Allergies

I don’t know about you, but my allergies have been HORRIBLE this year. Allergy medicines usually cure me of symptoms but leave me extra loopy (think Luna from Harry Potter.) I read an article this morning about natural allergy remedies and I can’t wait to give them a shot. You can read it here. I’ve also heard that eating local honey helps, although this seems to be controversial.

The Age of Stupid

This past weekend, I sat down with my parents to watch The Age of Stupid, a “docudrama” (as my mom termed it) starring Pete Postlethwaite and directed by Franny Armstrong. Made in Britain in 2009, the film shows an apocalyptic world, with Postlethwaite looking back at our current decade to see where we went wrong. Mixing the predicted future with real footage and stories from the present creates a truly frightening depiction of what we are doing to the world. It explores issues such as energy, climate change, and consumerism, and how this has already affected the human species as well as the earth. From a British family who looks carefully at their carbon footprint and fights for wind farms around England to a Nigerian village that struggles with poverty as their country, paradoxically, becomes wealthy off of oil, the film explores different results of our actions. Even with the drama, the film sends an important message, asking that we contemplate our lifestyles and consider the differences we can make. Although often depressing to watch (the film’s premise surrounds our downfall), I found there was hope and motivation behind every story told.The film is available on Instant Netflix, and I think it is definitely worth putting on your queue.

This post was submitted by Megan Carlucci, student sustainability intern.

Garden Update

Last week we had our first garden group meetings, one on Tuesday, and one on Wednesday. There were only four of us at each meeting, but it made things that much more fun. It gave us a chance to get to know each other as we weeded, planted, and admired our growing plants. We now have an entire box devoted to watermelon, which I can’t imagine anyone complaining about. The peppers are starting to show themselves, the jalapenos get bigger and more beautiful every time I see them, and the tomato plants continue to twist and climb around their supportive stakes. Just as exciting is the hose that was installed last week, which means we don’t have to lug full watering cans back from Campion in ninety-five degree weather. Hopefully we will see more plants growing in the next few weeks, and will have a decent harvest by the end of the summer. But even if we don’t, we are having fun with this new experiment, and it is a chance for us to really earn what we are going to consume.

This post was submitted by Megan Carlucci, summer intern in the sustainability office.

Dirty Dozen

Each year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) comes out with the “Dirty Dozen”: A list of the 12 fruits & vegetables that have the most exposure to pesticides.

Here is this year’s “Dirty Dozen”:

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Strawberries
  4. Peaches
  5. Spinach
  6. Nectarines – imported
  7. Grapes – imported
  8. Sweet Bell Peppers
  9. Potatoes
  10. Blueberries – domestic
  11. Lettuce
  12. Kale

To reduce your risk of pesticide exposure EWG suggests avoiding these items. Personally I don’t think that my body can function without bell peppers so I will just have to grow my own or buy organic from my favorite farmers market.

For a list of items safe to eat check out the study at EWG’s website.

 

Mapnificent – Guide to public transportation in the city

Using public transportation can be overwhelming at first. You have to look at routes, figure out connections, schedules, trip lengths, etc. Mapnificent, www.mapnificent.net, is a free, online tool that can help. Mapnificent began in Germany and uses technology that is way above my head to analyze the routes and schedules to determine where you can go from your starting location in a certain amount of time. For all of you interested in the technology behind this tool you can read a blog post about how mapnificent works.

One feature that  I think would enhance the tool is a list of “key attractions.” It’s great that I now have a map of where I can go in say 30 minutes, but what points of interest are in this area? I know when I travel i love to explore. This feature would be extremely helpful in unfamiliar cities and do not have access to a vehicle.

Ok, let’s give it a shot in good old Baltimore. I started at Loyola’s campus and did a search for destinations 30 minutes away or less and my results can be found here. How accurate is this? I have no idea. In the next week I’ll try out a few of the routes and report back. I encourage you to do the same and let me know how it goes.

Happy Exploring!

Campus Garden Kickoff Cookout – June 8

This summer the sustainability department is sponsoring an on-campus organic garden. Students, faculty, and staff will have the opportunity to grow veggies, fruits (yum blueberries!), and flowers.

We need your help! Volunteers are needed to weed, water, and of course, to cook and eat :-) To learn more come to our kickoff cookout at 7pm on Wednesday June 8th. Please let me know you’re coming so I know how many burgers and dogs to get.

Seriously what is better than a grass-fed beef burger with a homegrown organic tomato on a summer evening?

Loyola Joins AASHE

Loyola University Maryland is now a proud member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). As a member institution, all Loyola students and employees have access to countless members only resources. Sustainability touches every aspect of university life and AASHE has a compilation of best practices for just about anything.


I hope that you all go to the AASHE website www.aashe.org and look through some of the great content. Can’t find the topic that you are looking for on the website? Create a discussion in the discussion forum and ask the experts to weigh in.

Have ideas on how to improve sustainability at Loyola? Let me know, and we can try and figure out a way to make it happen.