Baltidome Blog | Baltimore Green News


Save The Planet, Swap Your Clothes

Save The Planet, Swap Your Clothes

Baltimore Clothing Stop & Swap

The Baltimore Clothing Stop & Swap’s mission is to raise awareness about recycling through a free service that benefits the environment and brings together the Baltimore community.  Through clothing swap events, participants can pick up “new” clothes and accessories in exchange for their own.

To join a clothing swap, individuals are asked to bring up to ten unstained clothes and accessories for any age, size, or gender to a specified location to trade. In place of price tags, participants are asked to provide a one-sentence tidbit about each donated item, such as who wore it, or when and where it was bought and worn.  Tags can be printed from the Baltimore Clothing Stop & Swap site.

Upcoming Swap Event:
Friday, May 14 – Monday, May 17
Maryland Institute College of Art, Mount Royal Station, Frost Plaza
1300 Mount Royal Ave
Baltimore, Maryland 21217
Fri: 11 am – 8 pm
Sat-Mon: 11 am – 5 pm



Is Baltimore City Looking To Give Tax Breaks Or Sell Recycle Bins?

Is Baltimore City Looking To Give Tax Breaks Or Sell Recycle Bins?

This week Baltidome learned from ABC News of a possible bill to grant Baltimore City residents a tax break if they recycle.  Excited by the proposition, Baltidome checked out the bill in question, HOUSE BILL 1001, to get the details. Unfortunately, the findings were disappointing.  According to the bill, the tax break would begin on July 1, 2010 for the “Use of City Recycling Bins” and not exclusively for the activity of recycling.

Currently you may put your recyclable materials in paper bags, cardboard boxes, City recycle bins or any container clearly marked “recycle”.  On recycling collection days the resourcefulness of Baltimorians is evident as many used and equally effective containers sit in tandem with official city bins on sidewalks.  Requiring citizens who already have effective containers to buy a NEW plastic bin in order to receive the tax break would be counterproductive and short sighted.

House Bill 1001 is sponsered by Maryland delegates FRANK M. CONAWAY, JR., frank.conaway@house.state.md.us, and CURTIS STOVALL ANDERSON, curt.anderson@house.state.md.us.



Why Support The Plastic Bag Ban

Why You Should Support Baltimore’s Plastic Bag Ban…

On Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 the Baltimore City Council will hold the next hearing on a plastic bag ban in Baltimore.

Since 2008, Councilman James B. Kraft has been leading efforts to make Baltimore the second city in the nation to ban plastic bags in grocery and retail chain stores.  San Fransisco was the first.  In previous hearings, where legislation would require a charge 25 cents for each plastic bag, the bill failed.

PLASTIC NEVER BIODEGRADES
It only breaks down into smaller & smaller pieces that become part of the ecosystem.  Is 25 cents to much to ask to remind us to bring our own bags to stores?  People from other parts of the world have been bringing their own bags to stores for years.  According to the BBC, a 2002 tax on plastic shopping bags in the Republic of Ireland has cut their use by more than 90% and raised millions of euros in revenue.

If you would like to support Councilman Kraft’s efforts to ban plastic bags in Baltimore, contact your city councilman.

To identify your district, CLICK HERE.
To identify your city council member, CLICK HERE.

Sample letter:

Dear City Council Member _____,
I am aware of an upcoming city council hearing on plastic bag prohibition in Baltimore.  I am a Baltimore City resident from your district and I support the effort to ban plastic bags in our city.  Plastic waste is a detriment to our landscape and waterways, as it never biodegrades.  I understand, that in order to reduce plastic waste in Baltimore, residents will be required to bring their own bags to stores and/or pay a surcharge. I accept this proposal and hope that you will work to pass these measures.

Thank You,
Your Name
Address



Turn In Your Old Refrigerator For Cash

Turn In Your Old Refrigerator For Cash

BGE is working with American Recycling Centers Of America to recycle and properly dispose of your old refrigerators and freezers and they’ll pay you $50!  According to their site, “With BGE’s appliance recycling program, over 95% of the appliance is properly destroyed and recycled, thus preventing it from entering a landfill.”

From BGE:

Did you know …
- Each old refrigerator or freezer requires an average of 700 to 1,600 kilowatt-hours to operate.
- If a spare refrigerator used in a basement or garage is removed and not replaced, energy savings can amount to 1,200 kWh/year, a $100 reduction in annual electricity charges.*

How the program works …

  • You must be a BGE residential electric customer with a valid account number.
  • You must own the refrigerator or freezer and it must be 10-27 cubic feet.
  • Your appliance must be in working (cooling) condition.
  • Your appliance will be picked up, at no charge, from the address listed on your billing account.
  • The $50 reward will be mailed to you within four weeks after pick up of your refrigerator or freezer.
  • Limit of 2 appliances per household.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

Not a BGE customer? – To find a participating program in your area, CLICK HERE.



Call To Action Week

National Cities of Service – Call To Action Week (January 11th to 14th)

As an enlisted City of Service, Baltimore is participating in the Call To Action Week, where Baltimore City residents are being asked to do something a little extra to help our city and its citizens.  As part of the week’s events, residents are asked to make a donation of lightly used unwanted goods to a local homeless shelter.  Not only is this a great way to help somebody in need, it also gives you the opportunity to downsize and unclutter your life.

Local homeless shelters accepting donations, CLICK HERE.



Baltimore Plastic Bag Ban

Plastic Bag Ban

There’s no word yet on the outcome of Tuesday’s hearing with Baltimore City Council on legislation to reduce plastic bag waste in Baltimore, but the point may be moot.  Just days after the hearing the Washington Examiner reported the Maryland and Virginia are both looking to take action at the state level.

According to the Washington Examiner, Maryland and Virginia lawmakers say they will push for 5-cent fees on disposable paper and plastic bags at stores  and shoppers can skip the fee by bringing their own bags or not using any at all.

For the full article, CLICK HERE.

From the Worldwatch Institute:

Did You Know?

*Plastic bags start as crude oil, natural gas, or other petrochemical derivatives, which are transformed into chains of hydrogen and carbon molecules known as polymers or polymer resin. After being heated, shaped, and cooled, the plastic is ready to be flattened, sealed, punched, or printed on.

*The first plastic “baggies” for bread, sandwiches, fruits, and vegetables were introduced in the United States in 1957. Plastic trash bags started appearing in homes and along curbsides around the world by the late 1960s.

*North America and Western Europe account for nearly 80 percent of plastic bag use—though the bags are increasingly common in developing countries as well.

*A quarter of the plastic bags used in wealthy nations are now produced in Asia.

*Each year, Americans throw away some 100 billion polyethylene plastic bags. (Only 0.6 percent of plastic bags are recycled.)

*The Irish have been known to call the ever-present bags their “national flag”; South Africans have dubbed them the “national flower.”