Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle Art Show

Talk about turning trash to treasure. At Kimpton’s Morrison House local artists have repurposed the hotel’s trash to create whimsical works of art.

General Manager Robert Hannigan invited area artists to tour the hotel and look for inspiration in discarded objects ranging from faucets and heating filters to plumbing lines.

The result is a collection of sculptures that are exclusively composed of repurposed materials and pairings of unexpected objects – like hubcaps with plastic lids.

The artists enjoyed being challenged to create art from found objects at the hotel. “The fun in working with reclaimed items is trying out unusual combinations of forms and solving the mysteries of the links between them,” said artist Rosemary Luckett, who will have six pieces on display at the reception.

A reception for the “Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle” exhibit will be held on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22 from 6-8 p.m, at the Morrison House (116 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA) and features more than a dozen works created for the event by local environmental artists affiliated with the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Old Town.

After the reception, guests can enjoy a 100-mile candlelight dinner in honor of Earth Day at The Grille at Morrison House . The four course dinner, with ingredients sourced from local farmers within a 100 mile radius is priced at $55 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). Eggs and poultry will be sourced from Path Valley Farms, while guests can enjoy local Virginia beef, pork sourced from Pennsylvania, and freshly caught fish from the Chesapeake and surrounding tributaries.

Out with the Old: Recycle Your Old Electronics

Guest post written by Carrie Madren.

It’s a New Year — and time to get rid of unused clutter. That enormous computer monitor taking up precious closet space and that broken printer stashed in your basement can find new — green — life as recycled materials. E-cycling not only reclaims resources for new or refurbished electronics, such reuse keeps electronics out of landfills.

Since many community recycling centers only open their doors to electronics a few times a year, Whole Foods stores in the D.C. area are making it easy for customers to e-cycle this weekend.

On Saturday, January 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., drop off your old electronics before you shop for your organic groceries. Accepted items include laptops, modems, phones, faxes, printers, wires/cables, CD ROMs, floppy drives, keyboards, mice, circuit boards, CRT monitors, mainframe computer systems and much more. Televisions are not accepted. Esquire Environmental will scrub and destroy memory on all hard drives.

Participating Whole Foods include Bethesda, MD; (Kentlands) Gaithersburg, MD; (Tenleytown) DC; (Georgetown) DC; Reston, VA; Falls Church, VA; and Fair Lakes, VA.

Additional Resources:

eCycling (EPA)

Washington Post article by Rob Pegoraro

10 Tips For a Greener You in 2010

Resolutions. So much fun to make, so challenging to keep. This year, why not set your sights on some resolutions that are simple, small, and good for the planet? Here’s how to make 2010 your greenest year ever:

1. Grow your own fruits and vegetables. No yard? A yard-sharing program matches people who have land with people who have a green thumb but no place to use it.

2. Get involved in a community garden or volunteer at one like Common Good City Farm.

3. Walk more, use public transportation, and consider buying or renting a bike.

4. Buy local ingredients whenever possible from farmer’s markets and other small purveyors.

5. Remember to bring reusable bags to the grocery store. The 5 cent plastic bag fee goes into effect January 1.

6. Plant a tree in your backyard. The DDOE can help.

7. Reduce organic waste by learning how to compost.

8. Replace regular lightbulbs with energy-saving compact florescent lightbulbs, turn off lights when not in use, reduce the thermostat. More tips from DDOE.

9. Stop buying bottled water and get yourself a chic stainless steel bottle instead.

10. Support environmentally friendly local businesses as much as possible.

Happy New Year!

5 Tips for Going Green in DC

1. Renovate your home and build using eco-products, energy-saving appliances, VOC-free paint, recycled flooring. Learn more at The U.S. Green Building Council or stock up on supplies at the Amicus Green Building Center.

2. Lose weight and get healthier by limiting how much you drive. Even better, ditch that old gas guzzler and sign up for a car-sharing service like ZipCar so you’ll have wheels only when you really need them.

3. Keep your home tidy and free of toxins with a eco-friendly cleaning service and opt for environmentally safe cleaning supplies such as Seventh Generation and Method. In a pinch, good old-fashioned diluted vinegar works well on glass and countertops.

4. Get serious about recycling. Outfit your kitchen and office with bins that help you sort paper, plastic, and other materials. For really big items or stuff you’re not sure how to recycle, contact Junk in the Trunk. Their ECOVERY Box lets them recycle or donate your items safely and efficiently. Plus, you get receipts for any items they donate.

5. Eschew chain restaurants for lunch and either pack your own or check out a local, organic lunch spot such as Java Green.