We have posted a number of tidbits about Green Week, from Baltimore Green Works’ EcoFest through various local and national events this week. We must keep the enthusiasm up, of course. Green Week draws to a close, but not the need to be creative and disciplined with our use of resources and our development of sustainable technologies. But in the spirit of a well-earned Friday afternoon, we wanted to end this week’s series with a few local and a (surprising?) international marks of success.
We have already praised Baltimore City for (finally) getting hybrid-technology buses on the road, and we note the development again. But Baltimore is full of projects and efforts that are greening urban neighborhoods, giving options to driving cars, and producing green products for us to enjoy.
‘Red Tree Baltimore’ in the Hamden neighborhood of Baltimore is one of the go-to places for furniture, accessories like lighting and mirrors, even materials for the kitchen or bar. And they stress theof their line, as well as the use of local designers and products. Another example of such commitment is the in Kenilworth Mall in Towson, MD. One hardly need to depend on the media focus of Green Week to keep an eye out for local merchants who are striving for eco-stability, so take a moment to do some research on your town’s offerings before assuming the purchase must be made from a ‘box store.’
As for the myriad of projects in town, we would want simply to call attention to a few. A longer list can be found a the blog of The Baltimore Sun. First off, let us recall that the Baltimore Green Works who established Baltimore Green Week began as a one-off effort to create a one-off festival to inspire Baltimoreans to think a little greener. That was five years ago, and Baltimore Green Works continues as a viable institution, influencing our community all year around.
TheInner Harbor and toward Fort McHenry. The demarcated bicycle paths along many of the city’s feeder roads are certainly not ideal, but they too represent an effort to get people out of their cars for more than a Saturday afternoon jaunt.provides lovely rides to families, but at least as importantly it offers the opportunity some of the city’s biking commuters to get safely in-and-out of the center every work day. The trail is still under extension, with designs to get it through the
Another way to avoid the automobile is to use the ‘Charm City Circulator,’ which has, and with the 1200+ riders a day, the market is clearly there for the other two lines set to launch in the near future. As the name suggests, these buses are for those already downtown but moving among clients or work places or meetings, rather than commuting long distances. Taking the Metro or Light Rail or riding one’s bike in can solve that first issue. Tourists to the Inner Harbor also enjoy their benefits, for the Circulators allow flexibility and ease to visit the many sites in the area. And these benefits are free to all riders and to the tourists!
If you really need a car, and sometimes we all do, the Johns Hopkins University is part of the Zipcar network, and anyone can join for $35 a year (with a $35 credit within one’s first month of driving). Zipcar is a nationwide enterprise proud of its local roots, and those of us who have used it can testify to the easy, low-cost, thoroughly-insured opportunities to get a car for a few hours or a couple of days. And their fleet is full of hybrids (that can drive you to a stop on the Circulator).
Last, but not least, a striking bit of news from an international infotainment corporation: News Corp. (yes, the owners of Fox News) has announced its ambitions to go carbon neutral over the next decade or so. Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones and The Atlantic has posted about the development. Indeed, the move began in 2007 when directed staff to find ways to reduce energy and improve efficiencies. He made no bones about the fact that the move was meant to cut costs/improve profits. As Sheppard’s article points out, the wringing out of waste has not been without headaches and setbacks, but the conglomerate’s products and influences are huge. Customers and consumers will thus be influenced as well. The Fox News branch might be, well, a holdout.
Make Green Week a yearlong and lifelong habit. Consider some of these local merchants and services – and find others whenever possible. Have a great weekend.