Thursday, December 15, 2011

December 15, 2011: Savory and Sustainable Seed to Table Cuisine at the Seattle Culinary Academy

The art of "seed to plate" cuisine is growing strong at Seattle Culinary Academy. Grow the seed or the plant in a nearby greenhouse. Then put it to mouth watering good use in dishes such as tea smoked duck and micro greens or creamy risotto served with freshly harvested baby red beets. The academy is among the first in the nation to teach sustainability. Martha Baskin has our report.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

December 8, 2011: What’s Ubiquitous but Microscopic, Useful but Harmful and Is Used by 2 Billion in the State & 290 Million in the City?

Despite pride in being the "emerald city," environmentally savvy and beautiful to boot, Seattle is behind the curve when it comes to using plastic bags. Three years ago the city would have been among the first in the nation to ban plastic bags from grocery stores. But the attempt failed when voters were presented with an initiative funded by the American Chemistry Council. This year the city is following the "Bellingham Model" and those in D.C., Portland, Oregon and Edmonds, USA. Martha Baskin brings us this update.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 1, 2011: With Global Warming on the Defensive a Federal Lawsuit in Seattle Brings It Front and Center

Once the subject of heated debate, global warming today suffers an uneasy silence, one that's persisted through the end of the hottest decade in recorded history and yet another summer of freak natural disasters and record-breaking heat worldwide. A federal lawsuit filed in Seattle this week brings the subject front and center with a new twist. The case challenges the state's clean air agencies for failing to control greenhouse gas emissions from oil refineries. Martha Baskin paid the courtroom a visit and has our report.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 17, 2011: Food Security and the Roots of Migration

When it comes to Mexico, immigration and drug cartels dominate the news. The roots of migration and ways to increase food security rarely enter the conversation. This week Green Acre Radio speaks with a small farmer committed to defending corn and culture in Oaxaca, Mexico’s most southern state. He was on Witness for Peace speaking tour of the Northwest.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

November 10, 2011: Rain Gardens Part Two: An Odd Urban Tale About Things that Run Down the Drain and How to Stop the Flow

This week Green Acre Radio continues to look at the "miasma" that runs into Puget Sound, as storyteller Stokley Towles puts it. Other characters in this odd urban tale include a landscape designer, Seattle Public Utility and you, the public. Martha Baskin has the story.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

November 3, 2011: Scary Threats That Haunt Puget Sound and Some Not-So-Scary Solutions

Green Acre Radio starts out with a ghost story this week of Day of the Dead. And then looks at some less well known, but just as haunting threats, facing Puget Sound waterways each and every day.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

October 27, 2011: State "Flips the Switch" on the First Hydropower Plant in Nearly Twenty Years. Is it a Smart Clean Energy Choice?

Compared to the dominant energy supply produced nationwide - 49% from coal, 20% from nuclear and another 20% from natural gas - hydropower, at 7%, stands out in the clean energy crowd. In Washington State hydropower is the dominant form of energy, supplying 65% of the state’s needs. So does that mean more hydropower is the solution for improving the state’s clean energy portfolio? Martha Baskin visited a "flip-the-switch" ceremony for the state’s first hydropower plant in nearly twenty years and brings us this report.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Stimulus Funds at Work Restoring Coastal Habitat, Jump-Starting the Economy & Protecting Farmland from Floods

In Washington State’s Skagit River Valley a multi-million dollar stimulus fund project nears completion. The project’s focus is to restore habitat for endangered salmon, protect farmland from flooding and create jobs. Martha Baskin went up to the Valley to check things out and has our story.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

October 6, 2011: Genetically Modified Organisms: A Conversation with Consumer Advocate Jeffrey Smith, Author of Genetic Roulette

This October marks the second ever non-GMO month. The Non-GMO Project and partners nationwide created non-GMO month as a platform to raise awareness about the GMO issue and risks genetically modified organisms pose to our health and environment. GMOFreeWashingtont kicks off the month on Thursday at 6PM with a panel discussion at the Ballard Library. Leading consumer advocate, Jeffrey Smith, will be in Seattle October 18th and 19th to discuss why GMO’s must be stopped. Martha Baskin caught up with him via phone and brings us this preview.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

September 29, 2011: Moving Planet: Local Climate Action to Move Beyond Fossil Fuels

This week thousands of King County residents came together to demonstrate local alternatives in the worldwide effort to wean the planet off fossil fuels. "Undriving licenses," stand-up paddle boats, bikes with heavy duty trailers and organizing to stop coal from being shipped through the Northwest to China were all part of the action. Organized by under the banner MovingPlanet, the county joined 177 countries in the global day of action. Martha Baskin has the story.

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The MovingPlanet event was sponsored by 350Washington State, Climate Solutions, Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light, Fuse, Pacific Northwest Conference, Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment, Seattle Parks & Recreation, Sierra Club, Transportation for WA, United Church of Christ, and WA Environmental Council.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

September 22, 2011: The Power of Urban Forests To Curb Pollution and the Important Role of Volunteers

Some call them soldiers on the environmental frontline, fighting for us, despite us. Who are they? Here's a few clues. A mature one produces as much oxygen in a season as ten people inhale in a year. Together they clean the soil of chemicals by absorbing harmful pollutants or changing the pollutants into less harmful forms. They bind the soil, break the wind, and reduce water run off. Give up? They're trees, of course, and even better when they come together and form a forest. Martha Baskin has our story.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

September 15, 2011: Restoring Dabob Bay and Tarboo Creek

Can an out-of-the-way section of Dabob Bay with only one mega-home in sight serve as a model for restoring Puget Sound? Those engaged in the effort to restore the largest intact salt-marsh in all of Hood Canal and Strait of Juan de Fuca and surrounding land think it can. Martha Baskin has our story.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

September 8, 2011: Environmental Civil Disobedience: Can It Move Obama to Reject The Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline?

Environmentalists arrested in front of the White House over the last few weeks over a controversial proposal say they’ll dog Obama for another two months and urge him to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would extend from Alberta’s tar sands to Texas. Tar sands oil is one of the dirtiest and most environmentally destructive projects. organizers say it’s bad for the country, bad for the environment and ultimately, a bad idea for Obama politically. Martha Baskin has the story.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

August 4, 2011: Sharing the Local Bounty With Those Who Need It Most: Women, Infants and Children

Farmers markets often have the reputation of being only for those with plenty to spare. Ten urban farmers markets are working to turn things around and serve the underserved – low income pregnant women, new mothers, and children under the age of five. In this week’s story, Martha Baskin visited South King County farmers markets to learn their secret.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July 28, 2011: Sustainable Seafood, Consumer Choice and the Global Fisheries Crisis

Nearly 75% of the world’s fisheries are fished to capacity. Most fish available today in the United States is imported, frequently from places where health, safety and environmental standards are weak or non-existent. Because many popular wild fish populations are on the verge of collapse, seafood watch guides, like the one produced by the Monterrey Bay Aquarium, have become popular for conscious consumers. But are supermarkets and restaurants taking note? With ocean health hanging in the balance, Martha Baskin decided to take a look.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

July 21, 2011: What's a Toxic Colorless Chemical Doing in My House and How Is It Harming the Environment?

Over 80,000 synthetic chemicals are used in products from shower curtains and laundry detergent to vinyl flooring and shampoo. It’s well known that toxic chemicals pose a major threat to the health of Puget Sound. But how do they get from products in our homes to water and wildlife? In this episode of Green Acre Radio Martha Baskin looks at some of the mysterious pathways for phthalates (pronounced thalate), a family of chemicals that causes problems with male reproductive development and the survival and reproduction of aquatic organisms.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 14, 2011: Carbon Saturated Seas, The Food Web and the Future of Marine Life

As oceans absorb ever more carbon dioxide, pH levels of the world’s seas have been dropping. Biologists at the National Marine Fisheries Service in Seattle are doing some of the most sophisticated work anywhere to see how the marine world responds to a major side effect of fossil fuel emissions, increasingly corrosive seas. Martha Baskin recently joined scientists on a research vessel in Puget Sound.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

July 7, 2011: Toward a Fair, Sustainable Economy: Interview with Sarah van Gelder, Editor of Yes! Magazine

Discussions about building a sustainable economy rarely make connections between an economy dominated by military and corporate interests – the current US model – with climate change and record high joblessness. This week Green Acre Radio interviews YES! Magazine’s Sarah van Gelder. Van Gelder believes moving toward a fair and sustainable economy could go a long way to address three major crises facing the nation.

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 30, 2011: Nash's Organic Farm

If organic farms want to maintain their unique niche – over the past decade sales of organic produce have shown an annual increase of 20% - they’re going to have to train people to grow the food. The average age of both organic and conventional farmers is 57. Just 6% are under thirty-five. An organic farm on Washington State's Olympic Peninsula is trying to turn things around. For the last fifteen years Nash's Organic Farm has offered jobs to motivated young people interested in learning the art of organic farming. The next step will be offering shares of land to a promising new generation.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 23, 2011: Sampling for Toxic Contamination in Puget Sound's Muddy Bottom

Can muddy waters provide answers to understanding what toxic contamination is polluting Puget Sound waters? Marine scientists with the Department of Ecology hope so. The scientists are engaged in a multi-year study to collect sediment or mud from the bottom of urban bays. Sampling in Elliott Bay and Commencement Bay found most contaminants come from storm run off. Some like lead are on the wane, while others like phthlates, the key ingredient added to plastic to make it flexible, remain steady. Green Acre Radio joined ecologists in South Puget Sound’s Oakland Bay and has our report.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

June 9, 2011: Bicycle Tour of Rain Gardens: Special Gardens Made to Absorb Pollutants Before They Reach Local Waterways

A bike tour of rain gardens? Makes sense when you know these special gardens can absorb contaminated runoff. Vehicle runoff of oil and heavy metals is the Sound’s number one pollutant. Seattle Public Utility’s "Rainwise Program" and environmental organizations say more rain gardens are a big solution to controlling the flow of contaminants surging off urban surfaces every time it rains. Green Acre Radio’s Martha Baskin hopped on a bike and has this story.

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

June 2, 2011: Interview w/ Edward Humes, author of Force of Nature, The Unlikely Story of Wal Mart’s Green Revolution

This week Walmart is the subject on Green Acre Radio. The largest retailer in the work, reviled by many for its take-no-prisoners approach to market domination, has become an improbable trailblazer in the burgeoning field of green business. Green Acre Radio interviews Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward Humes about his just released book, Force of Nature, The Unlikely Story of Wal Mart’s Green Revolution.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

May 26, 2011: Multi-Ethnic Churches Move Together in Faith and Health With "Just Gardens"

The multi-ethnic churches call it "Moving Together in Faith and Health." Grow healthy food on site, educate about healthy living and change the health patterns of your congregation. Add a federal grant, an engaged School of Nursing and county health department and last, but not least, a non-profit called the "Just Garden Project" and you have all the ingredients you need for one of Seattle’s newest urban garden projects. Green Acre Radio takes us there in the final chapter of a four part series on growing food in the city.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 19, 2011: Job Training for Homeless and 'At Risk' Youth Growing Food in the City

Not to be left out of the urban farm movement, teens and youth are taking a chance. They're taking to it - well, like tomatoes that have finally found the sun. Seattle Youth Garden Works is a green jobs training farm-to-market program designed specifically for homeless and at risk youth. Martha Baskin takes us there in part three of a four part series on the burgeoning quest to grow food in the city.

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

May 5, 2011: "Unpaving Paradise": Edible P-Patches Where Once a Parking Lot Grew

In this second of a three part series on farming in the city, Martha Baskin, takes us to "Unpaving Paradise." Words ring a bell? They’re a play on the opening lyrics from the Joni Mitchell song, "Big Yellow Taxi." In this case, "Unpaving Paradise" is the name of a p-patch chosen by community organizers on Capital Hill after they succeeded in building an urban garden where once there was a parking lot.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

April 28, 2011: Growin' Sweet Red Carrots In Unlikely Places: Urban Farming Part I

The upward trend in urban farming keeps climbing. As city populations grow and urban areas increase, growing food in the city has increased by 50% in the last two decades. Previously these efforts were called everything from P-patching to victory gardening. Whatever the name, the practice of growing food for family and community has become a noble and cultivated art.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

April 21, 2011: Restoring the Hometown River with Sweat, Spirit and Stewardship

One scientist calls the hundreds of estuaries along Puget Sound shorelines a string of pearls. Restoring these pearls along the Duwamish River was the focus for hundreds of volunteers this Earth Day. Removing blackberries and scotch broom isn’t just about hard work. It’s about community and celebration. Green Acre Radio takes us to the party at one estuary, Codiga Park in Tukwila.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

April 14, 2011: Farm to Table: Bringing Healthy Food From Local Farms to Local Kids

Everybody’s talking about healthy locally grown food, but is everybody getting the food? Not yet. But a new pilot project is slowly turning things around. The project, "Farm to Table," connects fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables with those who need them most, young children and seniors. Money to jump-start the pilot came from stimulus dollars awarded to counties and cities with public health programs designed to improve nutrition for low-income populations. The pilot took off this spring at senior centers. This week a preschool received its first delivery. As you'll hear, the kids seem to like their vegetables.

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

"We Are the Solution" to Feed the World: Campaign Led by 12 Women’s Farm Organizations in Africa Say Organic Indigenous Practices The Answer

Contrary to messages promoted by big agricultural interests, small-scale farming can not only feed us all but cool the planet. So says a campaign led by twelve African women’s farm organizations. The campaign, "We Are The Solution" is part of a growing global movement rooted in traditional knowledge and sustainable technologies. Martha Baskin spoke with representatives from the campaign who were in Seattle to attend a recent global donor conference.

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

From the Columbia River to Seattle's Urban Green River Wild Steelhead Populations Try to Hang On

In rivers throughout the Northwest, from the mighty Columbia to Seattle's urban Green River, wild steelhead populations are desperately hanging on. Listed as threatened, even hatchery efforts to increase their numbers are failing. Habitat loss, dams, and warming waters caused by climate change, appear to be sealing their fate. In this week’s Green Acre Radio, Martha Baskin visits the Soos Creek Hatchery on the Green River and talks with wild steelhead advocates including veteran fisheries biologist, Don Chapman, who’s been monitoring the situation for fifty years.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sowing Seeds for the Hungry, Moral Dilemmas, and Monsanto's Reach

What's an environmentally conscious urban farm to do when it learns its seed supply is not as pure as it thought? Marra Farm in South Park, an urban farm that grows food for the hungry, is caught in a moral dilemma. Should it use seeds donated from companies who also sell Monsanto varieties? Martha Baskin visits the farm and explores the issue.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

March 17, 2011: On the Threshold of Sustainability: Energy Efficient Housing for Those Who’ve Been Without

Sustainable, energy efficient urban housing that’s affordable? Solid Ground, a nonprofit dedicated to building community to end poverty, thought it sounded like a good idea. This week, the nonprofit opens Brettler Family Place on the site of the former Sand Point Navy base at Magnusson Park. Fifty-two families are moving in. Green Acre Radio’s Martha Baskin went to the housewarming.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

March 10, 2011: Proposed Bills in Congress Would Cripple the EPA and Axe Environmental Safeguards

Hidden within the budget battle going on in Washington D.C. are proposals to permanently stop the EPA from curbing greenhouse gas emissions and cut the EPA’s budget by a third. So far the country’s bedrock environmental protections remain a moving target. But environmentalists call it an unprecedented attack and remain on high alert.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March 3, 2011: Pedal to the Metal: Hybrid Auto Tech Training at One of the Nation’s Premier Training Programs - Shoreline Community College

Alternative fuels, green vehicles, efficiency and renewables have emerged as the greatest potential for job creation. They’re also the greatest workforce development opportunity for community colleges on the horizon. Hybrid auto technician training at Shoreline Community College is no exception. The employment rate for technicians who complete the program is 90%. Green Acre Radio takes us on an inside look at one of the nation’s premier training centers for hybrid technicians.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

February 24, 2011: The Bumpy Road to a Coal Free Future in Washington State

In a few years the backlash against coal power in America has become the country's biggest-ever environmental campaign, transforming the nation’s awareness of climate change and inspiring political leaders to take firmer action after years of doubt and delay. Plans for new plants have been defeated in thirty states. But shutting down existing coal plants hasn’t been so easy. This week Green Acre Radio looks at bumps in the road to a coal free future in Washington State.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

February 10, 2011: The Big Rig: Port Truck Drivers, Poverty and Pollution

Is there a connection between pollution and drivers who load containers at the nation’s ports? The Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports, a coalition of environmental, labor and community organizations, says low wages and the misclassification of drivers are aggravating the pollution. Since 2006, the coalition has worked to reclassify the drivers as employees instead of independent contractors. But it’s been a long haul. Martha Baskin has our story.

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

February 2, 2011: A Closer Look at Nonmetal Periodic Element #15, aka Phosphorous

Can one member of the nitrogen family make a difference in the state’s budget woes? Proponents of a bill to restrict the sale of phosphorous in lawn fertilizer think it can. Manage its sale and you have one less chemical costing cities millions to control in wastewater treatment plants. Martha Baskin has our story.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

January 27, 2011: Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardeners and Smart-Cookin’ Mamas: Fighting Back in an Age of Industrial Agriculture

The rapidly growing alternative food system is made up of people reclaiming their connections to their food and their health. In his new book, Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardeners and Smart-Cookin’Mamas: Fighting Back In An Age of Industrial Agriculture, forty year veteran of the movement Mark Winne, introduces us to innovative “local doers” leading the charge. Heeding Emerson’s call to embrace that great American virture of self-reliance, these doers are defying the authority of the food conglomerates and taking matters into their own hands.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

January 20, 2011: Expanding the State's Ability to Prevent a Catastrophic Oil Spill

After the release of a recent fact-finding commission on the BP oil disaster, state environmental leaders propose measures to keep Washington waters safe. The legislation, designed to upgrade the state's oil spill protection plan, requires oil companies to increase their capacity to respond to a catastrophic spill. Martha Baskin takes a closer look and talks with those who recognize the vulnerability of a state with some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

January 13, 2011: A Look at Environmental Priorities for the 2011 Legislature: The Clean Water Jobs Act and Budget Solutions

Creating jobs, cleaning up polluted waterways, and finding new sources of funding are key environmental priorities for this year’s legislature. The Environmental Priorities Coalition, a network of 24 leading environmental groups, believes a strong economy and a clean, healthy, and safe environment go hand in hand. Martha Baskin checks out a workshop designed to fire up advance support for the plan.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

January 6, 2011: Green New Year’s Resolutions: Act Locally And Think Globally

Green New Year resolutions is the subject of discussion on this week’s Green Acre Radio. We’ll look at ones you may have overlooked from climate action to ways to make your consumption habits green. We’ll also learn about Clean Energy Victory Bonds, a 21st century take on green financing solutions.

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