GreenLaurel

Greenlaurel: Morgan Community Mile, a Public-Private Collab, Outfits its 31st Home with Solar

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Pamela Harris, Wade Watkins and Barbara Bivens are among 31 homeowners who received solar upgrades as part of the Morgan Community Mile initiative.

Bigwigs and everyday Baltimoreans gathered this week at Wade Watkins’ Belair-Edison home for a street party to celebrate the 31st and final solar installation of the Morgan Community Mile. Among the leaders in attendance was Congressman John Sarbanes, who called the program a “win-win-win: A win for homeowners who will see their BGE bills drop substantially; a win for our planet because the solar electricity generated is pollution-free; and a big win for good, paying jobs in the clean-energy industry.”

Greenlaurel: You’re Invited! Ideas to Host a Beautiful and Sustainable Party

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Using locally grown flora, this arrangement by Baltimore’s Local Color Flowers is stunning. Credit: Stacy Bauer Photography

Gearing up to start planning for holiday entertaining? Consider a few of the sustainably minded party-hosting tips below. From your invitations to party cleanup, small changes can yield greener results while helping you host a fabulous party, all with a nod to our planet.

Greenlaurel: New City Stormwater Training Program Offers a Pathway to a Better Life

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Sean Williams, a participant in Civic Works’ Stormwater Management Technician Training program, shares his story at the program’s official launch. 

Sean Williams has come a long way. Soon, he’ll be learning how to build, maintain and inspect stormwater infrastructure for Baltimore as a trainee in Civic Works’ inaugural Stormwater Management Technician Training program. “It isn’t going to be easy right now, but what can you expect coming from the bottom up?” he said.

Greenlaurel: Five Ways to Really Save on Your BGE Bill

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Were you one of the 750,000-plus BGE customers that got paid on Energy Savings Day to use less electricity during this sizzling hot summer? How cool is that? Lower your energy use and you get paid for doing the right thing. If you’d like to continue your savings streak from month-to-month, check out these five practical ways below to lower your BGE bill.

Greenlaurel: Teach For America Alums Sprout a Garden at Fredrick Douglass High

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Tij-anique Williams (left) said teacher Chris Jennings “is a great teacher. He looks out for us. When we’re stressed out, he has stepped in and cared.”

At Frederick Douglass High School in West Baltimore sits a tidy outdoor garden that offers a prime example of what Baltimore students can do with the right tools to harness the power of urban agriculture. Were it not for three dedicated Teach for America alums, it might be just another patch of asphalt.

Greenlaurel: Check Out the Super-Cool Inner Harbor Kayaking Tours on Sundays

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Another round of house guests this month? Kids getting underfoot? Looking to try something new in town?

Here’s a fun outdoor activity to consider if you’re looking to see Baltimore from another vantage point: Kayak around the Inner Harbor on a summer Sunday morning or afternoon. Get some exercise and enjoy some cooler breezes while taking in what our harbor has to offer. Plus, you can learn why and how our harbor is finally getting cleaned up.

Greenlaurel: Did you Know you Can Recycle Foam Food Containers in Baltimore City?

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Better yet, bring your own mug or container and avoid foam food containers.

Foam food containers and “styrofoam” box packaging seem to be everywhere. If expanded polystyrene (white plastic foamy product sometimes called by the brand name, Styrofoam) isn’t clogging our garbage or our waterways, it’s often littering our streets.

Greenlaurel: The Skinny on Eco Grants Funded by those Pretty Bay License Plates

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Chesapeake Bay license plate owners also get lots of discounts through the “plate perks” program.

Has your group or organization been considering a “greening” project, but wondered where the cash will come from?

Consider attending the how-to-apply-for-grants summer workshops offered by Baltimore City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Chesapeake Bay Trust. The workshops are designed to bring you up to speed on how to write a competitive design and environmental and water quality grant. All those $20 Chesapeake bay license plates and stormwater fees are helping to make Baltimore cleaner and greener. Maybe your group will be part of the solution?

Greenlaurel: Surprisingly, Senate Blocks Trump’s Attempt to Cancel Methane Rules

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Pennsylvania resident Frank Finan filmed condensate tank methane emissions with his infrared FLIR GasFindIR camera. With the FLIR GasFindIR, hydrocarbon emissions, including methane, can be seen with the naked eye as black smoke or steam. Emissions like this are migrating into Baltimore’s air. 

Federal lawmakers have blocked an attempt by President Donald Trump to cancel Obama-era methane rules — at least on federal lands. Though Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency has quietly cancelled Obama’s broader methane emissions regulation enacted in 2015, thanks to the move by the Senate, oil and gas must still capture and reduce fugitive methane emissions on fed lands. This unlikely block is actually a big deal for citizens who live near fracking sites, the tax coffers of certain states and all citizens who live on Planet Earth.

Greenlaurel: Why Baltimore City Council’s Unanimous Climate Resolution is Important

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Councilman Zeke Cohen surrounded by youth and environmental leaders in support of the city’s climate resolution.

At first glance, the Paris Climate Agreement resolution that the Baltimore City Council passed this week may seem perfunctory. After all, cities from Pittsburgh to Paris have voiced their opposition to President Trump’s anti-climate decision and pledged to support the global agreement.