March 28, 2012
Okay, so that title doesn’t REALLY make sense, but hopefully it caught your attention.
Since it is the end of March and getting close to tax day, I’m sure many of us are thinking about IRAs and SEPs and college funds.
This year you might think about investing in a “green” fund. There are several companies out there that have IRAs, mutual funds, money markets, college funds, etc, that invest in companies engaging in sustainable practices.
You have to do your research, just like with any investment, but many of these will give you just as good a return on your money as investing in non-sustainable companies. And these will give you a warm fuzzy feeling with your dividend.
Some companies that have sustainable investment options are:
March 17, 2012
I ran across this post about creating an Herb Spiral on Antony Jones’ web site The Kale Yard. It is an amazing way to grow a number of different herbs that require different growing conditions in a small space.
According to Anthony the idea behind the Herb Spiral is “to get as many different herbs as possible in a confined area. The spiral and the subsequent hight differences mean that you create a number of different environmental conditions which normally would not be possible in a small space.”
The link to directions for how to build an Herb Spiral are here at The Kale Yard.
March 8, 2012
This year The Green Zone, located at the corner of 7th and Red River Street, will featured a water re-filling station, free cell phone charging courtesy of Sol Design Lab‘s Solar Pump, human-powered recycling transfer, and consumer information about the eco-friendly initiatives of The City of Austin, Nokia, and SXSW itself.
Sponsored by Whole Foods, the transformed parking lot will be decorated with native plants and creative furniture made from upcycled materials.
Free and open to the public, the Green Zone be here Wednesday, March, 14 through Sat. March 17, 12-11pm.
March 8, 2012
Whole Foods has started a new online magazine and it is quite interesting. Dark Rye features interesting people doing interesting things in interesting ways. The writers themselves could not have described the content better when they wrote, “Dark Rye brings together pioneers of unconventional ideas to explore the edges of the creative life.”
I highly recommend you take a look. If you are interested in sustainable living, gardening, cooking, food or just interesting ideas I bet you will find something in the magazine that strikes your fancy.
February 28, 2012
February 28, 2012
Those of us who only have a small space to garden in, especially if we want pretty flowers and food, are always looking for ways to maximize the space in our gardens.
One thing you can do is plant beet seeds twice as close as recommended on the package, then thin out every other plant when the greens are about 3-4 inches high. That leaves enough room for the rest of the beets to grow and leaves you with delicious beet greens.
The greens are good tossed in a salad but you can also cook them. On the latest 222 Million Tons post titled Save Something From Landfill Day there is a recipe for Linguine with Beet Greens that sounds delicious. If you like to cook and don’t like to waste make sure you click over to 222′s home page and look at the other recipes posted as well.
February 28, 2012
It’s amazing how a manual or how to book can turn you off a potential new past time or turn you into an aficionado. I never thought I would consider keeping bees, EVER, until I read Kristina Mercedes Urquhart‘s well written article in the March/April issue of Urban Farm magazine.
In her piece, Kristina covers everything from why you should not wear velvet around your bees, the right gloves to buy and why you shouldn’t eat bananas before you go to the hive. (No Joke)
And although Kristina keeps bees in the mountains of North Carolina, it is more than possible to keep bees in a city backyard. In fact, there are two companies that make kits specifically for that purpose.
The first is Omlet (which also makes urban chicken coops.) The Beehaus, Omlet’s hive can be seen here. They sell the hive and all the accoutrements you need to get honey from your bees including protective gear and instructional information.
The second is Philips. While most of us associate the Philips Company with rather mundane items such as lightbulbs, razors and toothbrushes they have developed a very stylish modern looking beehive that can be seen here.
February 24, 2012
Like every other kid in America I once stuck two toothpicks in an avocado pit and put the pit in a jar only to be saddened by the realization that although my plant grew it did not bear fruit. How incredibly sad I would have been to have read this article featured in Discover magazine about 30,000 year old fruit bearing fruit.
Apparently an Upper Pleistocene squirrel burried the fruit along the banks of the Kolyma River in Russia, according to this article in Discover magazine. Click on the link to read the full story written by award winning writer Ed Yong.
February 19, 2012
At Resolution Gardens, which is located here in Austin, I read about The Congress for New Urbanism which had a post about the Partnership for Sustainable Communities which I posted about yesterday. Got all that?
CNU touts itself as “the leading organization promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development, sustainable communities and healthier living conditions.” Co-founders include Peter Calthorpe, Elizabeth Moule, Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Stephanos Polyzoides and Dan Solomon all people with a wealth of experience developing sustainable communities. This organization has some real potential to do good.
Also read about this good news at the CNU website Obama Administration Releases 2013 Budget, Protects Partnership for Sustainable Communities.
February 18, 2012
The Partnership for Sustainable Communities is an inter-agency partnership between the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) whose goal is to create more sustainable communities.
As defined by the Partnership sustainable communities are “places that have a variety of housing and transportation choices, with destinations close to home. As a result, they tend to have lower transportation costs, reduce air pollution and stormwater runoff, decrease infrastructure costs, preserve historic properties and sensitive lands, save people time in traffic, be more economically resilient and meet market demand for different types of housing at different price points.”
I have to admit I was unaware of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities’ existence until recently so I can’t say ‘oh, they’ve done amazing things’ but there is definitely interesting information on their website that gave me food for thought.
There is also information about what they have planned for the future, ways to get involved, grants, addresses of regional offices and other resources.
Be sure to take a look at the Partnership’s About Us page where they list their Livability Principles.