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Green Living

Species depend on your yard and you

What if your backyard were the last place for wildlife to live? What if now were your last chance to help?     It is, and it is.     So says Doug Tallamy, the University of Delaware entomology professor, who comes to Bowie for Earth Day to explain why.     “He has identified an environmental storm front the likes of Silent Spring,” says Elmer Dengler of the Bowie-Crofton Garden Club, a sponsor of Tallamy’s April 21 visit.

Bloom is the best thing to come out of D.C in a long time

The demand for organically grown food continues to increase. Because chemical fertilizers cannot be used in its production, growers must depend on natural sources for nutrients, such as animal manures, compost and green manure crops. The demand for compost is so great that it exceeds the supply.     The problem may soon be solved by recent developments in processing biosolids.

More drop-off boxes, more space in closets, more community funding

Clean out your closets and support the Calvert County D.A.R.E. program in one fell swoop. Nine new donation boxes bring Calvert’s textile recycling locations to 16, making it easier for citizens and earning more money for the county.     “Instead of these resources being landfilled, the profitable and recyclable textiles are sold on the market for reuse by others or for fibers,” explains Calvert County Recycling Coordinator Bill Teter.

Support the Chesapeake with your license plates

Buying a new vehicle this spring comes with extra benefits to the Bay. Bay-area dealers are competing for the next three months to see who can send the most customers off their lots with Treasure the Chesapeake Bay license plates.

Building an edible forest that mimics nature and may even fix environmental damage

An edible forest sounds like something out of Willy Wonka. Ripening pears and bright berries drip from trees. Branches brim with cherries, blackberries and blueberries.     The food forest is an idea ripe for the picking. It’s an idea Birgit Sharp, of Fairhaven, is already planting.

Grasonville environmental center schools grown-ups

So you want to learn more about life in Chesapeake Country, but you’re just a bit intimidated by lengthy Master Naturalist classes with lots of study time and volunteer hours?     The Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center in Grasonville has the answer you didn’t know you were looking for.

Anne Arundel County offers just the right raw ingredients

Anne Arundel County has more horses than any other county in the nation. It follows that we also have more horse manure. Some of that horse manure occupies precious landfill space or is dumped near streams, thus contributing to Bay pollution.

Better options for bagging leaves become the rule

Be sure to ask Santa for compostable paper bags or a new bin for your yard waste in 2017. Beginning in January, neither Annapolis nor Anne Arundel County will accept plastic bags in its curbside pickup of grass clippings, leaves, Christmas trees and other yard waste.     The new regulations mean putting yard waste in a bin (but not your yellow one for recyclables), biodegradable paper bags or in a secure bundle tied with twine. Mark reusable containers with an X. In the city of Annapolis, you can request a 32-gallon green recycling cart for your yard waste.

Get a fast start with my Gouin brew

This is a great time to activate the compost pile. The fallen leaves are rich in nutrients and organic matter. Mother Nature has been using leaves as natural mulch since the beginning of time.     I begin with my leaf blower, blowing as many leaves as possible under the branches of the shrubs to mulch them over winter.

Visit the Annapolis Green House for gifts, ideas, recycling

Not every gift you’ll read about in Bay Weekly this week wants wrapping. But the gifts you do wrap can look pretty without generating a ton of waste in the form of boxes, bows, ribbon and tissue paper. The eco-organization Annapolis Green has set up shop as the Annapolis Green House at 92 Maryland Avenue and is-wrapping gifts using unique, innovative packaging in recycled, fun materials that would otherwise go to waste. Think burlap, fabric, blueprints and more — plus all the wrapping materials you’ve recycled from years past.