Alrighty, sadly, I recently switched jobs and am now living in Morocco. My hope is to comment on green living here in Rabat and throughout the country. We’ll see how far that goes. Otherwise, this might turn into a “Thoughts on Morocco” blog.

In any case, there are many Peace Corps volunteers around Moroccoa and I’m sure they could provide interesting insight- so we’ll see if I can draw any of them in.

Happy November,

greenMoroccoGirl

Almost two months ago- I was advised by a reader to look up PARK(ing) Day…I followed the trail through various websites until I was led to Matthew Shaffer, Associate Director of Marketing for the Trust for Public Land (TPL).  Matt was nice enough to chat with me for a while and told me about how PARK(ing) Day, which originated in San Fransisco in 2005 via the art collective REBAR group has transformed into a one-day global event. Local volunteers gather to temporarily transform metered parking spots into ‘PARK(ing)’ spaces, or temporary public parks (I checked out photos- and this is ART, folks). This year, PARK(ing) day falls on Friday, September 19.

 

For more info (and to set up your own temporary PARK/art installation), check out the PARK(ing) day website: http://www.parkingday.org/.

 

Or check out the Trust for Public Land’s website: http://www.tpl.org/tier3_cd.cfm?content_item_id=22093&folder_id=3428.

 

The aim of the whole thing now is to promote the need for parks in cities. Research has found that more than half of the kids in any given city don’t have access to a local safe place to play. Part of the goal is to help communities realize the importance of parks and to then assist communities towards creating new parks where they are needed.

 

Back in 2005, REBAR found out that you can lease a parking spot for any ‘safe and legal’ purpose. So what did they do?! They decided to create a park. Spunky creativity is always awesome. From that initial experiment- the reaction by passer-bys inspired them to keep at it.

 

In 2007, PARK(ing) day was held in SF, Cleveland, NYC and London…hopefully this year more folks get at it. Matt said that last year someone did create a PARK(ing) spot in DC. However, this year, a guy named Brandon Schmidtling (you can Facebook him) is organizing it- so I can’t wait to see pictures of a nasty DC parking spot transformed into a mini park. Unfortunately, I am not in DC at the moment (more on that and the long blogging absence in a bit), but maybe one of my friends will read this and be inspired enough to get involved!? For the SLR folks, this would be an amazing photo opportunity…and it’s for a great cause!

 

-greenDCgirl (From Corvallis, OR)

Emily over at the Washingtonian forwarded this great resource to me: Go Green!.

-greenDCgirl

A great colleague of mine recently started a more formal blog covering developments in ecosystem services marketplace development or payments for ecosystem services (PES). I will also occasionally be providing commentary for her – for access to that please click here: EnvironmentalMarkets.

Most recently, a bunch of us attended the Katoomba Conference this past week at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History-so look out for commentary on a surprise visit from John Kerry and notes about the challenges of the politics in protecting the Amazon mentioned by Governor Blairo Maggi and former Secretary for the Ministry of Environment Mary Helena Allegretti-both of Brazil.

-greenDCgirl

I’ve been forgetting that my main aim with this blog was to help others live a more green life. Instead I’ve been going off on random tangents that are related but not necessarily helpful…Beltwoods was lovely-but I’m not sure that a rush of visitors to that swath of virgin forestland would do the woodpeckers much good-unless you’re a millionaire who after seeing it, was inspired enough to go buy a parcel of land to protect.

In any case, there are a couple things I’ve been doing in my daily life to keep my footprint to a minimum. As many of my colleagues do, I keep a Nalgene/aluminum bottle at work to prevent the usage of disposable plastic cups and I keep a sponge and bottle of dish detergent in my cubicle along with some dishes so as not to rely on the paper/Styrofoam dishes when heating up my lunches. However, I recently realized that I use a ton of napkins-mostly because I’m a bit of a klutz and also because I’m chronically worried that I’ll go to a meeting with a glob of food stuck on my face. So I recently grabbed a couple cheap and ugly handkerchiefs and even accidentally ‘borrowed’ a real cloth napkin from a restaurant and I keep them in my desk at work (for the creative types out there- you can even make your own personalized napkins with old clothes that you no longer wear or from cool fabrics at textile stores). When lunch time arrives, I place a napkin over my lap and eat like the civilized lady I am. With three or four cloth napkins at my disposal- I take them home every two weeks or so to give them a wash and it’s not an inconvenience at all; the main trick is to remember!

And look- it’s just about time for lunch.

-greenDCgirl

Man oh man. I’ve been so busy lately I never had the chance to post about my visit to Beltwoods– a tiny swath of virgin forest in Maryland that’s not too far from DC (30 minute drive?).

Anywho- I will say I had a blast observing all the mayapples scattered underneath the trees and I saw my first red-headed woodpecker.

I won’t be able to give this experience justice today- but here are some pictures to share:

Enjoy!

-greenDCgirl

Out of all the green blogs out there, this one is by far my favorite- mainly because this person is displaying- for the world, but especially for NYCers – how EXACTLY to go green- and how extreme you can get.

“The problem: 350.

One great solution: 350.org.

350. I should write it 350 times. We should all write it 350 times. Everyone on the earth should get out a pen, write down the number 350, and send it to their head of state. 350 times.

Now let me explain.

For the next two or three years, the nations of the world are supposed to be negotiating a successor treaty to the Kyoto Accord, the current international treaty on reducing the emissions of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. In December 2009, heads of state will converge in Copenhagen to sign a new treaty that would forge a new international agreement on how we, as a planet, can limit carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to a level that would keep us safe from global warming’s worst effects.

What is that level? How much carbon dioxide can our planet safely withstand?

350. As in parts per million (ppm).”

To read more, go to: http://noimpactman.typepad.com/blog/.

And I promise to stop being lazy and post a blog myself soon- pictures of Beltwoods in Maryland coming up!

Cheers,

greenDCgirl