Featured, GreenLaurel, Lifeline

Making Your Voice Heard: To Frack or Not in Maryland

1 Written by: | Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 10:38am

This West Virginian mountaintop in Doddridge County was flattened to create a six-acre fracking well pad hosting six fracking wells. 

The decision to frack or not in Maryland is finally upon us. Even though most of us don’t live in western Maryland atop the natural gas fields, our state senators and delegates will cast votes to either ban fracking permanently, continue a moratorium or allow fracking permits in October 2017. Here’s the inside news about Maryland’s fracking fight, as well as the best actions you can take to make your voice heard about fracking’s fate in western Maryland. Read More →

Featured, GreenLaurel, Lifeline

New Beginnings Barbershop: ‘Doing Our Part To Make A Meaningful Difference’

2 Written by: | Thursday, Feb 16, 2017 11:58am

The New Beginnings Barbershop/Kaiser Permanente (KP) dream team is ready to to see you. From left to right: Troy Staton and Caira Daniels (New Beginnings Barbershop owners), Donette Jones (KP nurse), Sayonia Cheeks (KP lab technician) and Dr. Eddye Bullock (KP Physician).

“Our Hollins Market community sits between Baltimore’s two negative stories: The Corner and The Wire,” said Troy Staton, owner of the New Beginnings Barbershop located in Baltimore City. “We’re so much more than those two stories.”

Read More →

Featured, GreenLaurel

GreenLaurel: Education and Recycling Come Together at the Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap

0 Written by: | Thursday, Feb 09, 2017 11:21am

Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap is a great reason to clean out your office.

“When you see posters, pictures, pencils, and supplies in a classroom, more than likely, a teacher paid for that,” said Melissa Badeker, co-founder of the super-cool nonprofit Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap.

Together with Kathleen Williams, Badeker solved this school supply “distribution” problem with help from an Open Society Institute-Baltimore grant. The former Baltimore City teachers opened a school supply hub where educators can shop for classroom materials at no cost. Since 2014, they’ve swapped $78,000 worth of supplies that would have most likely been trashed. Learn from their effort how you can shop, donate or volunteer and help make Baltimore’s schools better and teachers happier. Read More →

Featured, Food & Drink, GreenLaurel, Health and Fitness

‘I’ll Have A Burger, Fries and a Large Fluorinated Chemical, Please’

0 Written by: | Thursday, Feb 02, 2017 1:45pm

Is “food-non-stickage” worth the health issues?

A bunch of smart scientists sampled 400 fast food wrappers and boxes and found that many of the big fast food chains have used unhealthy fluorinated chemicals in their packaging. The group published its findings in Environmental Science & Technology Letters. Their conclusion helps to explain how we all have “fluorinated chemicals” in our blood. Read More →

Culture, Featured, GreenLaurel

Md. Take Note: PA’s Fracking Water Contamination Complaints Jump to 40 Percent

1 Written by: | Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017 3:52pm

Can you imagine drinking this well water? Homeowner lives in the Woodland’s community north of Pittsburgh. Claims fracking ruined water. DEP claims fracking did not. Photo courtesy: Dr. John Stolz and Public Herald.

Guess what was found in Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) filing cabinets after gas operators drilled 10,027 fracking wells over the last 12 years? Only 9,942 citizen-reported fracking complaints. And forty-four percent of those are drinking water-related. Pennsylvania’s DEP finally released the complaints to Public Herald, an investigative journalism nonprofit. There’s much to learn from Pennsylvania’s now-public 9,942 fracking complaints as legislators decide to frack or not to frack in Western Maryland. Read More →

Featured, GreenLaurel

Switched Your Energy Supplier to XOOM? You May Be Eligible for a Refund

0 Written by: | Thursday, Jan 19, 2017 12:30pm

If you switched your home’s energy supplier to XOOM Energy anytime between Jan. 1, 2013, and Dec. 31, 2014, the rebate information below applies to you. Hurry, though: you only have until next Monday to get your refund paperwork to XOOM.

Those who switched their home’s energy supplier should check to see if they are overpaying for electricity. Though the purchase of switching is regulated to some degree, the pricing part of changing energy suppliers in Maryland is 100 percent “buyer beware.” At least $137 million has been sucked out of Marylanders’ checkbooks into energy suppliers’ vaults. That’s a shame, since energy choice is a good idea — in theory at least.

Read More →


Are You Overpaying For Electricity?

2 Written by: | Thursday, Jan 12, 2017 2:04pm

BGE’s new bill format is clearer. Green circle is electricity supply and delivery charges. The blue circle is natural gas.

Research suggests that while 83 percent of us are interested in our utility bill, only 17 percent understand our  bill. The average BGE customer pays $2,100 a year for electricity and gas. It turns out many needlessly overpay for home energy for two reasons: poor electricity and natural gas supplier switching choices and inefficient leaky homes.

Do you know how much a BGE kilowatt costs these days? Have you switched your electricity and natural gas suppliers? If you have switched suppliers for electricity or gas, are you getting a good deal? If you switched, are you inadvertently paying variable energy rates? If so, that can be risky because your rates are tied to energy markets. 

Grab your BGE bill, or better yet go online, and check out the tips below to help you read your bill. You may find some cash saving opportunities. Figuring out if you’re a heavy user may inspire you to check out energy efficiency ideas.  Save money, save energy, save the planet.

Read More →

Featured, GreenLaurel

Hogan’s 2017 Environmental Agenda Is Pretty ‘Light Green’

0 Written by: | Monday, Jan 09, 2017 3:31pm

Gov. Larry Hogan delivering his State of the State address.

Last week, Governor Hogan proposed “$65 million in new, innovative and targeted investments in environmental projects.”  Hogan may have tried to get out in front with his “green messaging” because 2017 is set up to be a battle between an eco-friendly General Assembly and a pro-fracking, red-state-leaning governor.

In truth, two-thirds of the $65 million that Hogan announced was already on the books. Maryland had negotiated with Exelon during the merger deal that $44 million would be deposited into the Strategic Energy Investment Fund. The $44 million was earmarked for renewable energy projects. Hogan’s Clean Cars 2017 Electric Vehicle project and the Bay pollution trading program are current programs.

The good news is that Hogan proposes funding these programs. Money is money, and Hogan offered eco-ideas. But are they new and innovative ideas? Mostly, no. Read More →

Featured, GreenLaurel

The Cost of Switching Electricity Suppliers in Maryland: $137M

0 Written by: | Tuesday, Dec 20, 2016 1:00pm

Where are those big savings? According to E.I.A. form 861 filings, Maryland’s actual supplier rate charged is on average above utility standard rates. 

From 2013 to 2015, Maryland homeowners have spent at least an extra $137 million for their home’s electricity because they switched to an alternate supplier. In 2015, this premium cost about $140 per year per customer, an 11 percent rate increase. Ironically, consumers often switch to electricity suppliers to pay lower rates as compared to their utility’s kilowatt rate.

In Maryland, like other states, a deregulated energy market has created a perfect consumer storm for savvy energy suppliers to blow in and sell their products to a consumer base that knows little about their electricity bills and rates. The good news? This is fixable, yet recent Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) updated regulations will most likely not safeguard Maryland homeowners; many of the ongoing electric choice practices described below are still legal.

Read More →

Featured, GreenLaurel

Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Second Chance Cruise the Inner Harbor Together

0 Written by: | Thursday, Dec 15, 2016 1:47pm

A little fishy told us this was a first-time oyster sighting!

It’s pretty cool when two groups that both focus on making our planet better come together for fun and education.

Read More →

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