Laurel Peltier

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Laurel Peltier writes the environment GreenLaurel column every Thursday in the Baltimore Fishbowl.

Greenlaurel: Try Local Cut Flowers and Avoid Those Jetsetter Blooms

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A gorgeous locally sourced Local Color Flower bouquet grown within 100 miles of Baltimore.

These days, two dozen roses may only set you back $30. Yet, behind these cheap blooms is a $60 billion global cut-flower industry with a story that’s not quite as rosy. The modern flower industry is known for a voluminous carbon footprint, thorny labor issues and prickly land, pesticide and water practices.

The next time you pick flowers for your special event, think outside the flower box and consider choosing your blooms from the many local and sustainable flower options right here in Charm City.

Greenlaurel: Free Native Trees at Herring Run Nursery this Sunday

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If you live in Baltimore City or Baltimore County and are looking to add trees to your yard, definitely plan on visiting Blue Water Baltimore’s Herring Run Nursery this Sunday to grab yourself a free one.

Greenlaurel: Your Top 7 Electric Vehicle (EV) Questions

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There are over 700 public electric vehicle chargers in Baltimore, like this one at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Even better, EVs often get preferred parking spaces.

They’re cool. They’re supposedly green. And yes, electric vehicles (EV) can be confusing. Check out the real-world answers below to seven classic EV questions.  We’ve even discovered some crazy sweet (like $10,000 sweet) EV coupons that expire Sept. 30. Maybe it’s time to go electric?

Greenlaurel: Coalition Urges Md. to Hit 50 Percent Renewables By 2030

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A CivicWorks’ Solar Job trainee shares his success story at the ‘Forward with 50’ press event. He’s on his way to a new career in solar.

The newly organized Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Initiative, boasting at least 330 organizations, will urge lawmakers to source 50 percent renewable electricity by 2030 and to invest in solar training programs. Energized people-power is critical because the Trump administration has punted on anything renewable leaving states to come up with their own climate change solutions.

Greenlaurel: Baltimore To Consider ‘No Oil Bomb Train’ Legislation

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The “no oil train” coalition protested during Artscape 2017 – a venue right in the potential oil blast zone.

A dedicated group of Baltimore’s faith leaders, communities and environmentalists have been working hard to put the kibosh on highly flammable “oil bomb trains” entering Baltimore City. The Baltimore City Council will soon consider a creative local zoning law designed to seriously limit dangerous oil trains’ terminal expansion. Here’s why you should care and also some simple actions you can take to make your voice heard.

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.

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