All Posts Tagged With: "Energy"

We’re Going to Blogging School

photo by Julie: Lucky's Warehouse by Furbish Co.
Recently, we started in earnest to learn all we can about the blogging world, including how to increase our site traffic so we can continue to offer GOforChange to our community and the wider world. Naturally, we enrolled in Upstart Blogger’s 30-Day Blogging Course . We are known mostly within our own networks, where we reliably preach to the converted. But what about people who are just waking up to environmental and economic challenges? With our expertise, wealth of information, online forums, calendar, and marketplace, we are determined to reach a wider audience.

We started GOforChange in early 2008 to help spread the word about the growing sustainability , local food , social justice, and greening movement in the Baltimore area. A blog was the right format to share information about upcoming events, volunteers opportunities, advice, and all the organizations and businesses in our area that are working for a better world. We are always learning about new things — community gardens, energy auditors, local artisans, schools — and the list of topics keeps growing. We continue to believe that reliable information about local resources is valuable to people who want to know how they can make a difference in their daily lives and communities.

As of Day 5 of the course, we have already learned much about social networks, Technorati rankings , Google Analytics, and reaching out to like-minded blogs. We are shifting our posts to offer more advice, musings, and stories from Julie’s work as a green architect and sustainability consultant, and Alyssa’s hands-on artistry in urban gardening, composting, and other DIY projects. Interspersed with posts about Baltimore-area topics, these will have a broad appeal beyond our geographic region. The Upstart Blogger course is something we probably should have taken six months ago, but back then we just didn’t realize how much we don’t know! Stay tuned for updates on our progress.

2008 Baltimore Bioneers

photo courtesy of: Paul Stamets

It was an exciting weekend at the 2008 Baltimore Bioneers Conference, held at the Maryland Institute Collage of Art. Julie and I were able to screen our video first thing Friday morning to open the event. A short 8 min. animated slide presentation of the transition from some of the issues Baltimore faces, socially and environmentally, as a post industrial city, combined with inspiring solutions that are cropping up all over town. I’d like to thank everyone for the positive response and we hope to upload a version to the website as soon as we can.
Some personal highlights from the conference came from a keynote by mycologist and author Paul Stamets, and two breakout sessions on Urban Agriculture as Urban Economic Development and Visionary Green Design and Development.

Read more about each one… Continued

Wake Up, Freak Out, Get a Grip


Wake Up, Freak Out – then Get a Grip from Leo Murray on Vimeo .

Two friends told me about this last Friday, so I had to check it out. It’s an excellent tour of the "tipping point" effects of climate destabilization — something even the IPCC predictions don’t account for. Leo Murray’s animation and narration makes the very complex science of climate feedback easy to understand and visualize in stark terms. While it does give a glimpse into probable scenarios of species extinction, climate refugees, and other human misery, Murray also tells us it’s not inevitable. This is not the time to panic, he says — this is the time to ACT!

On a related note, David Orr came to Baltimore on October 1 to give a talk about climate change policy. He and a group of experts have been briefing the two presidential campaigns as part of the Presidential Climate Action Project . On their website, you can view and download policy papers on what the next Transition Team has to do in order to hit the ground running in the first 100 days in office. Look through their "Climate Action Briefs" on topics such as the role of small business in addressing climate change, national security in a changing environment, the moral case for energy efficiency, and the great potentials of a new "green" economy.

While it’s very good news that the best minds in the U.S. are coming together on this, Leo Murray’s video is a timely reminder that we have spent the last 20 years waiting for government and industry to fix this problem. The message is loud and clear: it is up to US to act, and we must act NOW.

Clean Commute

photo courtesy of: cybersalt.orgClean Commute is part of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council and works to improve more efficient means of travel while engaging in air and water quality programs, computer mapping applications, emergency preparedness, public safety, transportation planning and much more. Find out how to get involved and speak out about poor commuter options in and around the city. Tell them what is or isn’t working.

Standard Solar

Standard Solar is a solar home energy services company that provides solar photovoltaic (and solar hot water) systems for the Metropolitan Washington area. Their core business is installing residential solar energy systems. They work to standardize the sale, delivery, and installation of solar home systems.

Chesapeake Solar

courtesy of: Chesapeake Solar (Merriweather)

Chesapeake Solar is Maryland’s leading installer of solar energy systems. Their core mission is to transition our energy economy toward greater use of the abundant and clean energy provided by the sun. They accomplish this through educational programs, public policy activities regarding renewable energy, and the design and installation of quality systems.

WindCurrent / Clean Currents : An Energy Alternate

photo unknown; rendered by: Gordon

Few people dispute that America’s current energy sources create high levels of pollution that we’re all forced to live with. The vulnerability of traditional power plants, coupled with our reliance on foreign oil to generate electricity, has been enough for many businesses and residents to seek alternate energy options. By instead relying on electricity powered by large wind turbines scattered across the country and thereby offsetting electricity that would otherwise come from traditional sources, one is both helping to improve the region’s air quality and stabilize the future price of electricity, all while helping America nudge closer toward energy independence.

Based in Baltimore, Maryland, WindCurrent is a business committed to bringing renewable wind-generated energy to the Mid-Atlantic region, providing Renewable Energy Certificates, or Green Tags, to some of America’s largest Green Power buyers. In contrast to large power plants centrally-situated from state to state, their renewable power projects can be distributed across the state and country. Utility companies appreciate this because “it puts the power generation closer to the end-user, which reduces the need for expensive transmission lines” required by the power plants. Their website offers extensive information on how WindCurrent operates, as well as a video that gives an in-depth look at energy sources and how they differ.

Clean Currents, based in Rockville, Maryland, is a clean energy broker/ aggregator that also offers low-cost, renewable energy to businesses, homes and institutions. Clean Currents offers clients a new carbon neutral electricity option, “Chesapeake-Green”, or “C-Green”, which combines standard electricity from the Mid-Atlantic grid with Renewable Energy Credits from wind farms situated across the United States. In addition to supplying earth-friendly electricity, Clean Currents also takes great measures to see that their own business is environmentally responsible, purchasing energy-efficient computers, lights and office equipment, and recycling all possible materials.

With an attainable source of electricity that creates zero pollution, a decreased reliance on foreign energy, and an increase of jobs in rural areas with high unemployment rates, doesn’t it just make sense?