March 2012 - Our Daily Green

Friday, March 30, 2012

Greening the Pentagon (guest post)

If we want to build up a green manufacturing economy, we should directly invest in it, not plow more money into military spending.

The U.S. military is going green. Don't take it from me. "[T]he Department of Defense…the world's largest consumer of energy, will make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history," President Barack Obama declared in this year's State of the Union address.

This is welcome news. Oil powers everything from carrier-based aircraft to remote bases in Afghanistan. Since our military is the world's biggest fossil fuel guzzler, anything that curbs its insatiable appetite for oil will slow the deadly warming of our planet and save lives in more ways than one.

Other words pentagon
(US Army Africa / Flickr)
It's also good news for the green tech industry. Aside from Tang, the Internet, and a handful of other examples, military research rarely spins off new civilian technologies. But renewable energy is likely to prove a big exception. The Pentagon wants to make its remote Afghan outposts energy-independent so it can stop trucking oil through hundreds of miles of hostile territory. The Defense Department's research dollars and bulk purchases of photovoltaic panels and lightweight solar-storage batteries could cheapen the building blocks of a civilian clean energy economy.

Still, you can't help wondering what would happen if the White House and the Pentagon followed their green initiative to its logical conclusions.

Take research. If we want to want to develop green tech products, directly funding civilian research would give us a bigger bang for our buck than funding military research and hoping some of it spins off to us. It would create better products, too. Engineers in the civilian economy have to develop cost-efficient products that can compete in the market. But when you're engineering new products for the military, cost is way down your priority list. Military products may have to be completely redesigned for civilian use, and their basic technology may just be too expensive.

The moral: If we want to build up a green manufacturing economy, we should directly invest in it, not plow more money into military spending.

The same common sense applies if we want to cut fossil fuel use. The Pentagon operates 95 percent of the world's foreign military bases, the world's biggest air force, and its largest navy by far. Its fuel supply line is enormous. The Pentagon burns a lot of its fuel just getting fuel to its far-flung forces. We're paying up to $400 a gallon to haul diesel fuel to remote bases in Afghanistan.

We can try to take those bases off the power grid. But there's a better solution: Let's stop stationing so many troops abroad in the first place. We don't need to deploy 11 carrier battle groups in oceans around the world. We don't have to maintain military bases on every continent but Antarctica. We can refrain from building new bases in South Korea and Guam. Let's stop trying to encircle China and police the world. How about we cut forward deployments and close hundreds of our foreign military bases? We'd see some serious energy savings and make a major dent in the budget deficit at the same time.

This won't happen till the U.S. military's mission changes. Part of that mission is to control the world's oil supplies and routes. Being the world's oil cop costs the nation $100 billion a year, not counting the cost of wars like the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan. And it burns through a lot of oil.

Greening the Pentagon is a band-aid. Investing in a green civilian economy would do far more.

By Mike Prokosch

Mike Prokosch is the national coordinator of the New Priorities Network.  Distributed via OtherWords (

Creative CommonsThis content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative 3.0 License.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Food Revolution Day Opportunity

Food Revolution Day Ohio
from the application page:
We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers in cities and regions around the world to support Food Revolution Day. Ambassadors will play a leadership role in connecting individuals, schools, businesses and organizations at a local level to ensure their collective voice is heard. If this sounds like a role you'd enjoy, please complete this short form and we will send more details.
Food Revolution Day is happening on May 19th with global dinner parties and local food events organized by chefs, gardeners, food educators, farmers markets and people who genuinely want to share their skills and knowledge around food with their community.
If you are interested in simply participating or attending events, enter your email on and we'll let you know when things officially kick-off on April 3rd. Thank you.

Non-toxic garden pest control (guest post)

Our Daily Green is proud to feature master gardening expert and author, Claudia F. Brownlie. As the gardening season approaches, her website and books are filled with tips to help anyone get started with gardening. From a novice to expert, her advice is useful for anyone interested in growing their own food.

Claudia is an advocate of eco-friendly gardening methods. She recently released her newest book "The Shoestring Gardener" - A Compendium of Hundreds of Eco-Friendly, Creatively Frugal Gardening How-Tos, Remedies, and Tips. You can learn about making hypertufa objects in her book "The Hypertufa How-To Manual."  She's also the chief gardener and DIY garden art project expert at her popular website "" You can follow Claudia on Twitter at @ecogardengirl.

Two Non-Toxic Garden Pesticide Recipes - Better Alternatives for Us and for Mother Earth

We currently live in a world riddled with toxic substances just about everywhere we turn, such as fumes from factories spewing into the air and chemicals leaching into our drinking water sources. But the #1 biggest toxic "situation" that affects our overall health is the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides that are sprayed on the fruits, vegetables, and other crops destined for grocery store shelves.

In addition, we cannot overlook another huge sad fact pertaining to the use of these toxic agricultural chemicals - that being the threat to our bee population. Without these wonderful little buzzing marvels of nature, we're in BIG trouble! Did you know that pesticides are a major threat to bees? Chemical pesticides aren't selective when they're sprayed onto a plant, thus the flowers are also poisoned. Bees trying to pollinate the flowers come into contact with the pesticide, which increases a bee's odds of dying sooner rather than later as intended in a "healthy" environment. It is now a well know scientific fact that we're causing a rapid decline in their numbers. But it's not just bees - butterflies and other pollinators must be protected too! They are all responsible for perpetuating plant cycles and evolution.

In the winter of 2006/07 more than 25% of the bee colonies died due to pesticide poisoning. This loss translated to a loss of tens of billions of bees. (It's hard for me to wrap my head around that staggering number.) In addition, it was estimated that this loss negatively impacted the agricultural economy to the tune of $8 to $12 billion!

In 2009 almost 29% of the bee colonies in the United States collapsed. That's slightly less than the 36% loss counted in 2008 and the 32% loss counted in 2007. Unfortunately, scientists studying this problem affirm that the die-off continues.

SuperWeeds - It's Not Just the Beneficial Pollinators We Need to Be Concerned About

Scientists and farmers are also finding another cause for alarm in regard to the heavy-handed use of chemical herbicides for weed management - superweeds. (This sounds like the script for a cheap black and white horror movie where giant weeds are inching their way through a town, smothering and overtaking everything in their path!)

It's estimated that more than 130 types of weeds spanning 40 U.S. states are now herbicide-resistant. In an effort to keep on top of the growing weed problem, farmers are applying ever increasing amounts of toxic herbicides to their crops, which of course dramatically increases the amount of pesticides you ingest from consuming such foods. How can this be a good thing for any one of us or any other living organism? Well, it's not.

But there is something we can do, besides jumping on the bandwagon and getting involved in a legislative, political sense. It's simply to try to do our utmost to not contribute additional toxins into our environment. As far as pesticide and herbicide management in our own gardens is concerned, it's really not hard at all to be eco-friendly. Plus it's safer and healthier for us and all the wonderful pollinators and other creatures that visit our gardens. Pesticides and herbicides made from non-toxic ingredients are effective. Fortunately, there are non-toxic alternatives that can be purchased in the gardening section of many stores. But you needn't spend more money than necessary when it's so easy and economical to make your own.

Horticultural Oil Spray Recipes

Simply stated, horticultural oils are non-poisonous and safe insecticides that can be useful against many bugs including aphids, scales, thrips, spider mites, whiteflies, and mealybugs. The oil kills slow moving sucking insects by suffocating them with a thin layer of oily film. Here's just one of the many types of recipes I'd like to share with you from my newest book "The Shoestring Gardener".

These two spray-on recipes can be used safely while plants are growing.

Variation #1

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable cooking oil - corn, canola, soybean, peanut, sunflower, or safflower
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 teaspoon non-degreasing liquid dishwashing detergent

Mix ingredients well.

Variation #2

  • 3 ounces of garlic cloves - minced
  • 1 tablespoon mineral oil
  • 1 pint of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon non-degreasing liquid dishwashing detergent

Steep the garlic in the oil for 24 hours. Strain. Add the oil to the water and mix in the soap.

These concoctions can be poured into a (recycled) spray bottle and used as needed. Try to avoid spraying during the hottest time of the day - early morning or late afternoon are better times. Store unused portions in a labeled, sealed container. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Making Sustainability Legal (guest author)

9 Zombie Laws That Keep Cities From Going Green

Our Daily Green is honored to republish this article from Sara Robinson of AlterNet. It originally appeared in February, 2012. Thanks, Sara! 

These outdated laws forbid sustainable choices -- and here's what you can do to change them.

You've done your part, you good greenie, you. You’ve changed out the light bulbs, bought energy-saving appliances, learned to recycle, tuned up your bike, joined a co-op, and bought a transit pass and/or a fuel-efficient car. Now you’re looking around, wondering what to do next. With spring around the corner, maybe you’d like to hang out the wash on a sunny day. Or perhaps you could build an apartment in your basement to increase both your income and your neighborhood’s density…

Not so fast. Because this is the point at which your city government is very likely to swoop down in a flurry of paperwork and citations, telling you in no uncertain terms: No. You can’t do that. We don’t care how green it is, it’s also against the law.

The Sightline Institute in Seattle is compiling a list of zombie laws — outdated city ordinances and homeowners’ association policies that may once have served a purpose, but now mostly just get in the way of people’s desire to live more sustainably. Sightline's Making Sustainability Legal web site offers a couple of dozen examples — some obvious, some off-the-wall — and they’re looking to add to the list. Sightline executive director Alan Durning hopes this project will give inspiration to activists looking for easy battles that will result in big sustainability wins.

Here are nine examples of local laws that stand in the way of change, and need to be pulled off the books:

1. Clotheslines. Consider the facts. The clothes dryer is one of the biggest energy hogs in the average American home. There’s nothing like the sweet smell of sheets and towels that have been freshly dried out in the air and sunshine. Nineteen states have already put in place laws that allow home solar installations of all kinds. So why do over half the homeowners’ associations in the US — including some in those 19 states — explicitly ban clotheslines in their neighborhoods? 

A gathering “right-to-dry” movement is rising up to challenge these rules, asserting that laws permitting solar hot water heaters and PV electrical cells must also permit solar-powered clothes drying technologies (that is, clotheslines). Model legislation is being proposed, and legal challenges are being launched. Take up your clothespins, America! You have nothing to lose but your big electricity bills.

2. Granny flats in suburban houses. The first step in making suburbs more sustainable is to increase their density. Those big lots usually have plenty of room to tuck a small apartment into the basement or over the garage; and allowing people to build them has all kinds of salutary effects. The extra rental income can help families afford their homes. The units increase the share of low-cost housing, thus expanding the economic and age diversity of the neighborhood. They allow families more flexibility in terms of elder care and launching young-adult kids; and also provide a new option to public employees like teachers or cops who may not be able to afford to live in the affluent neighborhoods they serve. They also enhance property values, increasing the tax base. And as the density goes up, so does the argument for building new amenities closer by, and increasing transit service to the area.

But most homeowners know how hard it is to get a legal permit to build such suites. City and county governments are still clinging to the same 1950s ordinances that created suburban sprawl in the first place. If we want to update our suburban infrastructure, simply letting people build infill housing that raises density is the first and most obvious step to take.

3. White Pages. When was the last time you used the White Pages? I know -- me neither. In an era of online 411, that big paper brick that arrives at your door once a year is mostly useful as an emergency booster-seat for visiting toddlers. Yet most states have laws mandating that this volume must be delivered to every residence, every year. Most of these laws also allow people to opt out, but almost nobody knows about this, so few people do. 

Some states are beginning to reconsider this, though. In a warming world, we need those millions of trees a lot more than we need the White Pages. it makes more sense to change the laws so people will only get these volumes if they specifically ask for them. An opt-in policy will allow people who like and use their White Pages to have them — and the rest of us can do something else with the drawer or shelf we used to keep it on.

4. Strollers on buses. It sounds ridiculous. But it’s far from silly if you’re a mom who’s struggling to get around on transit with a stroller. In many cities, parents are required to unpack their kid and all their purchases out of the stroller, then fold up the stroller and pick it all up — stroller, bags and squirming baby — in two hands, then somehow get it all up onto the bus, then pay the fare, and then find a seat and not fall over while everybody else stands there, getting increasingly annoyed. 

It’s no surprise that this routine is forcing the nation’s transit-loving urban parents off the buses and into minivans. They don’t really have any other choice if they want to get the shopping done. Some cities are starting to allow babies to stay in the strollers, and letting strollers park in the same seat-free open areas reserved for wheelchairs. Others, like Portland, OR, are raising curbs and buying buses with extra-low floors, creating a level path for anybody on wheels to drive right onto the bus.

5. Couchsurfing. In these more constrained times, a lot of intrepid travelers are discovering the joys of sites like and Rather than pay for an expensive hotel room, you crash in someone’s spare bedroom. The traveler saves money and gets a local guide, and the homeowner makes money and maybe a new friend. And best of all, the ecological footprint of travel is dramatically reduced.

This is legal in much of the country. But in some big cities where hotel competition is already intense, hotel owners are goading cities into cracking down. New York, for example, is notoriously rigid about telling people who they can and can’t let stay in their houses, for how long, and under what terms. This is an emerging new travel option (or, more accurately, the modern revival of a cherished old custom of taking in lodgers and boarders), and Sightline warns that it needs to be aggressively guarded from a rising wave of ill-considered and protectionist regulation.

6. Toxic couches. While we’re on the subject of couches, don’t look now, but is yours toxic? Sightline’s Web site explains why you might have reason to worry:
California’s 12-second rule, a state flammability standard for foam-containing furniture, induces manufacturers to load their products with chemical flame retardants. It’s a stupid rule: it contaminates tens of millions of homes across North America with toxic substances — compounds that spread, harming people and animals. Of all the toxic industrial compounds in your body right now, a substantial share are flame retardants that came from foam furnishings — probably a larger share than any other category of industrial compounds....But the rule has no compensating benefit for fire safety. The 12-second rule does not save lives in fires. It is useless. That’s what the scientific evidence says. This rule is all pain, no gain.
This is one of those places where California’s outsized population footprint effectively imposes that state’s standards on the whole nation. Usually, that’s a good thing from a progressive standpoint; but on this issue, it’s putting us all in serious danger. In this case, it’s a big national problem that will entirely go away if just one state legislature decides to end it. 

7. Food cart regulations. One of the most savory benefits of increasing density in a city is the rise of street food. Food carts and trucks are a cardinal sign of healthy urbanism, providing expanded food options on the fly wherever crowds are gathering right now. And they’re important new business incubators for upwardly mobile families as well.

However, wherever you see a thriving new street food scene, you’ll almost certainly hear the grumbling of nearby restaurant owners complaining about smell, crowds, mess, and hygiene. All of this, of course, is code for “our profits.” And critics naturally take their concerns to City Hall, where they get ordinances passed that stop the food trucks and carts in their tracks. 

But these low-impact, small-footprint, flexible businesses deserve a place in our cities, and need to be protected. If the restaurant owners are smart, they’ll join the movement instead of fighting it, and start launching trucks of their own. There’s plenty of room for everybody — but only if we insist that there should be. 

8. Person-to-person car-sharing. “The Pacific Northwest’s rolling stock of cars and trucks constitutes a mind-boggling amount of underutilized capital,” writes Sightline's Alan Durning. “The region has substantially more motor vehicles than licensed drivers. Everyone in the region could climb into a vehicle and no one would have to sit in the backseat. What’s more, the typical car is parked 23 hours a day. Most of us have more money tied up in our cars than in any other physical assets aside from our homes, and all that wealth is just sitting there in the driveway depreciating.”

The answer to this? Car-sharing. “Imagine leaving town for a week and coming back to learn that your vehicle had earned you $300 on the rental market. Or imagine that your car-sharing membership gave you access, on a moment’s notice, to thousands of private cars and trucks sprinkled around your city. Why endure the expense and hassle of car ownership when you can drive any make or model you choose and only pay for what you use?” Car-sharing not only makes far more effective use of the cars we have; paying for driving by the trip also incentivizes us to drive much, much less (up to 44 percent less, according to a UC Berkeley study) than we do.

Once again, the only thing standing in the way of implementing this idea is a thick wall of state laws. Some make it impossible to assign insurance liability to the person actually driving, leaving it all on the owner. Others try to apply stiff car rental taxes to car-sharing companies. Fortunately, California has led the way: in 2011, the state legislature cleared away the legal obstacles, and now car-sharing is thriving in the state. Other states are watching and following suit. 

9. Pay-as-you-drive insurance. Auto insurers and sustainability experts agree: The most sensible way to buy auto insurance is by the mile. The less you drive, the more you save. Recent advances in technology make tracking car mileage easy; and consumers like it, because you don’t have to buy an expensive policy for a car you don’t drive very often. You pay for exactly what you use — no more, no less. 

But most states still have insurance laws on the books that assume that people buy insurance by the year, not by the mile. There are old laws covering cancellation notifications and oversight regimes that simply aren't compatible with the idea of buying and using insurance in blocks of 100 or 1,000 miles at time. A few states are starting to revise these laws, but there’s still a very long way to go before this will be legal.

Sara Robinson is a trained social futurist and the editor of AlterNet's Vision page. Follow her on Twitter or subscribe to AlterNet's Vision newsletter for weekly updates. Sightline’s Making Sustainability Legal project is actively on the lookout for more zombie laws that are ready to be changed. You're invited to email yours to

Friday, March 23, 2012

Just Label It: GMO Foods

Andrew Korfhage
Do you care what's in the food you eat?

 A quick look at the labels on the products lining your supermarket shelves suggests that most of us do. Many products already bear labels proclaiming the number of calories, the grams of sugar, fiber, and fat, and other details for every serving. Labels say whether the products we put in our bodies are sugar-free, kosher, organic, and more. Shouldn't we also know whether the food we're eating is genetically modified?

Right now, we can't know for sure. The FDA requires no labeling for produce grown from genetically modified seeds or for products made with genetically modified ingredients. Yet some of the most common ingredients in processed food — like soy and corn — are almost always grown from genetically modified seeds.

In 2011, according to the USDA, 94 percent of the nation's soy crop was genetically modified. This newfangled soy appears in traditional products like tofu and soy sauce, as well in countless products containing the emulsifier lecithin, which is derived from soybean oil.
(watchingfrogsboil / Flickr)

Eighty-eight percent of our corn was genetically modified last year, and a new version of modified sweet corn coming to market this summer could make it even more prevalent. Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and several other supermarket chains have pledged not to stock it. Consumer groups are urging Walmart and others to follow suit. Currently, most modified corn winds up in animal feed or processed foods — including any product containing high-fructose corn syrup.

The Organic Consumers Association estimates that between 70 and 80 percent of the processed foods Americans eat contains genetically modified ingredients. There are good reasons for consumers to want to avoid these unlabeled products.

Many of us wish to avoid genetically modified food due to the environmental effects of the pesticides and herbicides sprayed on crops modified to withstand ever-higher doses. Some of us see avoiding these newfangled foods as a human rights issue. We stand in solidarity with farmers overseas who have gotten hooked on modified seeds but can't afford the extra water, pesticides, or requisite replacement seeds that these crops require. Genetically modified crops are programmed to yield seeds that can't be planted to yield new crops. This practice requires farmers to purchase the seeds again and again — usually from the agribusiness giant Monsanto.

Plus, there are potential health risks. Although scientists haven't conclusively proven that genetically modified food endangers human health, many studies have linked these crops to various gastrointestinal, reproductive, and autoimmune disorders in animals.

An ABC News poll taken in 2011 found that an overwhelming majority of Americans want labels indicating whether the things we eat contain genetically modified ingredients. This is, after all, the norm in at Europe, Japan, and China.

So, what can you do?

First, you can join the growing chorus of consumers demanding that the FDA require the same kind of labeling already required in at least 50 other countries. A national petition campaign has garnered more than 900,000 signatures. The organizers are shooting for 1 million by March 27, which would require the FDA to respond. In fact, President Barack Obama vowed as a presidential candidate back in 2008 to institute this kind of labeling. The campaign simply asks him to keep that promise.

Meanwhile, you can choose organic products to minimize exposure to genetically modified processed food, since U.S. law requires 100-percent organic products to be free from modified foods. Read the price-look-up (PLU) stickers on loose produce to find out about their origins. Produce labeling isn't required, but if you see a sticker bearing a five-digit number beginning with an 8, that code means the item is genetically modified. Modified corn and papaya are already available, as are some squashes. Genetically modified apples that don't brown when sliced may be next.

You can also join or start a state-level labeling initiative like those underway in California and Vermont.

Genetically modified labels will help us make choices that not only protect our personal health, but also the well being of our communities and our planet, and the livelihoods of farmers around the world. It's about time we found out what's in our food.

Consumers Need to Know about Those Newfangled Ingredients - OtherWords
Andrew Korfhage is Green America's online and special projects If you support a national labeling requirement for genetically modified foods, sign the petition at
Distributed via OtherWords (

Creative CommonsThis content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative 3.0 License.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Win/Win/Win Green

Our Daily Green is thrilled to share a coupon site we've discovered. Consumers can save quite a bit by using coupons. It's interesting to note, as outlined in a Business Owner's Toolkit
...only a small percentage of coupons are actually used. Newspaper coupon redemption rates in the grocery, drug, and mass merchandise industry average between 1 percent and 5 percent. Redemption rates for other coupon delivery methods (e.g., mail, magazine, newspaper four-color inserts) vary widely, but still amount to less than 10 percent for most products.
From a green shopper's perspective that often is because coupons tend to be for items that would not be purchased in the first place. CommonKindness is different. Their first group of coupons is usually for organic and natural items found at health food stores and the sort. The have coupons for AlterEco fair trade goods, Rising Moon organics, and Woodstock organics. Additionally, they offer printable coupons for typical grocery store goods as well. Lastly, they offer internet coupon codes for online shopping sites. If a consumer  needs to purchase something, CommonKindness is a great starting point to look for available discounts and coupons. Again, with less than a 10% redemption rate, most companies are happy to offer coupons instead of lower prices.  

What makes CommonKindness truly different is their commitment to charity. Not only do they offer no cost coupons to the consumer, but they also donate anywhere from 20-66% of the value of the coupons printed to a charity of the consumer's choice. Each visit offers the chance to select a charity to support with a simple zip code or category search feature

From the consumer, to the charity, to the business, CommonKindness is a triple win. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Let's Get this Garden Started!

radish leaf pesto
One of the most instantly gratifying vegetables to grow is a radish. Radishes mature in about 3-4 weeks and can be planted throughout the gardening season. The mild winter has made mid March the time to start the season's first batch of radishes. Additionally, radishes also ward off squash bugs and leaf miners from other plants.

Radishes are a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. They are low in calories and high in antioxidants, as a cruciferous vegetable.

Additionally, the root isn't the only part of the radish that is edible. The dark green leaf is a tremendous source of vitamins A and C, as well as calcium. The leaves can be used in smoothies, salads or in a wonderful radish leaf pesto.

To start radishes, simply sow the seeds half inch deep and 1 inch apart, in rows spaced 12 inches apart. After the seedlings appear, thin salad radishes to 3 inches apart; thin oriental radishes to 8 to 10 inches apart. Seeds typically sprout in three to seven days when sown in 60-degree soil.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Urban Gardening Green

You don't have to live in the country to garden or farm. This week, Our Daily Green had the distinct honor of interviewing Timothy Smith, the founder at the helm of Northeast Ohio's urban gardening movement at Cleveland's CGP. CGP or, Community Greenhouse Partners, purchased the former St. George's Lithuanian church in the heart of the city. Driving to their site, seeing downtown Cleveland on the horizon was almost surreal. If nothing else, it is a religious experience on many levels.

Setting foot on their soil, or more accurately not setting foot on their soil, surpassed it. (Did you know that walking on soil compacts it and therefore makes it less usable?) Additionally, did you know that they have a solution? 

Stay tuned. Our Daily Green is looking for a national publication for this story. We'll keep you posted. 

In the meantime, enjoy a sneak preview, and please, visit their Facebook page and become a fan. You'll be glad you did! 

community greenhouse partners
everyone is welcome

cleveland st. george

Monday, March 5, 2012

Canstruction can make a difference

Our Daily Green loves when art and social conscience merge. If you've not heard about Canstruction, read on. It's a fabulous charity that challenges organizations to create art with cans of food which then are donated to local food banks. The pictures will dazzle you almost as much as knowing that hungry people are getting food.

canstructionOur Vision: Wherever a Canstruction competition is held thousands of hungry people are fed, a greater awareness of the issues surrounding hunger is brought home to the public, and a spotlight is placed on the design and construction industry giving back to the communities it helps build. 

food banks
2011 winner

Our Mission:  To engage, amaze and inspire the community to work together raising canned food to feed hundreds of thousands of hungry people. 

Who Benefits?:  Men, women and children seeking food assistance through community feeding programs. Canstruction raised over 2 million pounds of food in 2010 which was donated to local food banks, enough food to provide 1.5 million meals. 
2010 winner

Who Donates Food?:  Architects, engineers, designers, contractors, students, and the local community come together to raise canned food to donate to local food banks each year.

There are several upcoming Canstruction events around the nation. Check if your area has one.

2009 winner
big bird, oscar
2008 winner
Locally, in Cleveland, Ohio, Herschman Architects and The Society of Design Administration (SDA) are working to change all that with an initiative called Cleveland Can. They are sponsoring Canstruction®, a nation-wide design/build competition that works to draw attention to hunger issues right here in our own backyard as well as across the country. It also solicits significant donations to the Cleveland Food Bank (CFB) working to feed hungry people at 450 centers throughout Northeast Ohio.

Their CANstruction will be on exhibit beginning March 30, 2012 at Beachwood Place, 26300 Cedar Road, Beachwood, Ohio 44122.