Archive for December, 2008

ISky working for local solutions to global concerns

photo: unknown
ISky was created in 2007. With its offices located in Takoma Park, Maryland, 1Sky is helping raise the bar for leadership on climate change action in the context of the 2008 elections and the new Obama Administration. Their goal is to “create bold federal action by 2010 that can reverse global warming,” by “identifying steps our leaders need to take in order to shift our nation away from global warming and toward the prosperity of a green economy.” They have engaged a network of leading scientists and economists to create the 1Sky Solutions and have a growing number of allies working directly with them for this same common goal.
A few solutions are to:
* CREATE 5 MILLION GREEN JOBS in order to conserve 20% of our energy by 2015.
*FREEZE CLIMATE POLLUTION levels now then cut by at least 25% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050.
* NO NEW COAL PLANTS that emit global warming pollution; invest in renewable energy.
One of my personal highlights from their site is a list of Climate Matters Video contest winners. My favorite is “This Lawn is Your Lawn” by Roger Doiron which is also a part of a website called EatTheView.org that is petitioning for President Elect Obama to act on climate control and send a message to millions of Americans by planting a garden on the White House lawn. After watching I can’t help but note artist Fritz Haegs project Edible Estates which expressed similar sentiments about the front lawn at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Haeg visited Baltimore this past spring to continue his project on a front lawn in West Baltimore where artists, homeowners and community peoples participated in planting a vegetable garden. Haeg’s visit was also in tandem with the addition of several DIY community lead gardens on abandon lots around the city; Participation Park and Village Green Community Garden in Remington , to name a few that started in 2007. Mayor Sheila Dixon expressed her interest and support of revitalizing grassroots efforts for healthy food = healthy communities by visiting a few gardens Sat. Oct. 18th, which came just three days after she joined Robert F. Kennedy, Jr , the nations forerunner in environmental activism, and 9,000 other delegates at the Baltimore Convention Center for the National Recreation and Park Association Congress and Exposition.

Stretch Your Body and Your Mind at the Bikram Yoga and Wellness Center

photo: unknown
Founder and Director Sarah Ittmann teaches Bikram yoga . A series of 26 poses derived from Hatha principles, each one is done twice to help the body open up and come into openness and alignment. Bikram Choudhury designed these poses in his native India after a weightlifting accident to restore his health. Performed in a heated room for 90 minutes, anyone at any age can feel the benefits of this healing art. Julie practiced Bikram Yoga for almost 5 years and was an avid devotee of Sarah’s. This studio is HIGHLY recommended — a beautiful space with great facilities. With an 8,000 square foot studio, the wellness spa also offers hot stone massage, acupuncture, and salon services.

EPA: Maryland

photo by: Julie
The Environmental Protection Agency has a way for you type in your area code and keep tabs on what businesses have regulations on pollution, hazardous waste sites, and other regulatory information. It’s called

Playing for Change

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us-TVg40ExM[/youtube]

Take 5 minutes in your day to watch this. It is one of the most beautiful and hopeful things I’ve seen in a while. What an amazing group of people. As their website says, Playing for Change is a multimedia movement created to connect, inspire, and bring peace to the world through music. One listen and you will be hooked! This world needs our artists and musicians!

Collective Cry

photo by: Fred Scharmen
Collective Cry is an online community of artists, activists and allies of social justice. They are dedicated to uplifting and providing healing to systemically oppressed communities through education, community development, economic development and the distribution of media content. "Collective Cry envisions a social environment in which all have access to the means to reach their potential for self-actualization through self-determination." Some of their justice initiatives and other developing economic and awareness initiatives include "Prison Mentorship Project", "My Quest Home" and "The Center for Prosperity".

I Buy Different Baltimore

drawing by: Thomas Valcke
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.

Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity

photo courtesy of: CHH
Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity is a “non-profit housing organization that works in partnership with families in need of housing to build simple, decent and affordable homes. Houses are sold to qualified homebuyers at no profit through no-interest mortgage loans.” CHHumanity has completed more than 120 homes and has housed more than 300 families. There are job opportunities, internships and school programs to help any person at any age get involved and be a part of strengthening all Baltimore communities. You can also help by donating recycled building supplies or buying goods for your own home improvement project from the ReStore . 100% of purchases go toward the next Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity project.