Earth Day Cleanup 2016

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Moseley Architects held our 7th annual Scott’s Addition neighborhood cleanup on Friday, April 22nd for Earth Day. Community participants from Moseley’s Richmond office, RVA Clean Sweep (a local civic group), The Preserve at Scott’s Addition, The Lofts at Altamont, and Crunch Fitness joined us. We gathered back together after the cleanup for refreshments at Isley Brewing Company. Thanks to everyone who helped out–we love hosting this annual event!

 

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A Unique Renewable Energy Source

Many of our local government clients such as Henrico County, Chesterfield County, Prince William County, and Fairfax County, VA have been operating landfill gas to energy systems for years. These systems capture methane, a potent greenhouse gas released when waste decomposes without oxygen. Instead of just burning off the methane as was previously done, the methane can be used to power generators, that in turn produce electricity.

There’s another readily available source of methane out there, and you may have smelled it if you have ever driven within 5 miles of a hog farm on a warm day. small hog Using the same concept as the landfill gas systems, hog waste is collected in closed digesters, and the off-gassed methane is recovered and sent to a generator for combustion. This results in many environmental benefits, such as reducing odors from the farm, runoff from open waste lagoons, and greenhouse gas emissions, while generating renewable energy.

This farm partnered with Duke University to install their system, and now sells renewable energy credits to Google. Since then, this farm has installed an even larger system, generating enough electricity to power 300 homes. This farmer is making $28,000 per year selling electricity from his system.

We love to see a creative idea that solves many problems at once!

The Local Green Grocery Movement

farmers_marketAre you, or would you like to be, a “locavore”? Eating food from your local foodshed (generally within a 100 mile radius) has been a growing trend for several years now. There are many benefits, including fresher food, health considerations (usually organic, non-genetically modified), reduced environmental impacts (shorter transportation, less packaging, etc.), and the socio-economic benefits of supporting local businesses.

You can eat local in many ways:
• Farmers Markets – These are cropping up all over, and you can find one near you at http://www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/. Set your location and click on “Find Farmers Markets”. There are 15 listed in the Richmond area alone.
• CSAs – Community Supported Agriculture has become a popular way to buy fresh, local, organic food directly from a farmer. You purchase a share or membership, and receive a box of seasonal produce regularly (weekly, monthly, however you set it up) throughout the year. Find options near you at http://www.localharvest.org/csa/.
• Online markets – More and more “stores” such as Relay Foods (now located right around the corner from the Moseley Headquarters!) offer online shopping for local, organic, non-GMO, special diet, and even standard food choices. You can pick up your order for free, have it delivered to a hub location near you, or ship directly to your door! This is a great option for people who hate grocery shopping. Check to see what’s available in your area at https://www.relayfoods.com/welcome.
• Regular grocery store – Pay attention to the source of the produce you buy in the grocery store. Many stores now offer more options due to the popularity of eating local.
• Grow your own garden!

Habitat for Humanity’s Restore

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If you’re cleaning out or renovating your home this Spring, and you have or need household items in reusable condition, don’t forget about Restore. They sell and accept donations of household items in good condition, including:
-Appliances (except dishwashers and water heaters)
-Cabinets and Countertops
-New flooring materials
-Furniture
-Cars
-Doors and whole windows
-Light Fixtures
-Lumber, Siding, and Trim
-Plumbing Fixtures (except faucets and pipes/fittings)
-Roof shingles in packages
-Televisions (flat screen only)

Find your local store and details on donations at http://www.habitat.org/env/restores.aspx