Karen Totino opened Green Conscience Home and Garden last July with the mission to do more than just provide sustainable products. She wanted to serve as an educational outlet to provide those committed to changing their lifestyle, the resources and information necessary to do it all the way.
I wanted to educate and inspire people to act in a more sustainable fashion and give them things they may not think about; new ways to approach problems, said Totino.
She said she offers seasonal educational seminars, usually once or twice a month. Some have been well attended, some have flopped, but all are one step closer to growing her business while remaining true to her mission, which makes it worth it. Workshops are free unless they require making something, when attendees are charged for materials.
A hands on workshop is coming up on Saturday, April 17, when people can pay $55 and build a 55 gallon recycled rain barrel.
"Even though we have plentiful water in this part of the country, a rain barrel can diminish part of the runoff that occurs and goes into storm drains, then lakes and streams. We fit a food grade barrel with an adapted spigot and people can collect overflow free of debris and use it to water plants, wash the car, whatever they want," said Totino. "A lot of people will like it because it can reduce their water bill and if they're watering plants, gardeners like it because rainwater helps things grow better."
Totino's also offering a free workshop to teach people how to build and grow an organic vegetable garden. On Wednesday, April 14, she'll have two guests talk about how to properly use raised beds, companion planting, seed saving, composting, attracting beneficial insects and strategies or tools that can be used to garden organically.