The BBC reports today that downtown Detroit is taking new shape with a rash of urban gardens.
In a town which symbolizes the rust belt, left over from the car industry, a new group Urban Farming has taken it upon themselves to breath some life into the city.
Visiting one of the largest allotments, on a site that had been derelict since Detroit’s infamous 1967 riots, locals spoke about an astonishing transformation.
Derelict streets highlight Detroit’s tough past and present
“There is something that every hand in this area can do,” said Rose Stallard, who is keen to enlist as many volunteers as possible to help tend the garden and its precious crops.
Urban gardening has grown hugely since the onset of the concern over Global Warming, but what is remarkable is how versatile and mutlitalented it is. Community gardens have been reported to help nearby residents economically and socially as well as easing racial and gender divides and building community and lowering crime. Natural is the answer friends!
Too good to be true? No way! Necky Kayaks are 100% recycled from post industrial waste.
This stuff needs to be the norm, but for now, thanks Necky!
Gotta love Youtube. Here’s a DIY (how can you resist?) on making a generator from solar and hydro energy.
The BBC reports on the rising cost of basic staples, such as wheat, soy, rice and corn. Surprisingly, corn is the least affected of those mentioned. For the last few months, corn used for biofuel has been blamed for the violence and protests over the cost of food. It was said that the land cleared for the biofuel production was leaving less room to grow food, and while this is true, it is the least liable of the trifecta affecting food prices.
The main culprits?
Increased population (It is estimated to reach 9 Billion by mid-century)
Increased Wealth in China and India (The trade and technology booms have hugely increased the number of wealthy- even middle class- citizens. This means they are adding meat, dairy and grains to their diets that may not have been before)
The third is a vast increase in the volume of food consumed globally. (From 1980-2007 the world went from eating 20kg of meat to 50kg on average.)
Ck’s Weblog posted “50 ways to Help the Planet.” Awesome!
Here’s a clip:
* DON’T RINSE
Skip rinsing dishes before using your dishwasher and save up to 20 gallons of water each load. Plus, you’re saving time and the energy used to heat the additional water.
* DO NOT PRE-HEAT THE OVEN
Unless you are making bread or pastries of some sort, don’t pre-heat the oven. Just turn it on when you put the dish in. Also, when checking on your food, look through the oven window instead of opening the door.
Recycled glass reduces related air pollution by 20 percent and related water pollution by 50 percent. If it isn’t recycled it can take a million years to decompose.
* DIAPER WITH A CONSCIENCE
By the time a child is toilet trained, a parent will change between 5,000 and 8,000 diapers, adding up to approximately 3.5 million tons of waste in U.S. landfills each year. Whether you choose cloth or a more environmentally-friendly disposable, you’re making a choice that has a much gentler impact on our planet.
Get a clothesline or rack to dry your clothes by the air. Your wardrobe will maintain color and fit, and you’ll save money. Your favorite t-shirt will last longer too.
*GO VEGETARIAN ONCE A WEEK
One less meat-based meal a week helps the planet and your diet. For example: It requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. You will also also save some trees. For each hamburger that originated from animals raised on rainforest land, approximately 55 square feet of forest have been destroyed.
Beyond the Blog has a good post today about the difference between thinking and acting “green”. Check it out.
He says that two things really shifted our thinking away from the earth, one being religion and the other being big business. I agree, but I think the agricultural revolution needs to be in there somewhere. Maybe that falls under big business?
By the way, the Thinkgreen website turns out to be WM (waste management)….hmmm. The image above came from amoeba.com.
And what do you do if you can’t afford organic? Stop eating it all together I guess.
The Associated Press reports that yet another study links human action (CO2 and pollution emission) to premature death as well as reduced quality of life, with children and even adults developing asthma late in life. Here’s a site called AIRNow that speaks about the effects of smog on the environment and on us.
When will we stop thinking of Climate Change as something that is happening to us?
The Associated Press reports that the World Food Program forsees a food shortage like we haven’t seen since WWII. With the intense competition for food, the World Bank is looking at options like Genetically Modified foods, food rations, as well as asking for a general reduction of the amount of food consumed by the global community.
The skyrocketing cost of food staples, stoked by rising fuel prices, unpredictable weather and demand from India and China, has already sparked sometimes violent protests across the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.
President Bush has released an urgent $100 Million and Britain promised another $59.6 Million in aid. Even so feeding programmes in Kenya and Cambodia have been scaled back.
And evolving diets among burgeoning middle classes in India and China will help double the demand for food- particularly grain intensive meat and dairy by 2030, the World Bank says.