Saturday, January 29, 2011

FAMU Wins $50,000 Sustainability Grant

ShareThis The Huffington Post named the HBCU, Florida A&M University (FAMU), famed for its business program and awesome band, one of the nine most innovative colleges. It's adoption of sustainable practices was one reason for this recognition. FAMU was one of the winners of a Ford Foundation grant to promote the building of sustainable communities. $50,000 will be used to implement the proposal developed by FAMU students and professors for local farmers.

You go, FAMU!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

House Republicans Want to Cut Funds for Weatherization, Energy Star, IPCC, and More

House Republicans Want to Cut Funds for Weatherization, Energy Star, IPCC, and More
Elections Matter, but so does your voice. Use the Black and Into Green, "Write Your Rep" tools to express your opinion.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

2010 Toyota Prius Review

2010 Toyota Prius Review Why not provide a review of th 2011 Toyota Prius? Because due to unforeseen mechanical issues with my ten year old Volvo, I am forced to enter the car market prematurely. Sigh. Of course, I have to walk the talk (or drive the talk) and seriously consider purchasing a hybrid. The fact that a magnet of a red Toyota Prius has graced a spot on my refrigerator for the past three years, is a good indication that I was leaning towards the purchase of a hybrid in the first place. Fortunately for me, the best deal so far that I have found is on a spicy tomato red 2010 Prius. I was also considering the sporty new Honda CR-Z hybrid (my son was really lobbying for this one), but passed for several reasons. The first is that as a gardener, a two seater is not going to work when I'm hauling pots of plants and bags of mulch in the spring and summer, also, the mpg and safety ratings weren't as high as those of the Prius. Lastly, I am not a fan of purchasing new cars which depreciate as soon as you drive them off of the lot. Though, I personally would have preferred to purchase a vehicle with Honda, given its efforts to address climate change. So wish me luck as I face the always pleasant (not) task of buying a car. Hopefully, I will post a photo of my new baby soon!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Brooklyn Farm Keeps on Truckin

Brooklyn Farm Keeps on Truckin’ Loving this! Creative spaces for urban gardening.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Raw Mocha Angel: Applesauce

The Raw Mocha Angel: Applesauce Recipes and insights from a raw sister!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011: A Green Odyssey

The title of this post is inspired by the Stanley Kubrick film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, that I watched for the first time last night. I know. Flash forward to 2011, and while we may not be on our way to Jupiter, there are some tremendous predictions for designing products and processes that create a cleaner, greener earth that may make the case for going to Jupiter, less pressing. While we have a long way to go towards living in a more eco-conscious world, there is much work to be done towards reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, eliminating wasteful processes and valuing natural services, I am seeing the signs of a green awakening everywhere. In 2010, a day did not pass without witnessing evidence of more sustainable business practices and green consumer goods. A really wild example came from a recruiting mailer addressed to my teen son, which exclusively highlighted the variety of sustainable practices and career opportunities of the sender. There was even an offer for an eco-friendly tote bag or t-shirt if he went online to request more information. Did this come from Peace Corp? Greenpeace? The Sierra Club? The EPA? No. It was a recruiting mailer from the National Guard! Wow. When the National Guard starts to go green, big things are poppin'. Either that or someone has a really targeted, on the money, marketing database. Could be both, given the times. But, I digress. The federal government, Wal-mart and other large corporations are evaluating the sustainable business practices of their suppliers and to various degrees, awarding business to the most environmentally friendly vendors. Packaging is shrinking and more often than not, highlighting the amount of recycled content, or sustainable forestry practices. Restaurants are buying produce and foods from local farmers and artisans,  and are using more non-styrofoam takeout boxes. Colleges are touting their green buildings and earth friendly practices, in addition to their sustainable business, alternative energy and sustainable agriculture degree programs. Go Bucks! Grocery stores and drug stores have a wider selection of organic, fair trade and eco-friendly product options. Urban eyesores are being converted to urban edens. I have yet to see a new construction project in my city that was not LEED certified and even existing office buildings are vying for the title of "most energy efficient" by pursuing Energy Star certification. It's beautiful. This progress flies in the face of all the outright lies that have been told about "job killing" climate change intiatives and ignorance displayed in 2010. There will be a big push to maintain the status quo in 2011, it will be a challenging journey on the path leading to a cleaner, greener, friendlier world. HAL 9000 is among us, but the momentum is on the side of change, so let's grab our helmets and go into hyperdrive by speaking out and up for ourselves and for those unable to advocate for themselves, buying green, living consciously and intentionally.

Thank you for role in making 2010 a greener year!

A Green Year In Review: 2010 Personal Green Goals

Banker Appropriate Fair Trade Earrings
It's that time of year again. Time to look back once last time to evaluate your progress in achieving those milestones that you set for yourself. Here are my 2010 green goals and my scorecard of achievement:
  1. Take the bus to work once a week. Nope. Maybe $5 gallon gas will do the trick.
  2. 20% clothing purchases from thrift, 20% fair trade or organic. I definitely achieved this goal for my casual clothing purchases, but didn't do such a great job for work related clothing items. Now that I'm in a less formal work environment, this should be easier to achieve. I have also found some nice work related options from an awesome fair trade store called Revive. The good news is that there are more fair trade shopping options available and more traditional fashion sites are offering vintage options. Check out and Modcloth to see for yourself.
  3. Obtain LEED Accreditation. Decided against this one for now, too narrowly focused (green buildings), though the LEED for Neighborhoods is interesting. I'm going to investigate some certifications in other sustainable areas, such as business operations or urban agriculture, given my passions for entrepreneurship and gardening.
  4. Green renovations for the bathroom. No. Unexpected auto maintenance expenses, nixed this one, but I'm hopeful for this year! Any ideas?
  5. Energy Star appliances. See number four.
  6. Apply permaculture principles to the garden. Of course! This was easy. My broccoli  and arugula didn't fare so well, but my curbside figs were awesome. This year, I should see the first harvest from the blackberry vine I planted. Pie anyone?
  7. Host green events. I did incorporate a green business panel discussion for the Women's Economic Development Trade Show I co-chaired. It was very well received.
  8. Promote Power of Place Based Education Principles. Got the ball rolling. Introduced the concept to our local US Green Building Council Green Schools Action Circle. Would like to expand upon this in 2011.
  9. Act as a green coach to an African American business. Yes, Though one could say it was more about providing marketing coaching to a green business. A friend of mine launched the Summerville Farmers Market in Cincinnati's Avondale neighborhood last year. She did okay, but didn't start working on getting farmers until June, which is way too late. She needs to start looking for farmers, I suggested that she work with her local chapter of the Urban League to help her put together a solid business plan. I'm also going to suggest that she develop an internship program, so that she can get some help from local able bodied college students pursuing sustainable agriculture, marketing or urban planning degrees.
  10. Make Five Green Business Presentations. 20% hit ratio on that one, but based on the number of green businesses I encounter in my new profession, our folks are keen on sustainable enterprise. I decided to concentrate my efforts on finding a new career, but God blessed me with a two-fer! How amazing is that?!
So, while I didn't hit all of my milestones, I did meet many of the key goals that I set and built a path towards even greater green successes in 2011. How did you do with your green goals for 2010? What were your obstacles, motivators? What are your green goals for 2011? I haven't finalized mine yet, but you will be the first to know, when I have them.

Happy New Year!