Baltidome Blog | Baltimore Green News

Holistic And Progressively Green, Breathe Books Wins.

Holistic And Progressive, Breathe Books Is A Model Green Business

The web is full of press releases lately from businesses who appear to be using “going green” as a publicity stunt.  Switching to wind power, for example, is a thoughtful thing to do, but it is not the silver bullet that will suddenly transform your business into an environmentally responsible enterprise.  So, with this in mind, Baltidome presents Breathe Books as its latest Green Business Award winner, as it is an across the board green business.

In 2004 Former Journalist, Susan Weis began her transformation of an 1880’s Baltimore rowhome into a bookstore and educational center.  Her goal was to “re-create the new-age bookstore in Baltimore” and so Breathe Books was born.

It is a place that you would expect to be green.  The shelves are stocked full of books on meditation, yoga, spirituality, and the like and Susan made the switch to wind power some time ago, but that was just the beginning.  In addition to the typical items you would expect to find here, there are also books on cooking, parenting, and design, among others and between books are items featured by area artisans, local honey and soaps, organic teas and more, which opens the store to a larger audience.  Breathe books is not just delivering to the already converted. Everyone is welcome here, so there’s no reason to feel the need to have your tantric breathing down before entering the shop.  Do remember to bring a bag though, as Breathe Books is a bagless store.

If you do not find what you want, Breathe Books will order it for you, and not just the type of books they usually carry in the store.  Graphic novels, travel guides…you name it, they will order it.  By ordering from Breathe Books, as opposed to online, you not only support the local economy, but will save on packaging and shipping waste.  Breathe Books purchases their orders in minimum volume amounts -and yes, they still arrive just as quickly.  They are also looking to the future with e-books and taking steps to incorporate digital books into their offerings.  If you are interested in switching to an electronic book, Breathe Books recommends the Sony Reader as opposed to Kindle, which only accepts books purchased from and locks out formats from independent bookstores.

In addition to all of the in house offerings, Breathe Books also presents opportunities to become part of a greater community through numerous workshops and presentations.  Consider a class in Health Through Ayurveda or attending their yearly community party with vegetarian food on Christmas day.

For more information, contact:
Breathe Books, LLC

810 W 36th Street
“The Avenue” in Hampden
Baltimore, MD 21211

Baltimore Bioneers 2009 Nov. 5th at Goucher College

BALTIMORE BIONEERS  2009, Cultivating Change, Inspiring Solutions

Thursday, November 5, 2009
Goucher College, Athenaeum Building, 1021 Dulaney Valley Rd, Baltimore, MD 21204

6:30 p.m., Low Carbon Reception by Bon Appetit

7:30 p.m., Program

Learn what local leaders are doing to change the future of our world, our communities, and our lives.  Join us for a panel discussion to answer the questions: How can we lower our carbon footprint? What is being done in the region to bring environmental awareness to more people and to make positive changes in the way we live?

Baltimore Bioneer’s own, Julie Gabrielli will moderate the discussion with our local leaders:

  • Henry Kay, Maryland Transit Administraion
  • Cheryl Wade, Mill Valley General Store
  • E. Rachael Baird & Jessica Pegorsch, Tilt Studio, Inc.
  • Ali Smith, Holistic Life Foundation

You will also have the opportunity to view two webcasts of the 2009 National Bioneers speakers:

Jerome Ringo, President of the Apollo Alliance.

Joanna Macy, renowned Buddhist teacher, aco-philosopher, systems theorist and scholar.

For more information, contact

Owly Images

Business To Business Green Forum On Monday, October 26th

B2B Green Forum, October 26th at the Baltimore Engineer’s Club

B2BGreen_ForumJoin green business experts, leaders and programs in the Mid-Atlantic region to share and prepare for the success of your business. The B2B Green Forum is offering a one-day event for $75 on October 26, 2009 at the Baltimore Engineer’s Club.

In this Green Forum, you will have the opportunity to observe brief presentations in the morning, take part in an interactive discussion-based extended networking lunch, as well as three (3) concurrent, one and a half-hour, training sessions in the afternoon. Lunch will feature speakers on green business enterprise, energy conservation, and retrofit efforts for business.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

Baltimore Top 10 For Business Startup -So Get Started!

CNN Puts Baltimore In Top 10 Metro Areas To Launch A Small Business.


Baltidome supports small business because they are generally greener than their corporate counterparts.  Besides being more environmentally friendly, there are numerous reasons that small businesses are good for communities:

The Small Business Administration says small businesses:
-create 1/2 of the U.S. economy.
-pay more than 45 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
-have generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade.
-create innovation that protects the environment.
-have owners that live, work, and play where their businesses are located.

The Center for Small Business and the Environment says:
– Small business owners are politically active & 95% of them are registered to vote compared to the national average of 72%.

The Chesapeake Sustainable Business Alliance says:
-Nonprofits receive an average 350% more support from local business owners than they do from non-locally owned businesses.

-When you support small businesses, you support your city.
-Small businesses are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products.

Now may be the time for you to start a small business.

In addition to location, affordability, neighborhood revitalization projects, and creative professionals (touted by CNN as Baltimore’s assets), Maryland has some great resources to help you get started.  For more information on these resources, CLICK HERE to get started on your small business today.

Small Business Administration
Center For Small Business And The Environment
Wells Fargo/ Gallop Survey
CNN, Best Places To Launch a Small Business

Learn How To Green Your Business For Free


Maryland now has a free online source to help you green your business; the Maryland Green Registry.  As part of Maryland’s Smart Green and Growing campaign, dozens of helpful tips are now listed on their site to help individuals, small business owners and corporations minimize their environmental impact.  There is information provided in areas of management, waste, energy, transportation, water and green building.  This information is all free and available with no sign-up required.  However, if you do choose to register your business, you will have the added benefit of having your business listed on the site.  For more information, CLICK HERE.

Green Business Award: Suga Shack Soaps Will Have You Wasting Not, But Wanting Much


If you are someone who is trying to reduce your waste and specifically your plastic waste, the purchasing of everyday products can be a much more arduous task than it should be.  Just the other day I was downtown and in need of a midday snack.  I passed up several pre-packaged options and opted for a bagel with cream cheese from City Café.  To my dismay, a bagel was presented with two plastic mini-tubs of Philly cream cheese and a plastic knife.  Ugh -I should have bought the darn Kettle chips!


It is with this sentiment and great joy that Baltidome offers its latest Green Business Award to Leslie Joyner and her Suga Shack booth at the Waverly Farmer’s Market for excellent products presented with minimal waste.  Each Saturday, Leslie and her crew set out long rectangles of uncut soap made from vegetable bases made mostly from olive, coconut and soy.  The soaps are all natural and do not contain colorants, enhancers or unnecessary binders of any kind.  Leslie is quick to point out that “I use only what I need”.  Each purchased block is hand cut, wrapped in wax paper and bagged in paper (if you need it).

However thoughtful the creation and packaging of the soap, it is the product itself that will keep you faithful. Leslie knows her stuff.  After working for years with M.A.C. and other cosmetic giants, she has plenty of experience with the skin care industry and it shows in her product.  Deliciously rich scents of peppermint, tea tree, lemongrass, mango and cranberry waft from the soap varieties and each are specially crafted to refresh, soothe, purify, etc..  It was Leslie’s Grandmother and the memory of her homemade soaps that inspired Leslie to start her own skin care business.  She explains that there is a world of difference between what was used to make soap then and what Leslie uses, but her Grandmother’s hand made soaps nonetheless sparked a love affair with skin care that continues to this day.

You can find Leslie Joyner’s products from the Suga Shack Soap Factory each Saturday at the 32nd Street Farmers Market (Waverly Farmer’s Market) from 7am to Noon.  For a map and directions, CLICK HERE.