cause.it

May 11, 2012

This topic isn’t exactly the kind of thing I usually write about but I was so impressed by the concept I couldn’t resist.

A new smart phone app called cause.it lets businesses, people and non-profits come together in a unique way.

Here is how it works. Businesses partner with non-profits. People volunteer for these non-profits and in exchange get discounts to use at the businesses the non-profits are partnered with.

Right now cause.it is only available in a few cities but the company is growing quickly.

There is a very good video on the web site that explains things in full detail.

The Genius Of The Place

April 22, 2012

Burlington waterfront

Burlington waterfront (Photo credit: Lens‌cap)

In ancient Rome a Genius loci referred to the protective spirit of a place. In the Western world it came to refer to a place’s atmosphere or spirit.

It was Alexander Pope who linked the concept to landscaping. In a letter to Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington, in 1731 Pope wrote:

Consult the genius of the place in all;/That tells the waters or to rise, or fall;/Or helps th’ ambitious hill the heav’ns to scale,/Or scoops in circling theatres the vale;/Calls in the country, catches opening glades,/Joins willing woods, and varies shades from shades,/Now breaks, or now directs, th’ intending lines;/Paints as you plant, and, as you work, designs.

Happy Earth Day

Seaweed For Your Garden

April 16, 2012

TomCorser Seaweed 3

TomCorser Seaweed 3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Martina Fugazzotto, who has a blog entitled farmtina, has a post on her site written by her mom. Apparently her mom knows about some very interesting ways to use seaweed in the garden.

If you go here you will have the chance to be enlightened, as I was, about how to use seaweed to keep down weeds, repel slugs and restore nutrients without adding too much salt to the soil.

The Boxcar Grocer

April 12, 2012

Alison and Alphonzo Cross
Founders of The Boxcar Grocer

In many underprivileged neighborhoods there is an inadequate supply of healthy food. Due to (often mistaken) preconceptions about crime rates, insurance, shoplifting, and vandalism, chain supermarkets are reluctant to open stores in these areas.

As a result, many people who live in these neighborhoods are forced to rely on local corner stores which carry mostly overpriced, unhealthy food.

Sister and brother Alison and Alphonzo Cross are trying to put an end to that in Atlanta with a new venture, The Boxcar Grocer. According to its co-founders, The Boxcar Grocer is “at the intersection of food justice and high concept retail.” In other words, it is testament to the fact that you can have a corner store in an urban area that provides healthy food choices to those with limited transportation options.

The Boxcar Grocer gets much of its produce from growers in and around the city of Atlanta. There is great information, including videos, on the Community page of their web site about some of the farmers they work with.

As the Cross team puts it, “with community support, we will have a thriving model of convenience store retail that successfully unifies the ideals of the larger environmental and food movements with the needs and voices of diverse urban communities such as Castleberry Hill, Mechanicsville and the West End areas of Atlanta.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

The RE Store

April 7, 2012

A Repurposed Headboard From The RE Store
Photo Courtesy of The RE Store

For almost twenty years RE Store (there are actually two) in Western Washington has been providing quality recycled building materials as an alternate to new materials to sustainably conscious consumers. And over those twenty years the store has grown into a company that now also offers an amazing range of services. Not only can you go to the store to pick out materials, the RE Store also offers a free pick up service and a green demolition service.

What is green demolition you ask? It is a way to dismantle a building using machine and hand techniques to recover materials for reuse. This can include everything from structural framing beams to flooring and fixtures. The RE Store specializes in whole-building deconstruction, which is economically competitive with regular demolition and allows for the reuse up to 50 percent of most structures. This keeps a lot of materials out of the land fill.

The RE Store also has skill building workshops for the community and a Sustainable Living Center. Take a look at their web site and blog for more information about this inspiring and highly useful venture.

Find A Place To Compost

April 4, 2012

A picture of compost soil

A picture of compost soil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have stuff to compost but no actual place to compost? Go to FindAComposter.com, enter your location and compost centers will magically appear on your computer screen.

As for keeping the stuff to compost until you get to the compost site you have a couple of options. As we don’t have much counter or under the sink space I put it in a plastic bag in the freezer. But if you have a bigger kitchen there are all kinds of small, kitchen top and under the counter compost pails with charcoal and other kinds of filters that work well.

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