Welcome to the Green Mount Airy website! We're a group of citizens in Mt. Airy, MD working to make our community sustainable.

As a part of a burgeoning green community, we want to support our local green businesses. Natural Zing is a Co-op America Certified Green Business based in Mount Airy that has become the largest distributor of raw natural foods and health products on the East Coast after only 5 years in business! Check out the thousands of top-quality health food, supplement, and personal care products that they offer:

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News

10/21/08 - Solid Hope for a Sustainable Future

Friends, it's time for a much-awaited news update from Citizens for a Green Mount Airy. I've been busy finishing my senior year at Haverford College, focusing on writing my senior Philosophy thesis, which, incidentally, is going to be about environmental ethics!

1) Great news: While I was home last week for fall break I was driving along Route 27 and I saw four wind turbines from the road! Two are at the horse farm north of Challedon, and two off of Boteler Road. There is also a fifth wind turbine at Brick Ridge Restaurant!

This time last year, we were campaigning to bring wind power to Mount Airy. Now, it has already started to appear by the grassroots efforts of concerned individuals who don't want to wait for government to make the changes we know we need to make to secure our clean energy future!

The best news of all is that the Boteler Road turbines belong to a local business, Banner Home Solutions, who has begun installing wind turbines around Mt. Airy and Carroll County, since we are the first county in Maryland to have passed an ordinance allowing the construction of wind turbines! They also conduct energy efficiency audits for your home, which save you money and reduce coal burning. Read about their exciting new developments and leadership in this Gazette article and this Gazette article and give them a call today! Or visit their website: http://bannerhomesolutions.com/default.aspx

2) This kind of action can happen throughout central MD. In the 6th district, even the congressional candidates are talking about local energy projects. For instance, Jennifer Dougherty, challenger to incumbent Roscoe Bartlett, lays out her ideas for environmental sustainability and economic stimulus. From a recent e-mail newsletter, she writes: "I know people like concrete plans and ideas, me too! Think about these things I will work on to get our economy moving and helping residents of the 6th District:

- Build a biofuels refinery in the 6th District that will allow us to get off the rollercoaster of foreign oil, will be good for the environment and will create jobs right here. We can use the best technology and innovation to convert switchgrasses, algae or any other effective raw material for e-85 ethanol. It is part of a full menu of energy solutions that will help us reduce our reliance on foreign oil.

- Introduce a pilot program to allow local communities to "Get Off the Grid". Local governments can take advantage of a pilot program that encourages conversion to renewable energy supplies. If a local community makes a decision to lead the way, they can set aside a field for a solar panel field or wind farm. Then, all homes and businesses can get the benefit of the conversion. This type of pilot program can help improve the technology, reduce emissions, and create jobs."

Sound familiar? For those of us who campaigned for and wanted to see a small scale community wind farm in Mt. Airy or other municipalities in the region, a little help from above could go a long way to accomplishing our goals!

3) There is an abundance of exciting events coming up to energize us for personal and societal change.

-First, this Thursday evening, 10/23, at 7 pm at the Mt. Airy Library the Central MD Audubon will present a 30 Minute video "The Man Who Planted Trees," followed by short discussion. This documentary tells the story of one man who patiently plants and nurtures a forest of thousands of trees, single-handedly transforming his arid surroundings into a thriving oasis…a film of great beauty and hope, for all ages and an inspiring testament to the power of one person." For more info, check www.centralmdaudubon.org, or call 410-795-6546, 301-831-5060, or 410-997-9492.

-Second, a smattering of events in Frederick County about Quality of Life and growth issues in the "Our Common Wealth" speakers series:

County residents are taking a close look at our quality of life now and for future generations. The building consensus is that a sustainable community is within our reach, but major changes are needed. The challenges are shifting to a society that is energy efficient and less auto-dependent, and preserving our rural character and agricultural heritages against the pressures of urbanization. Our common wealth and health depend on changing the way we live now. Come share your ideas and opinions at the Our CommonWealth Speakers Series. There will be an intermission showing of a five-minute CD, “Quality of Life and Growth: Finding the Right Balance in Frederick County”.

October 23rd, 7:30-9pm National Museum of Civil War Medicine, 48 E. Patrick, Frederick City
"Sustainable Frederick County: making the transition with economic, environmental and social success"
John Borgersen, Vice President for Strategic Planning and Frederick City resident, Tetra Tech, Inc.
"Less Auto-Dependent Frederick County: the economic advantages of a more walkable/bikeable community"
Michael Jackson, Director Bicycle and Pedestrian Access, Maryland Department of Transportation

October 30th, 7:30-9pm National Museum of Civil War Medicine, 48 E. Patrick, Frederick City
"Sustainable Frederick County: making the transition with economic, environmental and social success - Planning to Green Frederick with green roofs, alleys and buildings: what are the steps?"
Sheila Gregg, AIA, NCARB, LEED Accredited Professional, President of Sol Aqua Terra, Holistic Architecture.
Corrine Chearis, LEED Accredited Professional, President, ATTUNE Development

November 6th, 7:30-9pm National Museum of Civil War Medicine, 48 E. Patrick, Frederick City
"Improving Frederick County’s Energy Efficiency and Management: what are the steps to make the transition?" Home Energy Efficiency
Damien Edwards, Certified Home Energy Performance Audits, Noble House Residential Services
Delegate Sue Hecht (invited)

November 13th, 7:30-9pm National Museum of Civil War Medicine, 48 E. Patrick, Frederick
"Voluntary and Regulatory Land Preservation in Frederick County: what are the options?"
Tim Blaser, Frederick County Land Preservation Program
more details available at friendsoffrederickcounty.org

-Finally, two regional events to really gear you and you family up for greener futures:

Baltimore Bioneers Conference: November 7th-9th at MICA
Over the course of three days, the 2008 Baltimore Bioneers program will feature an unforgettable width='100%' array of some of the most insightful, inspiring innovators working to change the region and the world. We will witness how the power of collaboration across all disciplines can solve problems that some think are unchangeable. We will realize that we are the leaders we are looking for and we will make our vision for restoring the Earth a reality.
http://www.cultivatingchange.org/

D.C. Green Festival: November 8th & 9th at the Washington D.C. convention center
At Green Festivals™, a joint project of Global Exchange and Co-op America, we’re celebrating what’s working in our communities—for people, business and the environment. Here, green means safe, healthy communities and a strong local economy. Join us at the nation’s premier sustainability events, where you will see the best in green. Enjoy more than 125 authors, leaders and educators; great how-to workshops; cutting-edge films; fun activities for kids; organic beer and wine; delicious vegetarian cuisine and diverse live music.
http://www.greenfestivals.org/content/view/625/280/

I hope you and yours are enjoying the onset of Autumn. Don't be depressed about the current state of affairs; things must get worse before they get better. Change is coming - that's the one certainty we can rely on. As the above happenings show, we can indeed have Solid Hope for a Sustainable Future.

Best, Tim

7/13/08: Rain Barrels and Indoor Gardens

The rain barrels have arrived! This year, we worked with the town to purchase 300 barrels from Aquabarrel in Gaithersburg. They are available to town residents at $20/piece (parts included) and $60/piece for out-of-towners. If you are interested in purchasing a barrel, you will work with Town Hall to coordinate pickup. Call (301) 829-1424 or email mtairyaccounting2@comcast.net to arrange a time. Last I heard, some deliveries were being made to accommodate residents with special needs.

For those of you unfamiliar with what I am talking about, last summer we launched a pilot program with the town of Mt. Airy when water conservation was an issue weighing heavily on everyone's minds. Rain barrels are a modern appropriation of an old technology that used to be commonplace. These 55-gallon plastic drums allow you to catch and re-use rain water while keeping water from flowing into storm drains, which floods local streams and destroys these ecosystems. We bought 100 rain barrels, all of which I stored and distributed from my backyard. The program was a huge success; we sold out of all of the barrels! Luckily for me, I don't have to store 100 barrels in my backyard this year - the town is helping me out.

If you want to order rain barrel accessories such as downspout diverters or debris collectors, there is a Coupon Code now live on the Aquabarrel website. The Coupon Code is: GMA15off - Yes, it is CaSe sensitive.You will receive 15% off all products ordered on the Aquabarrel.com website from now until 8/15/2008.


Introducing Natural Zing, our premier local raw organic foods distributor.

Natural Zing is a Co-op America Certified Green Business based in Mount Airy that is the largest distributor of raw natural foods and health products on the East Coast after only 5 years in business!

Many of us in Central Maryland haven't even heard of our local environmentally-friendly businesses such as Natural Zing. In an effort to encourage greater cohesion with the area in which they're geographically located, NZ will offer free shipping on your order if you mention that Citizens for a Green Mt. Airy referred you! Just click here to check out the thousands of top-quality health food, supplement, and personal care products that they offer.

Zing also offers free educational events for the community. There is a particularly important talk coming up this Saturday, July 19:

"Year Round Kitchen Gardening - Lower your Food Bill, Raise your Nutrition"
Lecture by Steve Meyerowitz, “Sproutman”

"Sproutman" Steve Meyerowitz shows you how to achieve food independence. The best selling author of Wheatgrass Nature's Finest Medicine and Sprouts the Miracle Food demonstrates how simple it is to add living foods to our diet anytime of the year whether you live in Alaska or Atlanta. Find out how to incorporate supercharged micro-greens into your everyday diet and save thousands of dollars per year on your food bill! And you'll get the science and nutrition behind these amazing foods that give them their impressive healing potential for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and more. Enjoy many of the benefits of having a backyard garden, but in the kitchen instead and soil-free. No green thumb required. More info on Sproutman: www.Sproutman.com

Location:

Spirit Bliss Farm
1851 Florence Rd.
Mount Airy, MD 21771
Questions & RSVP: 301-703-4116 ext. 112 or email helen@naturalzing.com

Event Schedule:

3:30pm: Lunch (Raw Vegan Potluck)
5pm: Sproutman Presentation
7pm - 9pm: Open Jam Session. Bring your instruments!

Please bring lawn chairs or towels to make yourselves comfortable - this is an outdoor event!

5/21/08: the Evolution towards Sustainability in Central Maryland

Friends,

In just 3 short days we will have an event that will change the course of the evolution towards environmental sustainability in Central Maryland. Enter the Maryland Heartland Sustainable Living fair.

Located at the rustic Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster, it's the perfect way to spend this Saturday, May 24 with your friends/ family. I'd like to personally invite you to this first annual green festival, which we have been working to establish with a dedicated group of volunteers since last August.

Visit the fair's website to learn about the multitude of classes, sponsors, vendors, activities and so forth:

http://www.sustainablelivingmd.org

 

 

4/16/08: Environmental Awareness Award Winner and Cook-off Success!

Citizens for a Green Mount Airy has been selected as the Winner of the 2008 Carroll County Environmental Awareness Award for the Educational/ Institutional Category! Winners were named in five categories for the work they have done to protect the environment and educate others about environmental issues.

 

Also, we just had a both at the Mount Airy Main Street Association's Chili Cook-off this past Saturday offering organic vegan chili. You can find video footage of the event on the Carroll County Times website here. Just find the "April 13: Chili Cook Off" video. See our booth:

A special thanks to the sponsors who made our organic vegan chili and biodegradable spoons and bowls possible - two Mt. Airy based Co-op America Certified Green Businesses:

 

       Mt. Airy Bikes         and        Natural Zing

                         

 

4/7/08: Chili, trash, and co-ops

Greetings at the outset of April and the spring season! Three items to update you about:

1) Chili: Citizens for a Green Mount Airy will be having a booth at the Mount Airy Chili Cookoff this Saturday, April 12 from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m in the Railyard at 3 North Main Street, Mount Airy (behind the Pharmacy/ old train station downtown). We will be offering organic, vegan chili for a healthy and delicious alternative dish. Stop by our booth, learn about and sample our food, and hear about some of the upcoming events we're a part of planning such as the Maryland Heartland Sustainable Living fair (an environmental festival coming up on May 24th at the Carroll County Farm Museum). For more info, visit the Mount Airy Main Street Association's website. Hope to see you there!

2) Trash: two important meetings this week concerning the future of solid waste management in Carroll and Frederick counties:

April 8th: Workshop/Q&A Session from 7-9pm in Room 003 of the Carroll County Office Building, 225 N. Center Street in Westminster, MD. This is well worth attending because recycling and composting experts like Neil Seldman of The Institute for Local Self Reliance and Gene Hejmanowski, recycling director of Penn Township, PA will be making presentations. They will offer strong counterpoint arguments to Robin Davidov of the NMWDA, the Authority leading the charge towards incineration.

April 10th: Public Hearing about Proposed Incinerator from 7-9pm in Room 003 of the Carroll County Office Building, 225 N. Center Street in Westminster, MD. Your chance to speak up and ask questions/ raise concerns about the proposed $330 million trash incinerator.

3) Co-ops - we've got some exciting cooperative ventures to offer:

Rain barrels: Our successful bulk purchasing collective from last summer is completely sold out! We purchased 100 barrels in collaboration with the town. Due to popular demand, we're gathering interest for a potential second purchase. If you missed out last year and would like to purchase a rain barrel for this season, please email me and let me know. Last year, the prices were $40 for non-residents and $20 for town residents. If we have enough interest, it's possible that we'll be able to provide the same prices this year.

Food: Lots of people I know are interested in potentially forming a Mount Airy Natural Foods Co-op. If you enjoy quality, organic foods but are constantly confronted by the lack of good stores to purchase these goods from in the town, you may want to join our group. Together, we can purchase goods directly from the natural foods distributors and have a weekly pickup site located right here in town. If you're interested, email me for more information.

Energy: Synergetic Energy Pools, Inc. has begun an open enrollment to allow small and medium-sized businesses to join the Carroll County Energy Pool. Accounts must be classified as commercial (by the utility). Businesses in surrounding counties are welcome to join as long as they are doing part of their business in Carroll County. The cost to enroll is $250 per location. There are no other fees or commissions. For more information, contact


Bonnie J. Grady, IOM, President
Synergetic Energy Pools, Inc.
P O Box 1500
Westminster, MD 21158
Phone: 443-244-3049
http://www.synergeticenergypools.com

There is clearly a blossoming of the grassroots this spring along with all of the other perennials! I hope to see you involved with one or more of the pursuits towards a greener world.

 

3/18/08: Planting trees, handling trash

Two important events/ meetings coming up. The first involves planting trees and shrubs at Windy Ridge and Village Gate parks; the second involves meetings concerning alternatives to the proposed trash incinerator.

1) From Patty Williamson, chair of the Beautification Commission: Volunteers are needed to help plant trees and shrubs at Village Gate and Windy Ridge Parks on April 12, 2008 beginning at 9:00 am until Noon (or when finished). We will be signing in at Village Gate Park (Across from the American Legion on Prospect Road in Mount Airy). Shrubs are to be planted along the creek bed in Village Gate Park and Trees will be planted at Windy Ridge Park. If you are interested in helping the Beautification Commission plant these trees and shrubs and you would like to let me know that you will be attending this planting, please email Patty at patty-williamson@comcast.net, or call her at 301-829-1593. This event is rain or shine. Hope to see you there, and pass the word on to anyone you know who may be interested, thanks.

2) From Friends of Frederick County: the Solid Waste Analysis Group had agreed to give several presentations of the ALTERNATIVE PLAN to incinerating our waste. All presentations 7-8pm: 3/25, 3/27, 4/7 in the C Burr Artz Public Library Community Room and 3/31 in the Common Market Community Room. Please let them know in advance which one you will attend: friends@friendsoffrederickcounty.org. Help educate others by bringing along a family member and friends. See http://friendsoffrederickcounty.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/growth-watch-no-4.pdf for more details on the meetings and on the alternative plan.

 

3/2/08: What to do about our Trash?

The big issue that will be looming over Frederick and Carroll counties for the crucial month of March is: what do we do about our trash? We're running out of landfill space and a proposed trash incinerator is on the table. Frederick County's commissioners have voted to ask Carroll County to go in on a joint contract for this costly $350 million+ facility that runs at a loss on taxpayer money.

Now it's up to Carroll County and its commissioners to decide what we want to do about the future of our waste management - do we shell out lump sums of cash to pursue the hazardous and unsustainable practice of burning valuable resources, or do we contribute significantly less funding for a ramped-up recycling and education program coupled with a comprehensive material recovery facility to recapture materials that can be sold at a profit to the county and its taxpayers? A decision will be made by the end of the month.

There is a meeting this coming Wednesday, March 5 from 7-9 p.m. in room 003 of the County Office Building in Westminster. This is the first of two public meetings held by the Carroll County Board of Commissioners on the future of local solid waste. If you're at all concerned about your health, your taxes, and the handling of a massive problem - our waste stream - then you should attend this meeting and start learning about the issues at hand. We need solutions that will lead us to a healthy, sustainable future; more than this, we need citizens dedicated to achieving this future to attend meetings and speak up.

To learn about the massive issue of waste management in our society at large, take 20 minutes to watch this highly informative, easy to digest, entertaining documentary on the subject - "The Story of Stuff:" http://www.storyofstuff.com/

 

2/23/08: Incinerators and Raw Food

There is a much controverted, upcoming topic of importance: the trash incinerator or "waste to energy" facility. Basically, we are running short on landfill space and need to figure out what to do. Some people are advocating that we build a hugely expensive incinerator (in the neighborhood of $600 million) to burn our trash. Others, like myself, are seeking a sustainable solution that incorporates increased recycling, composting, and a pay-as-you-throw program for responsible, safe waste stream management. For more information, visit www.wastestudygroup.com. Here are some meetings you may want to attend if you're concerned about this:

1) (Forwarded from Friends of Frederick County, friendsoffrederickcounty.org) On Tuesday, February 26th from 10am to noon in the first floor hearing room at Winchester Hall, the Frederick and Carroll County Boards of County Commissioners will be meeting to discuss the "waste to energy" incinerator proposal. It is crucial that concerned people attend this meeting.

We understand that it is in the middle of a workday--please come in your work clothes-- and that many of you will not be able to stay until the end to make public comment. You can make a tremendous difference by simply attending for as long as you are able, and by wearing stickers provided at the door by Friends of Frederick County. These stickers will have messages on them that clearly state you are against a 1500 ton per day incinerator that has the capacity to burn more trash than Frederick and Carroll Counties combined currently produce. They will state that you are for clean, affordable, sustainable alternatives to a mass burn plant.

Simply by attending the meeting and wearing a sticker, you will be able to speak volumes without the need to prepare comments or approach a podium. A huge crowd at Winchester Hall on February 26th will be the most effective way to send a message that can stop the proposed incinerator from getting our commissioners' votes. Tell your friends and family this is a date not to miss.

Prior to attending the meeting at Winchester Hall, there will be an opportunity to learn more about alternatives to burning trash. These presentations are sponsored by Friends of Frederick County and Waste Study Group. They will be given by the Solid Waste Analysis Group, advancing optimal solutions in Frederick and Carroll Counties. Dates, times and locations:

Sunday, February 24th 3-4 PM C Burr Artz Community Room (seating capacity 100)
Monday, February 25th 7-8 PM C Burr Artz Maryland Room, 2nd floor (seating capacity 10)

Please let Friends of Frederick County know whether or not you plan to attend the meeting on February 26th, and any of the presentations February 22nd-25th. Or just show up! Let them know if you need talking points for sending an email to our board of commissioners. Since you care about the economic and environmental well being of our counties, learn more about alternatives to incineration at the C. Burr Artz Library. And then on February 26th, show how much you care at Winchester Hall.
RSVP to friends@friendsoffrederickcounty.org

Finally, two articles of interest to learn more:

"Taxes Keep Incinerator Afloat": http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/articles/2008/02/17/news/local_news/newsstory1.txt

"Carroll Officials: Incinerator Numbers Unclear": http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/articles/2008/02/17/news/local_news/newsstory2.txt2

2) From the Spirit Bliss Community, a raw food educational non-profit based in Mt. Airy: Raw food is a style of eating that emphasizes uncooked fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds in order to optimize health. It is widely known to cure many serious diseases and ailments.

Join us for a Raw Food Lunch and Lecture with Paul Nison on Saturday, March 1st! Internationally acclaimed best-selling raw food author and chef. Paul is a funny and extremely knowledgeable presenter. He'll have you laughing while you're learning. If you are a just interested in improving your physical health or an expert in the raw food diet, you'll learn a great deal from Paul's presentation. He makes things easy to understand for beginners, yet shares so much information that even someone who has been eating a raw food diet for years will be inspired and gain new insights.

Paul will present his newest revolutionary lecture based on his book "The Formula for Health." Paul has been successfully eating a raw food diet for 15 years. He will teach you how to successfully eat a raw diet, avoid sickness, overcome diseases, slow down the aging process, and have more energy.

Location:
Spirit Bliss Farm
1851 Florence Rd.
Mount Airy, MD 21771

$20 for Lecture and a Raw Food Lunch
Questions: 301-703-4116 ext. 112 or email helen@naturalzing.com

Schedule of Events:

-3 pm Lunch created by Raw Chef Bliss
(Fresh baby greens salad from our grow dome, TBD (will surely be excellent), and chocolate fantasy pie)

-5pm Lecture by Paul Nison

 

2/18/08: Good Food and Good Energy for 2008

About food - want a way to eat healthier, be more environmentally friendly, and support your local farmers all at the same time? Consider joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. You pay a set price up front known as "buying your share" and receive delicious, fresh, and often organic produce straight from the local farmer every week throughout the entire growing season! It's a great setup for both you and for the farmer - one share will typically feed a family of four.

The CSA is a booming, upcoming concept, and now is the time to look into buying your share for the season. 2008 is the perfect year to do something great for your health, the health of your family, the local farmers, the local economy, and the Earth - join a CSA now before they sell out for the season! Here are some options that we have locally:

-Pheasant Hill Farm in Mt. Airy. Contact Marjorie Satterlee at 410.215.7173. $500/full share, $350/half-share, 18 weeks. Pickup point in Mt. Airy, Wheaton, or Kentlands.

-Summer Creek Farm in Thurmont (organic produce). Contact Rick Hood at 301.271.9399, visit www.summercreekfarm.com $450/full share, 18 weeks. Pickup at one of two points in Frederick.
-Nev-R-Dun Farm in Westminster (organic produce). Contact tom@nevrdunfarm.com, 443-340-7212. $416/share, or $400 if payment in full is received by March 1, 26 weeks.

-Nev-R-Dun Farm in Westminster (organic produce). Contact tom@nevrdunfarm.com, 443-340-7212, visit http://nevrdunfarm.com/. $416/share, or $400 if payment in full is received by March 1, 26 weeks.

-De La Tierra Gardens in Taneytown (organic produce). Contact Jackie Miller Coldsmith, delatierra@wildmail.com, 443-536-3581, visit http://delatierragardens.com/CSA.html. $385 per share. A work option is available - if you work for 15 hours over the course of the season, you will receive a rebate of $50 once the work is completed. Work hours can be contributed Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.

-Whiterose Farm in Taneytown (organic produce and hogs). For more info contact Sally Voris, 410-756-9303, sally@whiterosefarm.com, www.whiterosefarm.com

-Spoutwood Farm in Glen Rock, PA (organic produce). Contact Tom Harbold at spoutwood@supernet.com, (717) 235-6610, or visit http://www.spoutwood.com/

-Mother's Spring Farm outside of Westminster. Contact Cindy and Andy Keefer: keefercrew@comcast.net

Also, be sure to check out http://www.localharvest.org for more info on food resources near you.

 

About energy: Solar Energy Program at the Westminster Library Thursday 2/21/2008, 7 PM

Does the cost of gasoline, heating fuel, and electricity have you in a frenzy? Please join Dan Andrews of the Carroll County Environmental Advisory Council; Tom Williams of Freedom Energy Solutions, and Vincent DiPietro, a Sykesville resident who has installed his own solar energy system, as we discuss ways to calm those frenzies. They will answer your questions about what sources are right for this area, what tax incentives might be available, and approximate costs for installation of various systems, as well as the savings this means for you.

 

 

Access the 2007 News archives here