All Posts Tagged With: "green"

Watch Junk Mail Disappear with Vermicomposting


Having a vermicomposting system in your home might sound scary at first, what with all those worms, but I can assure you this experience has taught me that working in tandem with nature can provide a profound understanding of sustainability and inherent life cycles. For example, all over the U.S. our soil is degrading at alarming speed through monocultures and pesticides, which is stripping the soil of hundreds — if not thousands — of years’ worth of nutrient-rich support for healthy plentiful growth.

Leaves, for example, have always been a source of food for soil and every year we deprive that soil of its regenerating power by bagging leaves and hauling them elsewhere. Soil regenerates itself through the decomposition of mico-bacteria and with a lot of help from various species of worms. It was Darwin who discovered the amazing power of worms to bury and till the earth, which is also one reason that the deeper archaeologists dig, the older their findings.

We must start thinking of better ways of disposing of our waste, ways that give back in order to continue receiving. Vermicomposting is one way to get started. I made this video to engage people to take note of the values of life cycle systems. Worms will not only eat your food scrapes and leaves, but also your junk mail and holiday wrapping paper. Once decomposition is complete you’ll have rich black soil to use in your flower beds.

If you have any more questions about vermicomposting, please email us at info@goforchange.com or start a discussion thread on our social networking site. (goNetwork button)

Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and check back soon. I will be posting updates on this subject.

Share Your Successes with postCarbon

photo: still from Planit video

GOforChange invites you to participate in a fun new project.

What is the best thing you are doing to lower your carbon footprint or have a lighter impact on the planet? — OR — What would you do if you could do anything?

Drop us a postcard that illustrates your answer. Include a brief note (if you wish) on the reverse, and mail your postcard to:

GOforChange
2002 Clipper Park Rd
4th floor
Baltimore, MD 21211

We will post these on the website, starting in March.

We are planning a gallery show for April, so watch this space for details as they develop.

And, please help us get the word out about this project. Share with your networks!

GO: Where Change Agents Come for Inspiration

photo by Kristina McDanolds

On New Year’s Day, we received an email from our good friend, Michael Furbish, who owns the Furbish Company , a green builder whose work we have profiled recently . They are clear about their mission on their website: "Furbish Company designs, sells, installs, and maintains plant-based building systems. We view plants as living machines. Set up properly, they enhance building performance while providing aesthetic beauty." In other words, they are change agents.

In our first post for the New Year, I wanted to welcome our new visitors, and remind our regulars about our purpose here. Since Michael says it so well, I’ll just use his words:

"Your site is absolutely wonderful. Every time I visit, it is deeper and richer. My one regret is that I spend too little time enjoying this space. As you articulate so well, appreciating the empty space . In many ways, your site is just that. It is the space that invites thinking about what can be."

I love that – we not only create space to think about what can be, we highlight what is, already. There are so many businesses and organizations that are doing wonderful, thoughtful, meaningful work around here. We intend to continue presenting their great work. We are the go-to resource for change agents to learn about each other and to refuel on inspiration when they are feeling drained by the challenges of being on the cutting edge of change.

We will also post more often about general, universal themes. Julie’s work as a green design and sustainability consultant, as well as her involvement in the community, provides much material. Alyssa will write more about her urban gardening and DIY projects. As an artist, her hands-on creative urges are boundless!

So, sit back and enjoy. Subscribe to our RSS. Tell your friends, especially your change-agent friends. Find us on Facebook , Twitter , Flickr , and Virb .

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.

Inspire action for local solutions to global concerns

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOzqc0Y6AZs[/youtube]

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.

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.

Capitol Greenroofs

colored by: alyssa

Capitol Greenroofs provides design and construction administration services to homeowners, developers, public planners, facility managers, and architects interested in developing a program for a greenroof facility, and helps them understand how the appropriate systems are installed and maintained. They can assist in the creation of a project’s development program, prepare cost estimates and landscape planting plans, and generate construction documents and specifications. To ensure quality control, they oversee project installations, can provide cost vs. benefit analyses, life cycle cost and energy savings projections, and assist in the LEED certification process.