Tuesday, November 9, 2010

So you think it's hard to be GREEN?

From time to time the BVGT receives emails from residents talking and asking about GREEN. Below is one such letter whose sustainable methods and green practices are so impressive that we wanted to share with all.

Hello - My husband and I were happy to see the information about recycling in the October issue of the Bay Village News. We have been residents here since December 1998 and have been doing most of the items mentioned since we moved in.

Initially we started out with a compost pile - 6 ft square, if not larger. We composted all kitchen and yard waste in addition to some shredded newspaper and small branches. We converted our compost pile to a garden so now we do vermi-composting (red wiggler composting worms). It does not handle all grass clippings. But, we use the grass clippings and mulched leaves as "mulch", which then decomposes. It works wonders for the raspberry patch, small garden and flower beds around the yard.

We recycle all paper and cardboard. We do the plastic and glass recycling. We separate the pop cans and take them to the fire station for recycling - they donate the money to the burn units.

In the last few years we have also started to collect rain water. We have a simple collection system that irrigates water to the flower beds around the perimeter of the yard. We also have a rain barrel that collects water from the garage roof and we use that to water our small garden. It is hooked up to a sprinkler, which we control from the collection barrel. Not to mention, any water collected by the dehumidifier in the basement - that is used to water potted plants. It does not go down the drain!

We love to pass on our experiences to others who are interested in GREEN. Once you are in the habit of doing these things it is really not a big deal. Some of the local communities are actually going to be monitoring the "recyclables" that residents set out for recycling. We think that is a great idea. It might force people to take those few extra steps and start thinking about some of these issues.

Kudos to you for passing on the information to all of Bay's residents; if we all did our part we could really reduce what goes to the landfill.

Thank you - Suzanne & Jeffrey

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gardens Under Glass--A Whole Lot More Than Gardens!

Its not easy being green, but Gardens Under Glass located under the glass atrium of the Galleria in downtown Cleveland hopes to make going green easy to achieve.

Last year after reading an article in Urban Land, Vicky Poole came up with the idea to utilize the empty space in the Galleria to support the local Food movement. “As we run out of land, why not utilize empty buildings and especially the Galleria as it lends itself perfectly.” The Civic Innovation Lab must have thought the idea would bear fruit, as she was awarded a start up grant of $30,000.00. Poole demonstrates different growing methods with the use of hydroponics, which uses water and nutrients instead of soil, aquaponics and conventional growing methods. Vertical growing is also an important demonstration, as urban agriculture is gaining popularity. So far she has had success growing vegetables such as lettuce, herbs, cucumbers, and currently has a nice crop of peppers on the way.

The ultimate vision for the initiative is to provide a neighborhood functional retail and business "ReSource Center" (opened in September), providing information about local food production, environmental sustainability, and green products and services to promote lifestyles that leave a much lighter footprint on the earth!

Vicky Poole will be the guest speaker at the BVGT meeting Tuesday, November 9th at City Hall beginning at 6:30 pm. Come and hear all about this innovative and exciting project!