Tag: sustainability

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

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.

3 Baltimore Hospitals Are “Greenest in America”



What makes a hospital green? According to Becker’s Hospital Review, it takes sustainable design, waste reduction, energy efficiency, and water conservation, among other things. 

Dutch Floral Garden Has Wheels! And That’s Not All…


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catch of the day fish (2)If you’ve ever visited, or ordered flowers from Dutch Floral Garden— you already know that it’s a completely unique floral shop.

Nearly Half of All Seafood Is Wasted, Hopkins Study Shows



The United States harvests billions of pounds of seafood every year, and some of it is very delicious. But a shameful amount of it gets thrown away, too.

Johns Hopkins Gets Greener

A green roof at Johns Hopkins Hospital helps the university reduce emissions
A green roof at Johns Hopkins Hospital helps the university reduce emissions

It’s not Earth Day anymore, but this is still great news: Since 2010, Johns Hopkins has managed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent.

Johns Hopkins Commits to Sustainable, Local Food

Hopkins senior Raychel Santo helped convince the school to commit to healthy, sustainably-sourced food. Photo via Cookies & Kimchi
Hopkins senior Raychel Santo helped convince the school to commit to healthy, sustainably-sourced food. Photo via Cookies & Kimchi

In the Johns Hopkins dining halls, the milk comes from a Pennsylvania dairy, the pickles and hot sauce come from Spike Gjerde, and all the bread is made by Stone Mill Bakery. And it doesn’t stop there: the university just announced that at least 35 percent of its food purchases will be local, sustainable, humane, and fair trade by the end of the decade.

Event of the Day: Within Reach at the Creative Alliance

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Thursday, September 19, 2013
7:00 pm | $12, $7 mbrs.

In this film, Mandy and Ryan quit their corporate jobs, sell their houses to bike across the USA, meet 20,000 people, and learn living sustainably is underway. Directed by Ryan Ao, USA, 2013, 98 mins.

Meet Baltimore’s First Climate-Resilient Block

Photo via Vincent Purcell
Photo via Vincent Purcell

One argument against sustainable practices is that they’re just too expensive. It costs money to go green, or so the naysayers claim — those CFL bulbs and solar panels don’t come cheap. But those naysayers may be surprised to get a look at Baltimore’s first climate-resilient block. It’s not in Mt. Washington or Federal Hill or even Charles Village. It’s in an East Baltimore neighborhood that, in the past, made headlines for its crime rate.

Baltimore Scientists Turn Carnivorous Fish into Happy Vegetarians



Cobia, aka black salmon, is a fish that likes to eat other fish — and crabs, squid, and pretty much whatever else it can get its jaws on. Or that’s how things used to be. After four years of experiments by Baltimore scientists, the cobia has now converted to vegetarianism.

Power Your Home with Wind Energy from Clean Currents

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Clean Currents helping Baltimoreans switch to wind power on Earth Day
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Last fall’s ice cream social, hosted with Taharka Brothers

By now, most people have had the experience of driving down the highway and seeing, off in the distance, the tall white wind turbines that are beginning to dot the American landscape. In recent years, they’ve become the icon of renewable, sustainable energy—the promise of less pollution, fighting climate change, and pursuing energy sources that are safe for humans and the environment. Now Baltimoreans can enthusiastically jump on the green energy bandwagon with Clean Currents, a company making it possible for Baltimore residents to choose to power their homes exclusively through wind power. Now, this doesn’t mean that they come to your backyard (or porch, or stoop) and install a windmill that sends electricity into your house. Rather, it means that they buy energy from wind farms as close as Pennsylvania and send that through BGE’s power lines to your home. There’s no change in reliability of electricity, and you may be surprised to learn that BGE still maintains power lines and the flow of power to homes and businesses powered by Clean Currents. When you make the switch, your power remains uninterrupted, perfectly normal, but your household is just that much greener.

Baltimore’s Newest Sustainable Venture: Growing Vegetables with Fish


Johns Hopkins-Cylburn Aquaponics Farm Baltimore

Baltimore farmers interested in sustainability have been growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs for a while. Maryland’s even got green-minded grain farms, and organic wines. But Johns Hopkins’ new aquaponics project, which features 400 tilapia in 210-gallon tanks at Cylburn Arboretum, is the first we’ve heard of a sustainable fish-farming effort.

Inspired Habitat: Should We Salvage That?


Many people are choosing to renovate their old homes rather than sell and build new. The reasons are different for everyone. Some want to save money and a renovation is less expensive than a rebuild. Others want to preserve some historic element in their existing home. Still others love their home, their yard and their neighborhood but find the home’s interior design no longer suits their lifestyle.

Who’s Baltimore’s Most-Solar Company?


Yesterday we brought you news of Baltimore neighborhoods are reducing energy consumption through a few simple steps. But it’s not just the homeowners who are committed to reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent by 2015. Johns Hopkins, the largest employer in the city, is taking steps to save money by reducing its own energy consumption. And it’s not the only one.

In an Earth Day press release, the school announced the installation of 2,908 solar panels on seven buildings. Panels on the school’s gym, the Mattin Center, and the Bloomberg School of Public health’s main building (among others) are projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.2 million pounds each year, and produce 34 households-worth of electricity. As of this morning, the panels have already saved 15,744 gallons of gas, according to this cool live-streaming control panel.

PBS Program Trumpets the Good News from Baltimore


If you happened to spend Earth Day inside watching TV, you might have seen Baltimore showcased in the new episode of PBS’s Earth:  The Operator’s Manual. The episode, “Energy Quest USA,” shone a spotlight on innovative ways that various communities are reducing energy consumption — and it was a very welcome spot of encouraging news amid the general gloominess that’s out there.

The program focused on BNEC, the Baltimore Neighborhood Energy Challenge, a grassroots effort that tried to bring energy-saving tips directly to city residents, using a neighbor-to-neighbor communication network. In other words, BNEC neighborhood captains not only set up booths at block parties, they also went door-to-door, handing out energy-efficient light bulbs and even inviting themselves inside homes to give hands-on demonstrations of energy-saving tips. The program capitalizes on the idea that “knowledge about energy savings is contagious,” in the words of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Taking a cue from other cities, BNEC also made saving energy into a competition between neighborhoods — and were surprised to see who ended up winning.

Working for a Fruitier Baltimore


Los Angeles residents follow Fallen Fruit’s maps to find fruit trees on public property. Over on the other coast, the Boston Tree Party is celebrating the spirit of “civic fruit” by planting heirloom apple trees in public spaces. And now we’ve got our very own orchard activists launching all sorts of fruit-centric projects around town this spring:  the Baltimore Orchard Project.

Founded by a group of movers and shakers from the local sustainability and food scenes, BOP has two main projects:  to glean fruit from public places and distribute it to those in need; and to partner with individuals and organizations to plant trees, orchards, berry bushes, and grapevines to make sure Baltimore only gets fruitier.