City Living 70% Less Carbon Intensive Than In Suburbs: TreeHugger

This post was interesting mostly for the cool heat map of transportation-related carbon. It seems fairly obvious that if you live in an urban area and work close to your home (or in your home, if you are lucky), you will have significantly less commuting time, and hence a significantly lower carbon footprint.

What if, however, you live in an urban area and drive to the suburbs or another city to work? Does that happen? Sure it does. I guarantee that my current 4 mile round trip daily commute in a suburban township is much less carbon intensive than the 108 mile round daily round trip when I lived within the City of Akron, Ohio and worked in the City of Painesville, Ohio.

Or, what about this: Live in a rural area and work at home. Live in a suburb and ride your bike to a “sprawl” office complex a few miles away. I think the carbon intensity of these alternatives should compare favorably to urban living.

Maybe the analysis that really matters is not a geographical one. Maybe the choices that people make and how they relate to carbon footprint are just as important as their choice of geography, which in many case is an accident of socioeconomics as much as it is a choice of lifestyle and “green” over unsustainable.

For those of us who can choose where to live, maybe we should select the kind of surroundings that energize us, then figure out how to live there in the least consumptive way possible, whether urban, suburban, or rural.


Countryside Farmers Market opens

Countryside Farmers Market opens

Part of living in harmony with Nature has to be eating locally. Why? Conservation of energy. Health of your own body. Health of our environment. Health of the local economy. It just makes sense on too many levels.

If you live in northern Ohio, check out the two Countryside Conservancy Farmers markets. You can learn about them by following the link to the article above. If you live elsewhere, will let you search out sources of locally grown food in your neck of the woods.


Upcoming Class- Living Rivers!

Living Rivers–Arteries of the Eastern Forest, August 16-21, 2009

A five day field course in aquatic ecology & the global significance of the Eastern Forest led by five outstanding field biologists; held at the Arc of Appalachia Preserve System in southern Ohio. David Johnson Microbiologist from Ohio Wesleyan; Greg Lipps, herpetologist; Roger F. Thoma, Eastern US crayfish expert; Mark Kibbey, Curator of Fishes, OSU Museum of Biodiversity; and G. Thomas Watters, freshwater mussels expert, Research Associate, OSU Museum of Biodiversity.

This course will further participants’ appreciation of the Eastern forest by studying its lifeblood — its rivers and streams, and the myriads of life forms that watersheds support. Experts in the fields of botany, mussels, crayfish, fish and salamanders will be leading this course – giving participants a global, cross-disciplinary foundation of knowledge. America’s Eastern Forest shares many tree and mammal genera with closely-related forest centers located in Europe and Eastern Asia. However, our native forest has one major feature that, when compared to its sister forests, distinguishes it globally. Quite simply, America’s Eastern temperate forest claims the highest aquatic life diversity in the temperate world.

Conservation challenges now make waterways one of the most imperiled of the forest’s components throughout the temperate world, so it behooves Eastern US citizens to gain knowledge quickly in this important realm. This course is suitable for any person interested in living systems, regardless of formal educational background and vocation. Limited to 16 participants. For full information:


Night Haunt I

May 30, 8PM – 12PM
Pre-registration required

The evening will begin with a program on Ohio’s only flying mammal, the “bat”. The group will then walk through the evening fog to the famous Ceely Rose. In 1896, Ceely Rose murdered her entire family inside of this little Pleasant Valley home. park naturalist will tell the grizzly true story on the front porch. The night concludes with a rare “candlelight” tour of the Bromfield Mansion where haunted stories will be told.

The fee for this unique experience is $30.00 per participant. This program is not recommended for children under 16 years of age due to its length and content. Dress for weather conditions. Call 419-892-2784 to pre-register. Groups are limited to 25 so register soon to insure your spot.

Malabar Farm is located 12 miles southeast of Mansfield, just one mile west of SR 603 on Pleasant Valley Road. Louis Bromfield, a world-renowned novelist and conservationist, created the farm in the 1940s as a demonstration farm for progressive conservation practices. Malabar Farm State Park is the only working farm in the Ohio State Park system. Programs and special events are offered year-round. For more information about this or other programs, call the park office at 419-892-2784 or visit their Website at


4th Annual Garlic Mustard Pestival!

Get outside and join in the fun at the 4th Annual Garlic Mustard Pestival at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes on Saturday, May 30th. Please purchase your tickets in advanced as this event will sell out.

4th Annual Garlic Mustard Pestival Saturday, May 30th, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

If you can’t beat it, eat it!

Join like minded folks for a cocktail reception including creative cuisine made with garlic mustard, an invasive, edible species that volunteers pull from the Nature Center grounds each year.

Local Chefs and their Creative Cuisine include:

Dante Boccuzzi of Dante: Leg of Lamb with Garlic Mustard Salsa Verde

Sergio Abramof of Sergio/Sarava: Chilled Gazpacho with Garlic-Mustard Pesto Swirl

Ben Bebenroth of Spice of Life Catering: Fettuccini with sauté of Garlic mustard greens, French country sausage, caramelized ramps and Mackenzie creamery goat cheese, Manodori balsamic, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil

Scott Kim of SaSa: Ceviche with Scallops, Shrimp and Red Snapper in a Japanese Garlic Mustard Citrus sauce

John Pistone of J. Pistone Market: Grilled Bay of Fundy Salmon & Garlic Mustard Aioli with Red White and Green Lentil Salad

Dessert courtesy of A Cookie and A Cupcake and Mularo’s Gourmet Ice Cream

Wines donated by Wines LLC and Beer donated by Indigo Imp Brewery.

Tickets in Advance: Member $35/Non-Member $45. Tickets at the Door: Member $40/Non-Member $50. Reservations highly recommended.

Call 216-321-5935 for more information or visit the website at Tickets purchased in advance for the Pestival can be applied toward the Cultural, Edible and Medicinal Uses of Plants in the Doan Brook hike on Saturday, May 30, from 1 to 4 p.m.


WTF is a Ramp and Why Shouldn't I Eat Them? : TreeHugger

Check out this Treehugger article. It touches the surface of the ethics of eating wild food. When people over-collect anything in Nature, bad things happen. Just like oil is being depleted, so are plant communities impacted by our unwise use.

We can’t expect to feed billions of people the way thousands of people were fed in hunter-gatherer times.

On the other hand, as long as harvesting is done in a way that allows both humans and nature to thrive, eating wild can be a good thing good. More pure, more vital, less fossil fuel and water use.

If you do harvest wild foods or medicinal herbs, please don’t pick every ramp in a patch. Don’t dig all of the goldenseal you find. Spread the seeds of ginseng before you take the roots. Don’t dig them in commercial quantities.

I personally love ramps, but do not harvest them because most of the ones I know about are in parks. But, what about when we do know about edible plants on private land that can be harvested? Is is it acceptable, in a “sustainability” sense, to harvest these, or should we ban even small scale collection for personal use?