One of the toughest things about “going green” is learning all of the different things you can do to contribute. Even the smallest changes or efforts can make huge positive impacts on the environment. The internet is flooded with information, and while that is a luxury past generations never had, it can also make it hard to filter through to find the best, or most relevant, information. But, every journey starts with a single step. Once you are ready to take the “green” journey, try one of these local learning opportunities in Baltimore as your first step. Not only do they offer a ton of information, but they are also a great place to start networking so you can find even more great tips.
Learning Green is a part of Great Kids Up Close, a Baltimore City school project. Learning Green focuses on teaching children ways to improve or protect the environment. These kids are the future leaders of the planet and it is important to educate them on these techniques now so they can be champions for Earth throughout their lives. First launched in the fall of 2010, Learning Green had 16 schools and about 150 students taking part in the program sponsored by the Baltimore Office of Sustainability. During the year, students were encouraged to come up with and implement concrete solutions to make Baltimore a “greener” city. The number of schools participating has now reached 54 and these schools are working toward Maryland Green School Certification. For more information about how you can get your children or their school involved, check out the website or contact Joanna Pi-Sunyer, Green Schools Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Community College of Baltimore County
Each semester, The Community College of Baltimore County, or CCBC, offers some courses to teach students ways to live “green”. These will vary from semester to semester so be sure to check them out as each new session approaches. Some current courses include Backyard Beekeeping and Treasures of the Patapsco River Valley. Backyard Beekeeping costs $89 and will teach you how to keep an active beehive right in your own backyard. Bees not only provide a supply of all-natural honey, but they also significantly help the local plant life for miles around the hive. The class teaches you how to build a hive, maintain it, collect the honey, avoid getting stung and understand honeybee biology, their lifecycle and how they impact the environment. Treasures of the Patapsco River Valley costs $79 and covers the five “R’s” of the Patapsco River Valley: river, rock, railroad, roads and rebuilding. The class will teach you the history of the area, the hidden treasures, how the river impacts the Chesapeake Bay and how to improve your ecological footprint. Be sure to check out the CCBC class catalogue for more great classes to jumpstart your “green” journey.
Baltimore.org has a section of the website dedicated to providing locals and visitors with information about how to find “green” places and activities in the city. The site explains the Maryland Green Travel program, which encourages local businesses to “go green” not only in an effort to make the planet healthier, but also to find themselves listed in the “green” tourist stops list. There are links for the list of stops and for businesses to get more information. Baltimore.org also lists some of the major buildings and locations that are taking strides to “go green”. Right now there is some great information about all of the steps the massive Baltimore Convention Center is taking. The site also has links to the Baltimore Green Map, which is exactly what it sounds like. This resource literally maps out all of the “green” places around the city. These stops are home to invaluable information. The best place to gather tips and tricks is from other “greenies”. Stop by some of these places to learn from like-minded people. Baltimore.org doesn’t stop there. The site has much more information and it is updated often. Be sure to bookmark this page and check it periodically to get some great information.
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Tom Clocker is a freelance writer covering all things Baltimore. His work can be found on Examiner.com.