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Pocomoke Drop Off the Kids Afternoon PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fran Severn   
Sunday, 29 November 2009 19:19

It's a parent's dream: drop off the kids for an afternoon at a safe, fun place while they get a couple of hours of shopping or meditating done!

 

Head for the Delmarva Discovery Center in Pocomoke on December 5th. Between 12:30 and 4 pm, children between the ages of 5-12 will be kept busy with holiday crafts, tours of the interactive museum, and game playing. Topping it all off is a screening of "The Polar Express" at the Mar-Va Theater across the street.

 

The cost per child is $20. Advanced registration is required. Call 410-957-9933.

 
Money for Delaware's Historic Preservation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fran Severn   
Sunday, 29 November 2009 19:13

 

Preservation Delaware is getting a $75-thousand matching grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The cash is earmarked to expand the on-the-ground field services and hands-on assistance to work with historic societies, local officials, and people with an interest in historic preservation.

 

That's great news for the Delaware communities that are lined with wonderful old houses that give the towns their character. But those places are expensive to repair and maintain. Grants like this help homeowners and communities stay viable, which helps the economy by attracting tourists (after all, who wants to visit a housing development?) and the environment by improving energy efficiency and preventing the decision to tear down old buildings which creates landfill and other problems and building a new structure. Even if it's energy -efficient, it’s still a drain on the grid.

 

Last Updated on Monday, 30 November 2009 21:46
 
Maryland Green Travel PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fran Severn   
Sunday, 29 November 2009 18:51

"Green" travel is *the* buzz word in tourism. An international gathering of tourism professionals in Australia recently said that at least 25% of all tourists are looking for eco-tourism experiences.

 

But it's not just getting close to Mother Nature on a day's outing that appeals to travelers. They want their entire vacation to be eco-friendly. "Green issues are mainstream and people are making travel decision based on what businesses are doing to address environmental concerns," according to the meeting's summary.

 

Maryland's tourism industry is responding to that with the launch of Maryland Green Travel. It's an on-line, voluntary, self-certification program for the state's lodging industry. The standards were developed by the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

 

The core requirements include: an environmental policy statement; recycle and reuse program; optional linen service; efficient water use; energy conservation program; have at least one measureable result from implementation of the core requirements.

 

So far, the Marriott and Fairmont Hotels have announced that they are working on getting the certification. As hotels qualify, they'll be listed on the state's tourism website: www.visitmaryland.org, which gets about 2-million unique visitors annually. The Maryland Office of Tourism Development (OTD) plans to release certification qualifications for restaurants, attractions, and other tourism entities in 2010.

 

 
Christmas Gardens on Delmarva PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fran Severn   
Sunday, 29 November 2009 18:29

My father was a model train nut. A mechanical engineer by training (no pun intended), he had a model train layout that took up half of our basement. It was a two-level affair. The lower half was an elaborate train switch yard and two tracks running in a great oval around and through a rural landscape. The upper level was a cityscape with a trolley line and a carnival with a working Ferris Wheel. I've never seen another layout like that.

 

The other half of the basement was split between his workshop and the washer/dryer. He would take the blueprints of full-sized engines, scale them down, make the molds, pour the metal, fit the power source, and create exact scale models of the trains. One Christmas, he gave me a set of HO gauge passenger cars (which he promptly 'let' me add to the trains in the switch yard).

 

When I was in high school, my mother had enough of dad's obsession. She gave him an ultimatum: either the trains went or she did. It took him a couple of weeks to decide. Part of my father died when the platform was carried up the back steps to the alley and trash cans. Kind of like when the "leg lamp" gets broken in A Christmas Story.

 

Christmas Gardens are a Baltimore tradition. They go back to the Moravian/German immigrants who settled in town in the 1800's. Originally, the gardens were elaborate Nativity scenes, but by the turn of the century, people were adding all sorts of mechanical extras, and the Three Wise Men and their donkeys were replaced with tiny train conductors and HO gauge engines.

 

For some reason, fire houses adopted the tradition. At one time, nearly every fire house had its own Christmas Garden. Some of them changed themes every year; others stayed with proven favorite displays. Visiting the local firehouse (or for folks like my dad, making a citywide pilgrimage to all of them) was as much a part of Christmas as arguing over untangling the snarled tree lights.

 

The tradition has crossed the Bay Bridge onto Delmarva. At least five locations have Christmas Gardens. Only one of them is in a fire house, though. But here is the list of those I could find. If you know of others, please add it. If you are going to the Western Shore, www.trainsrcool.com has a list of displays over there.

 

Cambridge Rescue Fire Company, 307 Gay St., Cambridge. FREE Donations & canned food appreciated. Mon-Fri 6:30-9:30 pm. Sat-Sun 1-4 & 6-9 p.m. 410-228-1211. www.rescuefirecompany.org

 

Delmarva Model Railroad Club, 103 State Street, Delmar. Appears to be FREE. Weekends. Dec 5-6; Jan 9-10; Jan 16-17. Sat 11-5, Sun 12-5. 302-856-9250, 410-742-9325. www.delmarvamodelrailroadclub.org

 

Sudlersville Train Station Museum, 101 Linden St. Sudlersville. Dec. 5 & 12 10-2. 410-438-3501. www.historicqac.org

 

Pocomoke River Canoe Company, 312 N. Washington St., Snow Hill. FREE. Weekends through Jan 8. 1-4 pm. Also 5-8 pm Jan 1 & Jan 8. www.snowhillmd.com

 

Museum of Eastern Shore Life, 126 Dulin Clark Rd. (4-H Hall), Centreville. Christmas Train Show. Dec 5-6, 12-13, Noon-5pm. 410-758-8640. www.mesl.us

 

 

 

 
9 Ways to Cut Waste this Holiday Season PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fran Severn   
Wednesday, 25 November 2009 15:31

Ho Ho Ho! Amid the tinsel and wrapping paper, there's probably a dollop of guilt within our emerging 'green' consciences about some of the excesses of the holiday season. Is there a way to reconcile cherished traditions from the 'before we knew better' era with eco-friendly behaviors?

 

Cara Smusiak of naturallysavvy.com came up with these ideas. I found it on Planetgreen.discovery.com, which is a good place to hang out for eco-ideas and information.

 

I love the magic and merriment of the holiday season, but as wonderful as this time of year is for many of us, the planet isn't quite so happy.

The holiday season produces a lot of waste. Household waste jumps an astounding 25 percent between Thanksgiving and the New Year, according to the EPA. That excess "25 percent" totals 1 million tons of trash.

So as we head into the holiday season, let's all agree to take it easy on the Earth and try to reduce that insane amount of waste that seems to come with our festivities. Really, what better way is there to celebrate the winter solstice?

9 Tips for Reducing Holiday Waste

  1. Cook from Scratch - If you're not buying packaged, processed foods, you'll cut your waste by a lot. While you're at it, avoid frozen or canned foods if you can.
  2. Skip the Wrapping Paper - There are tons of great wrapping paper alternatives. Try gift bags, boxes or fabric, or if you just can't give up the wrap, upcycle old paper products such as newspapers, magazines and even maps as "wrapping paper."
  3. Buy in Bulk - Individually wrapped products use excessive amounts of packaging. Look for products you can buy in bulk or in larger quantities with minimal packaging.
  4. Buy Only What Your Need - Buying in bulk is not always the best option - if you don't need 50 pounds of potatoes, you should resist the urge to save a few dollars on the giant bag, as anything you saved will probably go to waste before you can use it.
  5. Don't Eat With Your Eyes - How many of us take too much at the holidays, only to throw a lot out? Start with small portions - you can always take more!
  6. Share Leftovers - Whether you send a plate home with friends or family, invite a few friends over for some post-holiday party snacking, or take some foods to the office for co-workers to nibble on, make sure you use those leftovers up so they don't go to waste.
  7. Do DIY Gifts - This season, when families have smaller holiday budgets, DIY is a great option for reducing your environmental impact. Make gifts personal and useful. Layer ingredients for your famous cookies in a mason jar, or upcycle teacups as candles for friends. Personal touches make a big impact, and they don't have to cost much.
  8. Don't Buy Junk - Everyone has a story about small gifts that collect dust in a basement or on a shelf. If you have less money to spend this year, stretch your dollars by buying less things but investing in quality. Even most kids would rather have one great toy than a bunch of little things that they'll soon bore of.
  9. Ban Single-Use Products - Set a household ban on single-use products. No paper plates, no plastic cutlery, no aluminum foil, no plastic wrap, no paper towels, no disposable roasting pans, no ... you get the picture.

 

Pasted from <http://planetgreen.discovery.com/work-connect/cut-waste-holiday-season.html>

 

 

 
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