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Spirit of Hope Urban Farm: Filling Food Pantries, Strengthening Communities in Detroit
In the latest issue of Natural Home and Garden Magazine, Kelli B. Kavanaugh profiles one of Detroit‘s urban farms. The Spirit of Hope Urban Farm is located on the grounds of Spirit of Hope church, just two miles from downtown Detroit. It is a great example of what a small farm can do for a community, and provides plenty of lessons for those of us who grow in urban areas. The garden’s founder, Kathleen Devlin, asked the church’s pastor if she could start an urban farm on the church’s grounds which encompass over 12,000 square feet of growing area. He gave his blessing, and Devlin and other members of the community got to work. Today, the garden grows food for all of the volunteers, and still donates over 3,000 pounds of produce to local food banks. In addition to providing food to local food banks, the garden works in close... Continue Reading
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Lessons From The Lorax
The Lorax is a glorious creature, who embodies the environment and acts as the guardian of green. He is the “voice of the trees” and attempts to fight a lonesome battle against the giants of industry, the Once-ler. Overall, his message rings true to the folks here at Urban Times, as we also believe that without action, no solutions can be assembled. Where the story of The Lorax hits the nerve is exactly where we diverge however, Seuss emphasizes the woe and sacrifice attached to the battle of the environment at the time (1970s), whereas we like to think of... Continue Reading
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Unthink, the ‘Anti-Facebook’: A Social Networking Revolution
Unthink says it is starting a social networking revolution. And it is serious. According to CNET, Unthink promises to “emancipate social media” and “unleash people’s extraordinary potential.” The Unthink homepage even features black and white photos from the Civil Rights Movement as its background. It will be the “anti-Facebook.” Unthink backs this proclamation by stating that, as an online social networking hub, it will be free of “privacy issues,” “endless redesigns,” and “commercial junkyards” for shameless promotional ploys. Individuals can sign up for an invitation code once an email address is submitted. Users will be able to own their data... Continue Reading
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Makin’ It: Meg Paska, Urban Beekeeper
Meg Paska is an urban beekeeper, backyard farmer, and self-sustainability advocate living in the backwoods of Brooklyn, New York. Her adventures detail on raising chickens in a small backyard, brewing beer in the basement, and harvesting honey on rooftops will be richly explored in a forthcoming book. In the meantime, she keeps the wonderfully robust blog, Brooklyn Homesteader. Why bees? Bees sort of came into my life through a series of experiences in self-sufficiency over the years. I always enjoyed being outside and had an affinity for gardening and, more importantly, eating. I’m rather self-indulgent by nature. I got really... Continue Reading
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21st Century Gargoyles Are Drawn on Found Paper and Decorated with Recycled Trash
Gargoyles and monsters are usually the domain of medieval art, hanging off of Notre Dame and dealing death in fear inspiring paintings. But artist Keri Rosebraugh has revived the motif, and she’s added another element as well. Her gargoyles are drawn on found paper and wood, and brightened up with colorful pieces of repurposed trash. Many of the Portland-born, LA-based Rosebraugh’s works have clear environmental messages, railing against factory farming and industrial pollution. On her blog, she writes: Expressing the importance of protecting and improving our environment directly through her artwork, Keri’s paintings seek to inform, encourage, and inspire others... Continue Reading
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Council votes in favour of shark fin ban: Yay Toronto!
Toronto city councillors voted to ban the sale of shark fin products Tuesday afternoon. The final vote was 38-4. Councillors are also urging Ontario to adopt a province-wide ban. The bylaw will bring an end to the sale of shark fins and controversial products such as shark fin soup. The ban also makes it illegal for any Torontonian to possess or consume the product. Councillors in favour of the ban kicked off the meeting by presenting petitions with more than 16,000 signatures from people in favour of banning shark fin products. The bylaw would provide businesses selling shark fin products with... Continue Reading
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GoodSearch/GoodShop
Following the trend of people wanting to incorporate “doing good” into their everyday lives, more than 13 million people are helping feed the homeless, save the environment, cure cancer and help more than 100,000 nonprofits and schools just by searching the internet and shopping online. Six years ago, brother/sister team Ken and JJ Ramberg wanted to figure out a way to turn everyday actions into a way to support the causes trying to make this world a better place. So, they partnered with Yahoo and launched GoodSearch.com a Yahoo-powered search engine which donates about a penny a search to your... Continue Reading
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Featured NGOs: charity: water
It’s hard not to think about water today. In the western world, we face growing concerns about our stewardship of the world’s most precious resource. There’s talk of shortages, evidence of reservoirs and aquifers drying up, and of course, plenty of people who simply don’t care. But forget about us. Most of us have never really been thirsty. We’ve never had to leave our houses and walk 5 miles to fetch water. We simply turn on the tap, and water comes out. Clean. Yet there are a billion people on the planet who don’t have clean water. It’s hard to... Continue Reading
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New Wave in Oil Cleanup Technology Spurred by Competition
When the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in 2010, we all watched in horror as oil gushed unchecked into the Gulf of Mexico. Cleanup crews flocked to the scene, but their ability to respond to the spill was limited: they were stuck using the same technology deployed during the Exxon Valdez disaster, 21 years earlier. Those outdated, inefficient booms and skimmers managed to pick up just 3 percent of the nearly 5 billion barrels of oil spilled in the Gulf. Philanthropist Wendy Schmidt, head of the Schmidt Family Foundation and an NRDC board member, knew America could do better. In June... Continue Reading
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