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Green Living

Cross-state bike riders hope to give guv a push

      Climate activists Vinny and Jamie DeMarco are hoping pedal power will prompt Gov. Larry Hogan into signing the Clean Energy Job Act. The bill passed the General Assembly in April and now awaits the governor’s pen to put it in action. He has until late May to make a decision.          The bill would raise Maryland’s renewable portfolio standards to 50 percent by 2030. That means more energy coming from sources such as wind, solar, biomass and geothermal. Hogan previously vetoed the act in 2016.

That sunscreen seeps into your body

     Given the prevalence of skin cancer in Maryland, we’ve been paying more attention to protecting ourselves from the sun. We reported in February on a troubling study concluding that just two of 16 active ingredients in sunscreen — zinc oxide and titanium dioxide — are regarded by the Food and Drug Administration as safe and effective. [https://bit.ly/2PTIJbl]

Swamp and common are the ­toughest to tell apart

     It is encouraging to see everybody talking about native plants these days. But native plants are nothing new. They were here before colonization and have evolved in our environment over time. 

Our future is in the hands of real people, not superheroes

      Appreciation for our planet is expressed not only in art, music and literature, but also in our consumer and economic practices, our spiritual and cultural beliefs and values, our foodways and our politics.      Working to clean up our collective mess are passionate eco-guardians who make it their business to fight pollution, clean our waterways, protect wildlife and keep our planet healthy. For most, it’s a lifelong journey.
A lot is going on in the fast-changing world of used plastic and paper
      It’s spring, and the garden is calling. With the threat of hard frost past, you’ve turned on your outdoor water and reattached your hose. But it’s spraying you from leaks all along its length. What should you do with that hose?   a. Recycle it b. Trash it c. Use if for a sprinkler hose.

$215,000-worth of beauty in the works

      Project Spudnik will put more taters into the ground this year thanks to a grant from Keep Maryland Beautiful.          Inspired by the improbable garden Matt Damon grows in the movie The Martian, Project Spudnik teaches teens to live sustainably through gardening. This year, what started as a container garden grows $1,000 richer.

Join Alliance for the Bay’s Project Clean Stream

     Saturday’s forecast calls for sunny skies and temperatures in the 60s.       One way to get out and enjoy the warm weather is to join in the annual watershed cleanup.     Volunteers are needed to help Alliance for the Bay’s Project Clean Stream team collect trash.     Project Clean Stream is an annual event for the Bay watershed and communities. The project supports all six states the Bay touches, as well as Washington, D.C., with stream and woodland cleanups.

At home or on the town

      St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated on March 17, is the anniversary of the death of the patron saint of Ireland. Kidnapped as a teen, Saint Patrick was brought to Ireland but eventually escaped to his native Britain. He later returned to Ireland and is credited with bringing Christianity to the Irish. He died in the fifth century. But on March 17, at least in America, everybody is Irish. Indeed, more than 30 million Americans have predominantly Irish roots. Between 1820 and 1930, 4.5 million Irish arrived in America.

Polystyrene ban passes in Anne Arundel

        Say your goodbyes to Styrofoam.               Anne Arundel County passed a bill to ban polystyrene products from any food service establishment by January of 2020.          The success comes eight months after former County Executive Steve Schuh vetoed similar legislation.

Fred Tutman, the only African ­American ­Riverkeeper on the job

       Waterkeeping has become a regular part of environmental conservation in Chesapeake Country, where 18 riverkeepers protect their local waters from the Atlantic at Assateague to the Shenandoah in the Appalachians, from the James at the mouth of the Bay to the Middle Susquehanna at its source.       In that commitment, we’re in good company. From New York’s Hudson River, where riverkeeping began, the movement has spread across the nation, giving us some 250 waterkeepers.