Southeast Green - Business depends on the environment and the environment depends on business

An Open Wound

This is what the whole hill looked like before the development began.

We have a tragedy happening in my neighborhood. I live in a neighborhood just south of Decatur. In fact part of our main road through the neighborhood is in the City of Decatur. Our neighborhood and Winnona Park have worked for over ten years to get the best development possible on the last large track of land in Decatur. Nine acres with one and half of those acres in the flood plain have been slated for development.

The neighbors have gone through three developers trying to get the best development possible. The plan that finally got approved by the City of Decatur included a 30% conservation easement with a fifteen foot buffer to the road with existing trees.

Unfortunately, something happened along the way.

About a week ago they started clear cutting the land for timber. As logging trucks rolled in and took out a ninety year old forest (It was not native forest.) I had my first ever visceral reaction to losing a piece of nature. I know it's ironic that I bemoan nature in what is essentially downtown Atlanta. But it's the irony that makes it so painful.


Just say no to...straws

A while back, I got an e-mail saying that if people stopped taking bank receipts from ATM machines that we could wrap the world several times over the long tape of paper we would save.

So my question is how many times could we wrap the world if people stopped using straws? I really don't have a problem with straws. They allow me to consume my favorite beverages faster…except beer of course. It gives me something to play with when you get that old fashioned ice that's in pellets. You know you crunch it up in the straw to create little ice pillars and then see how long you can make the pillar? Ah, the joy of inane things!


Girl Power at SART

I attended the Sustainable Atlanta Round Table a hundred years ago and heard some of the leading women in the green community speak. And although I didn’t blog about it then, it stuck! So better late than never, I think

SART continuously provides high quality presentations. Every time I attend I am impressed with the size of the group and high level of speakers. Once again a packed room settled down to hear an all female panel discuss carbon offset programs, challenges with investing in carbon offsets and the hope that very soon a carbon offset policy will be built here for the Georgia market.


I love Anderson Cooper but…

Normally, I spend my blogs talking about the lighter side of green things that we all can do as individuals. This time, I wanted to take a little time to talk about the more serious global side of things.

A while back, all good Southern stories start with a while back by the way; Anderson Cooper did a story about famine, Niger and Plumpy Nut. Niger is where I happened to spend my Peace Corps service time. So I know a thing or two about what's happening over there.


New Green's Determinations - Part Deux

Well it's been a whole year since I wrote that first blog about things I was going to do to make my life greener. Little did I know how much greener my life would be by the end of the year! So as I face 2009 what can I do this year to make my life's this year list.

1. I am going to gasket all my eletrical outlets and seal all my ducts around the edges.

2. I am going to buy a pair of chopsticks so I don't have to keep on getting new ones when I go to the grocery store. I go through sushi periods and I don't like to think about all chopsticks gone by the wayside.

3. I am going to stop buying recycling bags and just get a can.

4. I am going to make an effort to influence more people around me in regards to recycling. Make sure neighbors start recycling etc.

5. I am going to locate someone who recycles cds...not the music ones...the errant ones that seem to be cousins to plastic bags that copulate on my shelves.

Okay five things are good. If I change five things each year then just think of all the change that will happen. Hey, don't forget to create your list too!


"It only takes a spark to get a fire going" is a phrase that we used to sing around Girl Scout campfires. Making green changes is the same thing.

I was tickled when I heard my sister recently talking about her efforts to recycle all the card board from a school event. Even more delighted to hear that her efforts encouraged another parent to at least verbally commit to start recycling at home. So I decided to do a little family inventory of changes that I had made that inadvetently led to changes with my family. Both my Mother and Sister now carry fabric bags to shop at least some of the time. All members, except my brother's family, are switching out light bulbs as they burn out. Everyone has reduced bottled water consumption except my brother-in-law who got a water bottle for Christmas. All of this just happened with casual conversation and dialogue about what I was doing. No lectures to the family about their evil ways. Just, hey this made a difference in my life maybe it will help you.


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