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Apr 272011

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Earth Day was a blast. We always meet so many energized and inventive people involved in the green scene, it’s hard not to be buoyed. So many people recognize the need for changes in how we live, travel and eat.

So again this year, we basked in the optimism, renewed our commitment to continue on the green path and got down to the business of finding products and activities to feature here on the website, and meet our own getting-greener needs.

In the coming weeks, I will share what we found at the green festivals, and tell you about the many products that have migrated here by other means.

I’ve got several delicious gadgets, books and food products waiting around the office for a spring review.

Now that it’s gardening time, I’ll be installing a solar-powered rain barrel pump by Rain Perfect. This little device will take you shades greener than you envisioned by pumping the rainwater you’ve captured into the garden, without using any energy beyond what nature provides. It’s like riding a bike with no hands! Only safer.

We’ll also be testing a new retractable clothesline by Secure Line, which offers a way to keep the outdoor drying nice and tidy, among other items. I’ve become a firm believer in drying outside during the summer months because it seems gentler on clothes, and the whites really do get whiter in the sun.

At the risk of embarrassing myself, I’ll even tell you how the garden is going. So far, it’s going. But I wouldn’t count on those German heirloom tomatoes to pull through. We’ll see. They took a wind-beating when they were planted. I’m babying them now with worm castings (such an elegant name for, um, what worms ‘cast’), which I failed to use last year, to my detriment.

Homegrown food is getting to be such a big thing. Across the nation, public gardens are making space for edibles. At the New York Botanical Garden, celebrity chef Mario Batali wandered over to kick off a new Family Garden this month. The demo garden will help educate students and home enthusiasts throughout the season.

And soon as I get it written, we’ll bring you some advice from Paul James, known as the Gardening Guy on HGTV, about how to reduce water use in our landscape. James, the host of Gardening By The Yard, is helping promote National Public Gardens Day, May 6. If you’re concerned about the droughts affecting so many states in the U.S., you’ll want to read this piece and learn how to do your part.

But gardens are just the tip of the iceberg.

U.S. communities everywhere are striving to build and grow differently.

Yesterday,  courtesy of  The Green Building Chronicle I found a fascinating piece at the Architecture and Design blog about how many cities are re-examining their car-centric centers, even getting rid of highway overpasses and expressways that cut through urban neighborhoods. Taking down highways. That’s bold.

Thinking about a city regenerating itself from the inside out, helps put it all in perspective. If Cleveland can contemplate abolishing a highway, I can venture out there into the yard with a clothesline.

Copyright © 2011 Green Right Now | Distributed by GRN Network