeps up to three times as much money in the community, supports and strengthens local jobs and businesses, and preserves and enhances Baltimore’s unique neighborhoods.