This past weekend I visited a Baltimore Free Store event usually held on monthly at different locations around the city for one day only. Here, you can find goodies of all kinds on display, free of charge. There were lots of toys, clothes and household trinkets, suitable for gifting — or, as raw materials for your creative urges. I got a couple shirts, a sweater and some retro fabric. There’s nothing like making something wonderful out of free stuff.
Then it was off to the Charm City Craft Mafia Show at St. John’s Church. Some favorite new discoveries came from Caitlin Phillips, Rebound Designs, and Baltimore’s own Spinster Yarns and Fibers . Continued
Baltimore ReStore is part of Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity developed to generate funds for more projects. "Providing quality products at discount prices to preserve our environment and keeping valuable items out of our landfills." You can find building materials, plumbing, flooring, cabinets, doors, windows, tools, furniture, lighting and more. Located in East Baltimore behind Johns Hopkins Bay View at Eastern Ave and Kane Streets . Find a list of other salvage centers in the surrounding area here .
A few weeks ago, GOforChange visited the Furbish Company headquarters to tour their newly-renovated Lucky’s building, a green office space south of downtown. This Brooklyn warehouse was originally used as a wood mill, then became a convenience store warehouse in the late 1970’s. It is now home to several sophisticated systems and practices of ecological design and efficiency. As the developer and owner of Furbish Co., Michael Furbish approached the project by honoring the building’s existing integrity. He added only what was needed to update and enhance the structure’s inherent environmental sustainability.
Working with a hydraulic engineer revealed that the building was sitting on 8-feet of water, which quite often would spring up through the floor in the basement. Most people would see this as a problem, but with careful calculation and several hundred feet of tubing, a geothermal system was installed to assist with more than 70% of the building’s cooling needs.
Heat for the building is provided by a solar hot water system that transfers heat gain from the sun to a storage cistern that sits on the roof. Continued
Now on view in the courtyard of PS1 Contemporary Art Museum in Queens, NY is Public Farm 1. The winners of the ninth annual MoMA/P.S.1 Young Architects Program were Amale Andraos and Dan Wood of WORK Architecture Company. The design is something PS1 has named "a flying carpet farmer’s market."
Viewing this piece myself I was reminded of James Wines’ SITE projects for the BEST stores done during the early 80’s, which questioned the role of architecture and ecology in a suburban setting. Although I would have loved to see Public Farm 1 in front of a Walmart this project focused more on the role of ecology and self-sufficency in an urban setting. To highlight this idea I was fortunate enough to see the garden with one of the biggest bank buildings in the U.S. as its backdrop. The courtyard also housed a number of live chickens, the roof of which collected rainwater and a solar PV system which powers fans, lights, your cell phone and that’s not all.
It’s the title of a new book by Rhizome Collective members Stacy Pettigrew and Scott Kellogg. I was fortunate to hear Scott speak last night about this excellent city living users guide to a more holistic life. The talk began as I sat on a couch watching the sun go down though the brilliantly lit stain glass windows of the St. John’s church.
The book, as Scott describes highlights proactive uses for basic humans needs; how to pasteurize your own water because who needs all that added chorine from the water treatment plant. There are plants that can be easily grown in your small cement padded backyard, for example duckweed that has, as Scott mentions has, “more protein and nutrients then some meats.” After the talk Red Emma’s hosted a reception complete with yummy vegetarian bean and corn dishes!
Door to Door Organics , located in Bucks County, PA, has been delivering organic produce to homes and businesses on the East Coast since 1996. The family owned and operated business delivers a variety of fruit, vegetable, or mixed fruit and vegetable boxes, depending on availability, using biodiesel to fuel their delivery vehicles. They strive to recycle everything possible and leave the smallest carbon footprint possible, even composting their "NOT plastic bags". Visit their website for more information or to order online.
The Baltimore Free Store is a non-for-profit all volunteer organization founded on principles of social justice. It encourages recycling and reuse in hopes of decreasing poverty and fostering cooperation in achieving a community’s needs. They ask "take what you want, and give what you can" with the goal of empowering communities to organize and meet their needs independently. Beyond this wonderful community oriented concept of recycling and reuse, The Free Store is beginning an initiative to encourage residents to go greener. So take what you want and be sure to give what you can.