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free 2011 edition

Green Living Guide OF THE TRIANGLE farming with worms, wind farms, cheap ways to go green and more Green LivinG Guide

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EPG HAS ARRIVED! ™

Cars feature MPGs. Breakfast cereals feature nutritional values. And now, all ENERGY STAR® qualified KB homes feature an EPG: an Energy Performance Guide that shows you our homes’ energy efficiency and an estimate of your average monthly energy costs. Just another demonstration of how KB Home builds homes that make sense for your wallet, your life and our environment.

ENERGY PERFORMANCE GUIDE

A typical new home’s HERS energy efficiency rating is 100.

Some of the great features that contribute to this KB home design’s being relatively more energy efficient.

$PEND MORE

TYPICAL RESALE HOME

140

130

110

100

KB HOME RATING

90

80

70

60

HERS® (Home Energy Rating System) INDEX

$AVE MORE

YOUR ESTIMATED MONTHLY ELECTRIC AND GAS BILL

THIS KB HOME INCLUDES: • ENERGY STAR®, U.S. EPA’s label for energy efficient performance

This box shows the estimated monthly cost for electricity and gas for this floor plan, featuring standard lighting, appliances and heating and cooling systems. The EPG estimates are based on plan design. The energy use, costs and HERS ratings for built homes can differ based on various factors.

$62

• High performance windows and insulation to help reduce heating and cooling needs • Programmable thermostat to optimize energy usage • Radiant barrier roofing to help shield the home from the sun

A unique Energy Performance Guide is available for every floor plan in ENERGY STAR qualified communities!

82

TYPICAL NEW HOME

120

This KB home’s plan has a HERS energy efficiency rating of 82! As designed, it’s more energy efficient than a typical new or resale home.

• Independent third party inspection for energy performance rating

Actual energy consumption and costs may vary. Keystone Crossing

MADISON (INT) PLAN

©2011 KB Home (KBH). The HERS® Index is a registered trademark of the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). The HERS Index rating shown on this label is based on the relevant home plan as designed, not as built, using RESNET-approved software, RESNET-determined inputs and certain assumed conditions. The typical new home HERS Index rating of 100 is the RESNET HERS Index reference home, which is built to the specifications of the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code. More information about the HERS Index rating can be found on RESNET’s website at http://www.resnet.us. The typical resale home HERS Index rating of 130 is a U.S. Department of Energy rating per its EnergySmart Home ScaleSM. The actual as-built HERS Index rating for this KB home will be determined by a RESNET-certified independent energy rater based on an on-site inspection and an analysis of the final construction plan, and it may vary significantly from the as-designed rating shown on this label depending on changes made to the relevant home plan, including changes in interior and exterior options, appliances or features, and the location, orientation and manner in which the home is built. The HERS Index rating is a measurement of a home’s energy efficiency per RESNET standards, but it is not a warranty or guarantee of energy utility costs or savings. KB Home does not guarantee that any specific level of electric and gas energy utility costs or savings will be achieved or maintained, even if the home is built as designed per the relevant home plan, and actual energy utility costs will depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to personal utility usage preferences, the rates, fees and charges of local energy utility providers, daily activities, home maintenance practices, household size, use of appliances, lighting and internal climate control systems, and the surrounding climate and weather conditions. The estimated monthly electric and gas energy bill cost shown on this label is also generated from RESNET-approved software using assumptions about annual energy use solely from the heating and cooling systems, appliances and lighting that are included as standard with the relevant home plan, and average local energy utility rates available at the time the estimate is calculated. Gas utilities may not be available in some communities and energy utility costs in those communities will reflect only electrical utilities. Due to the various factors and inputs that can affect a HERS Index rating and monthly energy bill costs, buyers are cautioned against and should not rely solely or substantially on the HERS Index rating and the estimated monthly energy bill costs shown on this label in making a decision to purchase this or any other KB home. KB Home is not affiliated with RESNET, its service providers or with any home energy efficiency rating organization or system, software program or Raleigh>Keystone Crossing>Madison (Int) rater. These parties are all independent third parties. KB Home cannot guarantee that an as-built HERS Index rating will be equal to or lower than the HERS Index rating shown on this label. 02/11

HERS chart INDATA.indd 7

2/14/11 1:03 PM

Visit one of these communities today and discover what EPG means for you:

YOUR ESTIMATED MONTHLY ELECTRIC AND GAS BILL

$60 Actual energy consumption and costs may vary.

Keystone Crossing in Morrisville/Durham 1,318 sq. ft., 2–3 bdrms., 2.5 baths, 1-car garage (919) 941-1581

YOUR ESTIMATED MONTHLY ELECTRIC AND GAS BILL

$130 Actual energy consumption and costs may vary.

Ellerbee Creek Preserve in Durham 2,225 sq. ft., 3–5 bdrms., 2–3 baths, 2-car garage (919) 294-4788

888-KB-HOMES

YOUR ESTIMATED MONTHLY ELECTRIC AND GAS BILL

$103 Actual energy consumption and costs may vary.

Belcrest in Durham 1,491 sq. ft., 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2-car garage (919) 806-0398

YOUR ESTIMATED MONTHLY ELECTRIC AND GAS BILL

$123 Actual energy consumption and costs may vary.

CobbleStone Place in Clayton 1,394 sq. ft., 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2-car garage (919) 359-0193

kbhome.com

Building quality new homes since 1957.

©2011 KB Home (KBH). The HERS® Index is a registered trademark of the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). The HERS Index rating shown on this label is based on the relevant home plan as designed, not as built, using RESNET-approved software, RESNET-determined inputs and certain assumed conditions. The typical new home HERS Index rating of 100 is the RESNET HERS Index reference home, which is built to the specifications of the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code. More information about the HERS Index rating can be found on RESNET’s website at http://www.resnet. us. The typical resale home HERS Index rating of 130 is a U.S. Department of Energy rating per its EnergySmart Home Scale SM. The actual as-built HERS Index rating for this KB home will be determined by a RESNET-certified independent energy rater based on an on-site inspection and an analysis of the final construction plan, and it may vary significantly from the as-designed rating shown on this label depending on changes made to the relevant home plan, including changes in interior and exterior options, appliances or features, and on the location, orientation and manner in which the home is built. The HERS Index rating is a measurement of a home’s energy efficiency per RESNET standards, but it is not a warranty or guarantee of energy utility costs or savings. KB Home does not guarantee that any specific level of electric and gas energy utility costs or savings will be achieved or maintained, even if the home is built as designed per the relevant home plan, and actual energy utility costs will depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to personal utility usage preferences, the rates, fees and charges of local energy utility providers, daily activities, home maintenance practices, household size, use and/or operating condition of appliances, lighting and internal climate control systems, and the surrounding climate and weather conditions. The estimated monthly electric and gas energy bill cost shown on this label is also generated from RESNET-approved software using assumptions about annual energy use solely from the heating and cooling systems, appliances and lighting that are included as standard with the relevant home plan, and average local energy utility rates available at the time the estimate is calculated. Gas utilities may not be available in some communities and energy utility costs in those communities will reflect only electrical utilities. Due to the various factors and inputs that can affect a HERS Index rating and monthly energy bill costs, buyers are cautioned against and should not rely solely or substantially on the HERS Index rating and the estimated monthly energy bill costs shown on this label in making a decision to purchase this or any other KB home. KB Home is not affiliated with RESNET, its service providers or with any home energy efficiency rating organization or system, software program or rater. These parties are all independent third parties. KB Home cannot guarantee that an as-built HERS Index rating will be equal to or lower than the HERS Index rating shown on this label. Plans, pricing, financing, terms, availability and specifications subject to change/prior sale without notice and may vary by neighborhood, lot location and home series. Additional charges apply for lot premiums, options/upgrades. Buyer responsible for all taxes, insurance and other fees. Sq. footage is approximate. ARTIST’S CONCEPTION: Illustration and photos show upgraded landscaping/options and may not represent communities’ lowest-priced homes. See sales representative for details. RAL-93520

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KBHOME PRINTAD TRAFFIC SIGNOFFS

93520_0413 Independent.indd 1

Green LivinG Guide

93520_0413 JOB_#____________________

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4/6/11 12:11 PM


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EDITORIAL editor: Lisa Sorg EDITORIAL WEB DIRECTOR: Denise Prickett Contributing writers:

Business

Contents

Victoria Bouloubasis, Adair Crane, Curt Fields Photographers: D.L. Anderson, Jeremy M. Lange

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4

Gardens of goodness By Victoria Bouloubasis

distribution distribution Manager: Rob VanVeld assistant distribution manager: Kim Procter field assistant: Barbara Boan distribution staff: Laura Bass, Dave Becchetti, Tom Benfield, Nathan Dove, Jill Fulmer, Desmond Geddings, Burke Ittenbach, Joe Lizana, Jeanette Low, James Maness, Mike Meyers, Buddy Moody, Jeff Prince, Gary Roberts, Tim Shaw, Freddie Simons, Julian Sparacino, Chip Thompson, Twila Utsman

advertising advertising director: Gloria Mock Senior Account executives: Lee Coggins,

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7 Vermiculture: a worm’s way By Adair Hayes-Crane

8 How much do we recycle? By Lisa Sorg 9 Anti-immigrant groups trying to lure support from environmentalists By Peter Montgomery

11 Baby you can drive my car ... or bus ... or vanpool By Lisa Sorg 13 Ethanol: not the answer for fuel

19 Going green at any price By Curt Fields

21 Greenwashing: Don’t buy into the spin By Lisa Sorg

22 Feeling energized? There are groups to help you go green By Curt Fields 23 Company eyes Elizabeth City for N.C.’s first onshore wind farm By Lisa Sorg 25 McDonald’s tries to go green: is it succeeding? By Curt Fields 26 Resource guide

By Adair Hayes-Crane

15 Grease is the word By Jeremy M. Lange 16 We’re in jeopardy! By Lisa Sorg

18 What’s in your smartphone? By Adair Hayes-Crane

On the cover: Members of Girl Scout Troop 1806, including Willa Holt, left, and Kathleen Stancil-Sutton. They are breaking up the soil for planting at the SEEDS Community Garden. photo by D.L. Anderson

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Gardens of goodness Community gardens help feed low-income people, build neighborhoods by v i c To r ia b o u Lo u b a s i s

o

n a cloudy afternoon, a wild wind whipped through sprouts of lettuce that, come May, will be leafy bunches for sale at a converted tobacco barn-turned-produce stand just at the top of Tryon Road. Sun Butler stands proudly over the budding greens and his six-acre urban farm, puffing on a cigarette hand-rolled around a clump of organic tobacco, a single, long gray braid sliding out from the back of his ball cap. The educator and community gardens coordinator for Inter-Faith Food Shuttle Farm (IFFS), Butler is the son of a Southern tobacco farmer, and a seasoned agroscientist. In January 2009, he launched the farm, the first of seven IFFS community gardens. The locavore movement, on the surface, can seem like a green cliché. But the Triangle's community gardens—at least 50 and counting from Cary to Cedar Grove—remind us the movement has a greater purpose.

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Green LivinG Guide

“The overriding principle here is that we’re trying to increase access to local food. We’re trying to do that because we are working with populations that don’t have access to food that people with higher income have,” Butler says. “I’ll even go as far to say that we are increasing access to local food with respect to social justice and equality.” More than 18 percent of North Carolina residents are food-insecure, according to Feeding America, a national nonprofit that recently released its national “Map the Meal Gap” results. IFFS estimated that 15.8 percent of Triangle residents don’t have enough food or good access to it. (The group defined the Triangle as Edgecombe, Nash, Johnston, Durham, Orange, Chatham and Wake counties.) The national average is 16.7 percent. Community gardens could be part of the solution to giving low-income people access to nutritious produce—and to build community. “Programs [like ours] now recognize that distributing food is not the answer itself,” says Katherine Andrew, IFFS director of nutrition,

farms and gardens. “We created these gardens to engage the community, increase access to local food and empower people to take back their food choices.” IFFS is not alone. The Carolina Campus Community Garden at UNC-Chapel Hill hosts work days each Wednesday and Sunday for all community members and donates the majority of the harvest to low-wage campus workers. HOPE Gardens, also in Chapel Hill, offers lowincome families free spots and donates much of the vegetables of the volunteer-run plots to the homeless. SEEDS in Durham offers community plots on a sliding scale, ranging from $1 to $35 per year based on what the gardener can afford. Churches, community groups and schools throughout the Triangle have started small-scale gardens to increase their neighborhood’s supply of fresh food. “A lot of people in the local food movement have realized that it’s not enough to just increase the supply. We have to increase the availability; we need to get the prices down. And the best way to get the prices down is to teach new and inno-

Getting an early start: the seedlings garden at seeds community Garden in durham PHOTO By D.L. ANDERSON

vative methods of growing healthy, local produce sustainably,” Butler says. “It doesn’t matter how organic or sustainable your farm is, if it’s not producing enough income to support itself, it is not sustainable. Even though our farm is nonprofit, we are trying to model it after a farm that could support itself, which will in turn increase access to local food and build the local economy.” The community garden movement addresses the issue of environment, nutrition, food justice, economics and community education. Butler’s background, for example, includes selling the first commercial organic tobacco (those famed American Spirits through Santa Fe Tobacco Company) and helping the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association determine its early organic standards. He combines a science and environmental health education to manage the farm and teach at-risk youth interns how to grow


For years, NC WARN has proven that risks at nuclear power reactors and spent fuel pools can and must be reduced.

above: diG (durham inner-city Gardeners) member sharada fozard-mccall works at the seeds community Garden in durham. Left: potatoes have been cut for planting at seeds. PHOTOS By D.L. ANDERSON

food—and how to sell it—through intensive organic farming methods. Last year, all the food was distributed through IFFS’ various antihunger programs. This year, Butler predicts about 75 percent will be donated to the programs, with the rest being sold at the roadside stand and farmers markets as part of an intern program. It’s another element of sustainability and community empowerment that aims to teach valuable life skills for a broader community goal. Among the experts are young gardeners, like 15-year-old Nilisha McPhaul. Part of the veteran SEEDS organization, she is a garden veteran in her own right. McPhaul’s grandmother lives across from SEEDS land in a neighborhood with limited access to fresh food. She said she began volunteering at the garden with her when she was 4 years old. I found her at the site interviewing peers applying to work within the Durham Inner-City Gardeners (DIG) program, a job opportunity for teens. McPhaul arrived at the garden at 6 a.m., as she does every Saturday as a DIG employee, to prepare for the Durham Farmers Market. “It’s helped me by informing me about food and to know what we can do,” she said. “It shows you that there are people who care about what they’re eating, who care about what other people are eating. It teaches you not to be selfish and it changes your perspective. You realize what’s better. “You start out shy, but you have to speak up and be on your toes to work here,” McPhaul

says. “You have to step out of your shell. So you have to speak up, learn things, and the things you learn you’re going to teach others. It’s like a process.” With this, she added a few notes on rotating crops and the importance of weeding before running off to help prepare lunch for the team. The clock ticked toward noon, the end of DIG’s early workday. x Disclosure: Kavanah Anderson of SEEDS is married to Indy photographer D.L. Anderson.

Resources: ■

■ ■ ■

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle Farm and Community Gardens Project : www.food shuttle.org/farm-community-gardens SEEDS and DIG: www.seedsnc.org Carolina Campus Community Garden: http://sites.google.com/site/uncgarden Raleigh-based Advocates for Health in Action recently hosted a free Dig In! Community Garden summit. Educators, farmers, beekeepers, nutritionists and grant writers offered tips on how to start and maintain a garden. Are you up for it? Visit the official North Carolina Community Gardens site at www.nccommunitygarden.ncsu.edu for more information.

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Green LivinG Guide

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The worm’s way Vermiculture: It’s good for soil and keeps scraps out of the landfill By Adai r - Hay e s C r an e

T

he worms were cold and damp as they wiggled through the dirt of their giant concrete bed. Here in the dark 400-square-foot building of Twin Spruce Farm, in Cedar Grove, owner John Blythe keeps his worms, which are used for vermicomposting. Vermicomposting is an alternative to conventional composting that uses worms to create nutrient-rich, organic fertilizer through their waste, or castings. The worms eat the provided food, along with microorganisms in the compost. The food passes through their bodies, breaking down the nutrients along the way and ends up as nutrient-rich waste. Although vermicomposting is not a new concept, it has recently become popular. It requires little maintenance, can be done at home, and, according to Blythe, kids love helping dig through the worms. Unlike conventional composting, in vermicomposting the worms essentially do all of the work. Getting started is fairly simple. You’ll need worms, a plastic or wooden container with a lid and about 2 to 3 inches of shredded paper to use for bedding. Yet there are a few key things to know before starting a worm bin, such as the best worms to use. A type of worm commonly known as the “red wiggler” is the best for vermicomposting, says Rhonda Sherman, an extension specialist in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at N.C. State University. Sherman holds an annual vermiculture convention, usually in the Triangle, which attracts people from the U.S. and even around the world. Sherman suggests buying worms from a worm grower, such as Blythe, and not from a bait store, which may not sell the right type. She suggests starting with at least 1,000 worms, but that number could vary depending on how big a bin you use and and where it will be stored. Blythe advises steering away from plastic bins, as they do not let the soil breathe enough oxygen. If plastic is the only option, cutting slits in the plastic for breathing holes can help oxygen reach the soil. Once you have bought the worms and prepared the bin with bedding, it is time to start feeding the worms. “Worms will eat paper trash, they’ll eat anything,” says Blythe, who primarily feeds manure to the worms at his farm. Sherman says the best items to feed worms are fruits, vegetables, coffee grounds and filters, eggshells, cotton, tea bags, tea leaves and leftovers. Though worms will eat many food scraps it is best to steer away from greasy foods, meat

Vermiculture in action at Twin Spruce Farms in Cedar Grove. photo by D.L. Anderson

and pet feces. According to Sherman, earthworms eat about half their weight in food a day, and it is important not to overfeed them. Once the worms are happy in their bin and chomping away at food scraps, it is crucial to store them in a mild temperature. Sherman says the worms will stop eating if they are placed in an environment warmer than 77 degrees, and they should not be kept anywhere colder than 40 degrees. Vermicomposting is extremely beneficial for the environment. Just feeding food scraps to worms instead of putting them in the garbage disposal or sending them to the landfills reduces the amount of methane released into the environment. “If we could eliminate paper packaging and food scraps from our landfills we can eliminate half of what goes in,” Blythe said. “If I can teach somebody to compost instead of throwing into the landfill, I will.” “Landfills are the number one source of methane from human activity. Landfills can’t capture the methane, and they eventually leak out of the bottom into the water. Food waste is very acidic. All of those organics being released is a shock to the wastewater treatment plant and it causes problems for them,” Sherman added.

“Bottom line is you’re wasting the food, and the food can be converted into a useful product.” The useful product that Sherman refers to is the final product after the worms have processed the scraps: the worm castings. Sherman and Blythe both say that the worm castings make a great soil additive, and they also keep plants pest- and disease-free. Blythe, who aspires for Twin Spruce to be a farm where everything he grows or raises connects to the food chain, also known as a full-circle farm, said that he makes worm tea and sprays it directly onto the plants any time he sees a problem with pests. “The biggest result is that you build a certain disease resistance and pest resistance from the time it’s a seed,” Blythe said. “The Indians never used chemical fertilizers. It’s a lot better for the environment and it’s cheaper.” At Sherman’s office at N.C. State, books about vermicomposting line an old wooden shelf. Sherman has a picture illustrating how turnips grow when worm castings are mixed with the soil. In the first picture, where no castings were added, the plant looked like a normal-size turnip. In the next two pictures, worm castings had been added to the soil, and the turnips were at least twice as large, with flourishing greens. Ann Woodward, executive director at The Scrap Exchange in Durham, has been vermicomposting for years and agrees that the benefits are immense. The Scrap Exchange, a business that focuses on reusing scrap material, keeps a vermicomposting bin in its bathroom. “My compost creates other plants. I’m never really buying plants,” Woodward said. Her worms eat seeds from plants, which, in turn, sow plants that grow in her compost. The Scrap Exchange offers vermicomposting classes twice a year in the spring and fall. “We’ve sold the castings before as a fundraiser,” said Rowan Martell, who also works at The Scrap Exchange. “The main reason we have one here is one more way to show people a way to make waste productive.” While it may seem like a reasonable concern that housing worms could stink up your house, as long as vermicomposting is done correctly it should be odor-free. Put the right scraps in the bin, regularly remove the castings, and vermicomposting is a clean way to contribute to a healthier environment. x

MEASURE

reduce

PRODUCE

Green Living guide

7


How much do we recycle?

July 1, 2007–June 30, 2008 July 1, 2008–June 30, 2009 July 1, 2009–June 30, 2010 % of serviced households that regularly participate in curbside recycling

APEX

T

hat cat food can you’re tossing in the garbage? Please don’t. The plastic water bottle you’re putting in the trash can? Stop and think. Our landfills overfloweth—Orange County is considering contracting with Durham to take its trash away. And Durham? We send our junk to Virginia. Through reusing, composting and recycling, we can divert millions of pounds of waste away from gigantic holes in the ground—holes that are often located near low-income or minority neighborhoods. Trash isn’t just an environmental issue, it’s a social justie one. The good news is we’re recycling more in the Triangle. For curbside recycling, total tonnage in the cities below increased 25 percent from 2007 to 2010. There are individual standouts as well. Over the last three years, the percentage of households participating in curbside recycling has jumped in Cary, from 66 percent to 80 percent of serviced households; Durham has vastly improved as well. And more materials are being accepted into recycling bins: Several years ago, Durham announced it would accept yogurt containers, and Wake County, which provides recycling services to areas outside of its main towns and cities, launched a Styrofoam recycling pilot program last month. A few notes: The original data used tons as the unit of measurement; the Indy converted that to pounds and rounded the amounts. Totals do not include food waste, wood or lab animal bedding. Since data for drop-off recycling wasn’t available for every jurisdiction, we omitted it.  To see the original reports, go to www.indyweek.com

62%

61.5%

62%

4.1 million

3.5 million

3.9 million

66%

77%

80%

16.9 million

17.1 milion

21 million

% of serviced city households that regularly participate in curbside recycling

59%

50%

91%

% of serviced county households that regularly participate in curbside recycling

55%

70%

98%

Total pounds recycled (city and county)

23.6 million

25.1 million

29.1 million

% of serviced households that regularly participate in curbside recycling

64.5%

67%

74%

13.1 million

12.6 million

11.8 million

% of serviced households that regularly participate in curbside recycling

n/a

100%

45%

Total pounds recycled

n/a

402,000

413,360

% of serviced households that regularly participate in curbside recycling

78%

80%

77%

33.7 million

35 million

37 million

98%

98%

99%

4.3 million

4.2 million

4.4 million

Total pounds recycled % of serviced households that regularly participate in curbside recycling

CARY

Total pounds recycled DURHAM (City and County)

ORANGE COUNTY*

PITTSBORO

RALEIGH

Total pounds recycled

Total pounds recycled WAKE FOREST

% of serviced households that regularly participate in curbside recycling Total pounds recycled, curbside

* Includes Chapel Hill, Hillsborough and Carrboro SOURCE: INDIVIDUAL COUNTY REPORTS SUBMITTED TO THE N.C. DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES

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Anti-immigrant groups trying to lure support from environmentalists by pe Te r m o nT G o m e ry asked during a panel at the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference why the group published articles that supported global warming. He said it was simply to force a wedge between different people on the left. Trying to blunt the effectiveness of that wedge strategy is the Center for New Community, a national community organizing group whose website includes a collection of articles, essays and charts on nativist organizations and their outreach to environmentalists. CNC worries that respected environmentalists who adopt the population-control rhetoric of anti-immigrant groups could threaten “fragile coalitions” that are working to engage people of color, labor and human rights organizations on issues like climate change and “green jobs.” One challenge facing organizers is overcoming the difficulty in talking about these issues. Some environmentalists say that fear of being associated with hate groups makes it harder to have a constructive conversation about the environmental impacts of a growing population. Meanwhile, anti-immigrant groups charge that “political correctness” is squelching debate on population issues; FAIR’s Chesapeake Bay report derides “so-called” environmental groups for not fighting for reduced immigration. Tom Horton, a retired journalist who has written about the Chesapeake for years, has his doubts about FAIR but believes questions about the impact of continued economic and population growth need to be addressed. “Are immigrants killing the Bay? Of course not,” he says. “Is adding more and more people to the Bay watershed having an impact on the Bay? Hell, yeah.” Horton, noting that half of the Bay’s pollution is from agricultural runoff, says you can’t blame immigrants

for pollution from farms in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He says policymakers have tools at their disposal, like “downzoning” to control the growth of housing and its impacts on infrastructure and the environment. But economic pressures and lack of political will mean that many of those tools aren’t being used very effectively. Elizabeth Hartmann of Hampshire College, who contributed an essay to the SPLC’s “Greenwash” report, says there’s a difference between talking about the impacts of population and “the greening of hate.” But she worries that mainstream environmentalists can give credibility to anti-immigrant extremists by making population itself a major issue rather than policies that deal with sprawl, zoning regulations, lack of affordable housing in urban centers, and other issues. “It’s not so much the number of people that matters, but how they live,” says Hartmann. “It’s never just population per se. You end up blaming the poorest people who are most vulnerable rather than the powerful interests who are shaping the economic and environmental infrastructure.” For its part, the Center for New Community says it does not want to stop conversation: “There should be no taboo on discussing population—a topic clearly tied to environmental concerns, as in fact is every human interaction within ecological systems. What should be rejected are racism and simplistic arguments that over-emphasize the ‘numbers game’ at the expense of other factors—interlocking issues of production and consumption, patterns of land use, technology and planning, globalization and poverty, the status of women in society, as well as wasteful cycles of boom and bust.” Says the CNC’s Rebecca Poswolsky, “The question becomes who is at the table, who we want to be participating in these discussions. If we’re really talking about sustainability, scapegoating immigrants is not a solution. It keeps them out of the dialogue altogether.” The CNC is asking environmental leaders and activists to sign a pledge that describes ion is decreasing. sing while populat rea inc is l raw sp ing, zoning nn urban pla anti-immigrant environmense d-u lan of sprawl are poor talism as a “dangerous form The main causes laws. of eco-politics” and calls for a regulations, and tax has s ion green movement that engages iss em n rbo . ca ars, the rise in U.S immigrants as allies in the consumpal Over the last 60 ye du ivi ind t no is lation growth. It pu po d sil ce search for environmental susfos tpa , ou ful t ste fas s, but wa in driver of emission IR tainability. x FA t Ye . ms tion that is the ma ste port sy

: T O O F G I B N A C I R M E M A OWTH and RACIS

CENTER FOR NEW

ns al, energy, and tra ople fuel based industri o are to blame—pe wh nts gra mi im is it ue arg es ers tri and oth their home coun t and stay poor in U.S. who should stay pu if they lived in the n tha y e less energ where they consum m and dangerous for represents a new m lis nta y me erg on en vir s all pe This en that acknowledge and commitment of is an eco-politics It s. tic oli o-p as ec ge of climate chan or national origin. rce depletion, and constraints, resou e—to keep out nt ns me po ve res mo enomena, but its infiltration of our ph ng c wi tifi gro ien sc the e solutions. ist ssibility of effectiv We pledge to res der the umbrella nts—denies the po including those un gra s, mi ce im for identity cards t ry lis ato na nd tio by white na such as the profiling, and ma ey bring ork. Organizations rder fences, racial

COMMUNITy

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nvironmental protection was not environmental movement. In 1996, the Sierra exactly high on the agenda at the 2011 Club adopted a policy of neutrality on immigraConservative Political Action conference tion policy; in 2004, anti-immigration forces in February. So a beautifully photographed waged a fierce battle to take over the club’s board report on the health of the Chesapeake Bay was of directors and were overwhelmingly defeated. a surprising standout in the exhibition hall—at But anti-immigration leaders have created least until closer inspection. “Immigration, and fostered an array of organizations designed Population Growth and the Chesapeake Bay” to enlist environmentalists, groups with names is the latest sign that blaming immigrants for like “Progressives for Immigration Reform.” In environmental degradation has joined other 2008, a coalition of these groups targeted proimmigrant-demonizing strategies as a favored environment liberals directly with ads in publitactic of the anti-immigration movement. cations like The Nation, Harper’s and The New There is no question that the health of the York Times. Chesapeake Bay is an urgent problem. Federal FAIR’s report on the Chesapeake says that and state officials have been working for years the group “advocates for less consumption” and to reduce the flood of pollutants that have led to “more environmentally conscious policies.” But steep declines in fish and shellfish populations. that claim is hard to reconcile with FAIR’s alliTo date, they have not been very successful. ances with right-wing politicians. Enter the Federation for American Last summer, the Southern Poverty Law Immigration Reform (FAIR), the anti-immigraCenter published “Greenwash: Nativists, tion lobbying group, to steer those concerned Environmentalism and the Hypocrisy of Hate,” about the health of the Chesapeake in a new which examines the miserable environmental direction. According to FAIR’s slick report: records of the anti-immigration movement’s “Overpopulation in the Chesapeake Bay political champions. According to the report, watershed is symptomatic of the impact that members of the Congressional Immigration immigration-driven population growth is havReform Caucus, headed by former FAIR lobbying across the United States ... Immediate and ist Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Calif., have an average decisive action must be taken, with the federal score from the League of Conservation Voters government leading the way by reducing immiof 11 percent. Notes the report, “One of them, gration levels in order to achieve U.S. populaSen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) has called global tion stability.” warming ‘the biggest hoax ever.’ Another, nativist Citing troubling data about the health of the hardliner and former Colorado Congressman Chesapeake Bay taken from actual environmenTom Tancredo, received a paltry 3% score [from tal groups, FAIR calls on those who care about the League of Conservation Voters.]” the Bay’s health to join FAIR’s anti-immigrant There is a simple explanation for the differcrusade. “We must stop growing,” the report ence between anti-immigrant groups’ claimed proclaims, and the only way to do that is to concern for the environment and their support shut the door on immigrants. The report for anti-environment politicians: It’s a ploy urges activists to raise the issue at local chapter to divide progressives. Mark Krikorian of the meetings of groups like the Sierra Club and Center for Immigration Studies was Audubon Society. FAIR is at the center of a network of antiimmigration organizations founded by nativist John Tanton, who continues to serve on its board. Tanton is an ophthalmologist who headed the Sierra Club’s population committee in the 1970s and, according to the ders and activists, Southern Poverty Law Center, environmental lea ed gn rsi de un the We, “kept moving to the right, pledge that: eventually coming to embrace as we confront an array of eugenicists, white ity and reject racism ers div ce bra em ll • We wi fore us. nationalists and race scienntal challenges be serious environme the grants are the mi im t tists as he increasingly viewed t the message tha op ad t no ll wi We • ‘European-American’ society as ntal problems. cause of environme under threat.” n and civil rights of support the huma • We will actively Tanton’s history is a ugees. immigrants and ref reminder that questions surms and the vironmental proble en r • We will solve ou energy, vision, rounding population have long the gh ou thr our society challenges facing race, ethnicity, been contentious within the ople, regardless of

Peter Montgomery is a senior fellow at People For the American Way Foundation. This originally appeared on Alternet.org. Green LivinG Guide

9


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Baby, you can drive my car … or bus … or vanpool

i

recently took several pleasant trips on Austin’s Capital Metro light-rail system, which, while far from perfect, was a convenient way of traveling from the ’burbs to downtown. We could have a light-rail system in the Triangle: Imagine taking the train between Raleigh and Durham at rush hour as opposed to idling on I-40, polluting the air and burning your tank of $4-a-gallon gasoline. According to a report by the American Public Transportation Association, an industry group, riding public transportation saves individuals, on average, $9,904 annually and $825 per month, based on the March 4, 2011 average national gas price ($3.47 per gallon, reported by AAA) and the national unreserved monthly parking rate. However, there is motion on implementing

more efficient public transit in the Triangle, although it’s being met with staunch opposition from many Republicans. The feds want to give us $461 million for rail—if only the Republicandominated Legislature would accept it. Plus, there is an opportunity to raise money for light rail in the Triangle through a half-cent sales tax, also roundly opposed by the GOP. Even the express bus from Pittsboro to Chapel Hill was defunded last year by the Chatham County Board of Commissioners. Public transit, routed and run correctly, could benefit the interconnectedness of the Triangle, But it’s clear from census data that we spend a lot of time commuting by car—alone. More information is at www.smartcommute.org. —Lisa Sorg

% of all commuters who

■ ■

Drive alone Carpool

■ ■

chaTham counTy Drive alone: 73% Carpool: 14.8% Public transit: .03% Other: 12.17%

durham counTy Drive alone: 80% Carpool: 12% Public transit: 2% Other: 6%

oranGe counTy Drive alone: 69.2 % Carpool: 11.4% Public transit: 7.1% Other: 12.30%

wake counTy Drive alone: 80% Carpool: 11% Public transit: 1% Other: 8%

Public transit Other

durham counTy commuTers oranGe counTy commuTers wake counTy commuTers

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How long are we in the car? chaTham counTy commuTers

walls • pathways water features outdoor rooms fireplaces • patios

<10 min

10–14

15–19

20–24

25–29

30–34

35–44

45–59

60+

drive alone

21

16

15.1

11.8

6.9

11.6

6

7.1

4.6

public transit

0

41.3

0

13.8

0

37.5

0

0

7.5

drive alone

8.2

12.9

16.6

17.7

9.0

14.5

8.7

7.8

4.6

public transit

1.4

8.9

15.1

8

.6

14.2

8.5

12.5

30.8

drive alone

10.2

15.3

17.9

15.8

8.5

13.3

7.4

7.5

3.9

public transit

2.0

9.9

19.7

16.3

8.3

19.5

4.3

5.3

14.6

drive alone

9.7

12.7

16.7

17.2

8.1

15

7.5

8.1

5.2

public transit

3.5

6.5

9.7

13.1

4.3

15.9

10.4

11.6

24.9

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Ethanol: Not the answer to fuel By Adai r - Hay e s C r an e

N

ative Americans taught the Pilgrims how to harvest corn during their first winters in America. They ate it together peacefully at the first Thanksgiving dinner, and corn is still served at many dining room tables on Thanksgiving. Now corn is also present in a less typical place: ethanol, and in turn, our gas pumps. Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency allowed the use of gasoline containing up to 15 percent ethanol in light-duty vehicles with a model year of 2001 or newer. This blend of gasoline is called E15. Before October 2010, when the EPA permitted E15 in cars with a model year of 2007 or newer, gasoline could only contain up to 10 percent ethanol. The EPA granted the new partial waiver in response to requests from Growth Energy, a group that supports the use of ethanol in gasoline. Adding corn-based ethanol to gasoline was proposed to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, decrease harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come from pure gasoline and create jobs for Americans. However, ethanol may not be the answer we are looking for.

While using greener energy is important to keeping our environment safe, the negative consequences of ethanol could outweigh the benefits we see from being able to produce fuel in the United States. Among those consequences are more greenhouse gas emissions, the possibility of misfueling at the pump and the impact on food prices. Corn is the leading crop in the United States, and is grown on more than 400,000 U.S. farms. Sasha Lyutse, a policy analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said that the United States corn ethanol industry is using about 40 percent of the nation’s crop to produce ethanol. In turn, Americans used about 9 billion gallons of ethanol in 2008, according to a Congressional Budget Office report. The demand for corn in fuel has increased food prices—10 to 15 percent from April 2007– April 2008, according to the CBO. “The problem that we’ve got is one when you start manufacturing ethanol in the quantities that are needed to produce it you start cutting into the corn crop. Because of that, corn prices have risen. That is causing a backlash because when corn prices go up, food prices in general go up. Plus the demand for the corn crop goes up in prices,” said Gary Harris, executive director of North Carolina Petroleum & Convenience Marketers. He said the trade group hasn't taken a stand on E15. “We sell what we are required to sell.” Ethanol is also a dirty gas that emits more greenhouse gases than regular gasoline. According to the CBO, producing ethanol from corn and distributing it emits more greenhouse gases than producing gasoline from crude oil and

distributing it. “Planting, fertilizing and harvesting corn uses more fossil fuel energy than drilling for petroleum, refining it into gasoline and delivering it to customers,” the report said. “EPA’s analysis of corn ethanol today shows that what is being produced today creates more greenhouse gas emissions than the gasoline it is supposed to replace,” Lyutse said. “There is a big public health risk there.” Not only is there concern about the emissions that ethanol produces, but also for misfueling at pumps. If people are unclear about the difference in E15 and E10 gasoline, there is potential for them to put E15 in an older car that is not equipped to handle such high blends of ethanol. In older cars, the tailpipes break down more easily, which could worsen the level of emissions. If the EPA has done an analysis of corn ethanol that shows more greenhouse gases than regular gasoline, then why did it just grant a partial waiver to increase the amount of ethanol? Lyutse certainly does not understand why. “Corn ethanol has benefited from more than 30 years of government support. At a time when we’re increasingly concerned about the deficit and the budget, those are important taxpayer dollars,” Lyutse said. “We need to immediately stop subsidizing corn ethanol; we don’t need any more of it. We need to instead shift that support to cleaner advanced biofuels.” Lyutse and the NRDC said the U.S. does need to wean itself from fossil fuels, but they do not believe ethanol is the answer. Two researchers at North Carolina State University are working on a project that may use duckweed, an aquatic plant that can be harvested daily, to produce a different type of ethanol. Researchers are working on alternative options to corn-based ethanol. President Barack Obama noted these alternatives in a speech at Georgetown University. “Another substitute for oil that holds tremendous promise is renewable biofuels—not just ethanol, but biofuels made from things like switchgrass, wood chips and biomass.” The solution may be out there somewhere, but it seems as though corn, however many other great uses it has, is not the answer. x

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Grease is the word photos and text by Jeremy m. Lange

L

yle Estill used to deep-fry turkeys. Lots of them. When he was finished, the leftover oil was chucked in the woods as a compostable source of protein and skin conditioner for roaming animals. After a while, it dawned on him that there might be a better method of disposing of the oil and perhaps even a way to make it into something more useful. Down a dirt road on the outskirts of Pittsboro, a small group of dedicated individuals have created a campus with a progressive response—calling for energy independence. Used cooking oils go in and b100 (100 percent biodiesel) comes out. Founded in 1995, Piedmont Biofuels has grown from a small start-up to a small-scale producer, churning out 1 million gallons of biodiesel per year. Four million gallons of diesel fuel are used in North Carolina each day. With most of the grease for the production sourced from locations—restaurants, for example—within 50 miles of the plant, they hope to disprove the idea that energy cannot be sourced locally and sustainably. With six stand-alone pumps throughout the Triangle, Piedmont Biofules is trying to achieve a goal that few have been willing to attempt, let alone prosper at. Government subsidies for biofuels have been inconsistent, at best. After a lapse in funding, which led to the collapse of many similar operations around the country, the White House and Congress have fulfilled promises to help fund these companies to get the country accustomed to the idea of sustainable fuels and perhaps to encourage the entrepreneurship that has been a landmark of the biofuels movement. It is probably wishful thinking that we could find homegrown biodiesel powering the trucks and cars around the country, but if even a fraction of the petroleum-based fuel that is now used to power vehicles were created from used cooking oil, we could cut significantly into our dependence on fossil fuels and reduce the pollution. If nothing else, it gives us all a good excuse to fire up the deep fryer and make some turkey. That grease could be our future. x Top center: After the cooking oils have been filtered and the water drained, the leftovers go into a tank containing methanol potassium hydroxide, which is part of the biodiesel reactor. Right: The fuel distribution meter at the plant. As of early March, Piedmont Biofuels has pumped 1,937,973 gallons of biodiesel. Above from top: On the Biofuels campus, Piedmont Biofarm uses land to grow vegetables year-round. Doug Jones, the head farmer, is seen here hoeing a row to prepare it for the spring growing season. At Saxaco, also known as the Saxapahaw General Store, a free-standing biodiesel pump is available for Piedmont Biofuels co-op members.

Right: Lyle Estill, one of the co-founders and the current president of Piedmont Biofuels, collects used cooking oil from the Carolina Brewery in Pittsboro. Piedmont works with many local restaurants that need to get rid of used oil; Piedmont needs it to make fuel.

Lyle Estill fills a truck with biodiesel, which will transport the fuel to the six biodiesel pumps around the area, where co-op members can fill their vehicles.

Green Living guide

15


We're in Je endanGered species

Trash

$200

After 30 years, this bird was taken off the Endangered Species list. But if you intentionally kill one you could be fined $250,000.

Older homes can have this metal in their water because of corroded plumbing. High blood levels can cause cognitive and behavioral problems in children.

In 2009, this Triangle cou the state in pounds recy with 287.

$400

This agency enforces the Endangered Species Act.

Because of PCB contamination, the state has warned people not to eat the fish from this waterway in Raleigh.

The nation’s largest num pools are at this nuclear

$600

Also known as the “ghost cat,” this animal was last seen in the U.S. 70 years ago.

One of the hazardous chemicals, a byproduct of the dry cleaning process, has been found at the former BB&T site in Durham.

Solvents, pesticides and radioactive waste were d of this university stadium

This endangered amphibian may be found in six North Carolina counties and occasionally on the Outer Banks.

A bill pending in the N.C. Legislature could clear the way for this controversial method of drilling for natural gas, which is known to contaminate groundwater and drinking wells. It is currently illegal in N.C.

Once planned as the du nation’s nuclear waste, y in this state.

“This plant, seen rarely in the Triangle, is endangered in part because people harvest it for medicinal uses.

At the height of the 2007 drought, Durham had this many days of potable water remaining in its two supply reservoirs.

This marine area is whe plastic bags and water b ocean currents.

$800

$1,000 16

poTenT non-poTabLes

Green LivinG Guide


eopardy! pesky pesTs

This respiratory disease afflicts 7.1 million children in the U.S. each year. Pollution is the main culprit.

This mosquito repellent was routinely sprayed in neighborhoods, forests, wet areas and cities until it was outlawed in the U.S. in 1972. It was found to harm fish, birds and microorganisms important to ecosystems.

mber of spent fuel r plant.

Greenhouse gas emissions are high in this chemical compound, which U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann said was harmless because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a "natural byproduct of nature."

Also known as IPM, this method is a nontoxic way of ridding bothersome bugs from your home. Keep open containers of food off counters, for starters.

d low-level deposited just north m in the Triangle.

The N.C. Department of Health offers tests for this gas, which often lurks in basements and crawlspaces, and can seep into homes. It also can cause lung cancer.

Pesticide exposure caused birth defects and other health problems in N.C. migrant workers picking this crop.

Coal-fired power plants emit this, which is often abbreviated PM. It can lodge deep in the lungs and cause respiratory problems in some people.

Instead of using toxic pesticides to kill weeds in your lawn, try this common household liquid mixed with water. Then watch the weeds wither and die.

This Republican president signed into law the most significant amendments to the Clean Air Act.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;This company, based in Germany, is the largest manufacturer of agrochemicals in the world. It has offices in Research Triangle Park.

unty ranked fifth in ycled per person,

ump site for the yucca Mountain is

ere discarded bottles are caught in

endanGered species: $200: Bald eagle, $400: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, $600: Eastern Cougar: $800: Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle, $1,000: smooth coneflower poTenT non-poTabLes: $200: Lead, $400: perchloroethylene, or perc, $600: Brier Creek, $800: Fracking, $1,000: 36 Trash TaLk: $200: Orange, $400: Shearon Harris, $600: Carter-Finley, $800: Nevada, $1,000: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch waiTinG To inhaLe: $200: asthma, $400: carbon dioxide, $600: radon, $800: particulate matter, $1,000: Richard Nixon pesky pesTs: $200: DDT, $400: Integrated Pest Management, $600: tomatoes, $800: vinegar and salt mix, $1,000: Bayer

waiTinG To inhaLe

Answers:

TaLk

Green LivinG Guide

17


What’s in your smartphone? Lead, mercury and other hazards lurk in electronics by adai r hay e s - c r an e

a

crowd of people line up outside the Apple Store, some carrying sleeping bags, others lounging in lawn chairs staring, uninterested, at magazines and gadgets they have brought for entertainment. Some of these people have been here all night, anxiously awaiting the release of Apple’s latest product when the doors finally open. Most of them play on their current cellphones or iPods, but what will happen to those devices when they break or become obsolete? A few may be tossed in a drawer, others might be resold online or donated to charity, but some, unfortunately, will wind up in the trash, slowly polluting the environment. Electronics, such as iPods, cellphones and laptops, contain materials that can be harmful if released into the environment. According to the City of Raleigh website for computer and electronic recycling/ reuse options, computer monitors can contain up to 5 pounds of lead; circuit boards often contain cadmium, mercury and chromium; and the plastic that makes up the body of electronics contains polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. (The manufacture of PCBs has been illegal in the U.S. since 1979, but some imported products may still contain them.) “Computers and electronics contain many heavy metals and plastics, such as lead and PCBs, that have been proven harmful to humans, animals and the environment,” said Linda Leighton, the waste reduction specialist for the City of Raleigh. “They are especially dangerous if leached into our water supplies.” Throwing away electronics with LCD screens is a major risk to the environment, because they often contain mercury. Lowell Shaw, solid waste facilities manager for Wake County, said that while lead is the primary concern in electronics, mercury is also something to be worried about. “There are small amounts of mercury in LCD screens,” Shaw said. “If the LCD screen gets broken it can release mercury, and mercury is worse than lead.” The presence of these heavy metals in our landfills can have a huge effect on the environment, especially if those landfills are unlined, said John Howe, owner of Triangle Recycling. The Wendell-based company works primarily with larger organizations to dispose of electronics safely. “The unlined ones can leach whatever is in them for years,” Howe said. “A lot of times we don’t have any long-term studies on what this stuff is going to do to us.”

18

Green LivinG Guide

The materials found in electronics are not only potentially harmful to the environment, but also to humans. Many electronics use flame retardants, exposure to which can harm the liver, thyroid and neurodevelopment, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The retardants can be found in breast milk, and in China, 90 percent of people living near an electronics waste site had the retardants in their bloodstreams. Shaw also said that it is dangerous if several monitors are piled together and the glass breaks. That glass, which may contain lead, could be reused for common items, such as bottles. With people constantly upgrading to the latest and greatest electronics, states and companies have begun to reduce what goes into our M .CO landfills. TO O H CKP According to the recycling secISTO tion of Apple’s website, the company set a goal in 2009 to achieve a recycling rate of 50 percent. The company says it surpassed that goal and achieved a recycling rate of 66.4 percent in 2009.

n

orth Carolina placed a law, effective Jan. 1, prohibiting the disposal of televisions and electronics in landfills. Wake County has three collection sites that will accept almost anything with a cord, including microwaves. Companies like Triangle Recycling in Wendell and Creative Recycling Systems in Morrisville are another way that people can safely dispose of their outdated electronics. However, Howe encourages people to try to reuse the items. “Reuse takes precedence over recycling. We think everyone should try to reuse as much as they can. If they can’t, give it to someone that can. Then think about recycling,” Howe said. “Try to recycle as much as you can and landfill nothing.” Leighton agrees with Howe when it comes to the responsibility of reusing material. “Consumers should be keeping their products until they can no longer be reused or repaired. If there is a good reason to get the newest model and the old one still works, there are many organizations that can make good use of it,” Leighton said. “When it finally can no longer be used, it should be recycled.” Leighton thinks responsibility should also fall on manufacturers. “If they are going to make and push these product[s] with minor new changes each year, they need to start taking back the one they sold the customer the year before and recycle it,” Leighton said. x


Going green—at any price By C u rt Fi e l d s

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oing green doesn’t have to break your budget. There are countless little things you can do to lessen your negative effect upon the planet. You probably already know many of them—change from incandescent lightbulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs, drive less, lower the temperature on your hot water heater—but here are a few more ideas at varying price points for you to consider. Whether you are a renter or a homeowner, living paycheck to paycheck or have money to spare, you will find at least a few steps you can take.

LESS THAN $25 Wash your clothes in cold water when possible. More than 75 percent of the energy to machine-wash clothes is spent on heating the water. Cost: Zero. It will even put a little extra change in your pocket over time. Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators. A low-flow showerhead can save more than 600 gallons of water a month, even more if you take long showers (if you do, shorten them a few minutes for even more savings). Faucet aerators can cut water use by as much as 2.75 gallons per minute, saving as much as 1,700 gallons of water a year. Cost: You can find aerators for as little as $2 and low-flow showerheads for $12–$15. While we’re talking showers, switch to a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner. If you replace two large plastic bottles with one then obviously you’ve cut your damage in that area in half. Cost: None. You save on product, plus you may shorten your shower time, saving water. Make your own cleaning products. Recipes abound on the Web for homemade nontoxic cleaning products that work as well as the pricey spray bottles of chemical-laden products you have in your cabinet right now. Most only require simple ingredients such as baking soda, lemon and vinegar. Cost: Less than $10. Check your tires. Check the air pressure regularly (once a month is often the recommended interval). If they are low, add air. Having properly inflated tires can improve your gas mileage by roughly 3 percent. Cost: About 75 cents a month unless you know a gas station that still offers free air. Consider the price of gas and you can make that back easily with the improved mileage. Check for toilet tank leaks. Put some food coloring in your toilet tank’s water. You can use green because you’re feeling environmental, but any color will do. Wait for a couple of hours. Then look in the toilet bowl. If any green has seeped into the bowl, you have a leak. Fix it by replacing the tank’s flapper. Doing so can save up to a gallon a minute depending on the severity of the leak. Cost: You can easily find flapper replacement kits in the $12–$20 range. Get your news from the Web (at www.indyweek.com of course). Making paper and ink, plus transporting it, kills trees and uses a lot of energy. So buy digital versions of

newspapers and books. Um, wait … there is a compromise. If you can’t give up the feel of newsprint or the rustle of a book’s pages being turned, visit www.Ecolibris.net. You give them a dollar and they plant a tree in a developing country. The more you give, the more you balance out your literary habits. It’s like carbon offsets for bookworms! If you eat meat, add one meatless meal a week. Meat is more expensive than produce and has a greater environmental cost as well. Cost: None. You’ll be spending less money.

LESS THAN $100 Use a smart power strip. These strips automatically sense when your appliances are not in use and cut off to end the “phantom” energy drain that many electric products create while plugged in. Cost: These strips can easily be found in the $25 to $50 range. Plant native plants in your yard. You live in North Carolina. Embrace it. Use grasses, shrubs and trees that are native to the state even if you’re not. Why? Because native plants are better able to survive through our drought periods. That means less watering required. Cost: Under $100 if you’re only planting a few things. Do a little each year to spread it over time. Install a wattage meter. There are some in the $25 range that track one device at a time, but get one that attaches to your electric meter to track your total energy picture. The numbers it gives you will tell you where you’re wasting energy and losing money. Cost: A whole-house meter can be found for $150.

LESS THAN $1,000 Rearrange your vegetation. Plant trees in key areas to shade the house at crucial times during the day. Shade your air-conditioning unit with one too, to lessen the strain on it during peak usage. Cost: Depends on the type of tree, but it’s easy to find workable ones for $150–$200 each. As a bonus you can make the investment back over time with the savings on your cooling costs. Switch to a front-loading washer from a top loader. Front loaders use less than half the water on average than a top loader uses for a full load. Cost: Front loaders are abundant in the $600–$1,000 range. Use free water. Purchase rain barrels and collect from 50 to 100 gallons of water in each. Use the water to irrigate your yard or wash your car. Cost: $100 to $300 per barrel. For a couple

of hundred dollars more you can find systems that can expand usage options to such functions as flushing your toilet. Make your windows more efficient. Caulk both the exterior and interior and add weather stripping. Use a thermal pane in the most problematic areas. Cost: The more windows you replace as opposed to just making improvements to, the higher the expenditure. Choose carpet made from renewable or recycled materials. Options even include recycled plastic bottles; about 50 2-liter plastic bottles go into a square yard. Cost: $15 to $25 per square yard for the recycled plastic versions. Install ceiling fans. Studies estimate that ceiling fans can save 40 percent on summer cooling costs and even up to 10 percent on heating costs. Cost: The fan itself can be found for as little as $30–$40. Professional installation will be in the $100–$200 range, more if you’re installing several fans at once. Install skylight tubes. Let natural light fill your home and reduce your energy needs. Cost: $200 to $500, plus installation, or if you’re handy you can find kits in the $200–$400 range and do the installation yourself. It may sound daunting, but m o e.c the instructions are stepim st m by-step and it essentially boils ea r D 1| down to being able to cut holes that tp Ua are aligned. Use a solar oven. We know. You want to hit a couple of buttons and have dinner ready in 30 seconds. But if you’re really serious about greening your lifestyle, a solar oven is an option to consider. It won’t replace your other cooking appliances, but it’s a nice complement. There are websites devoted to solar cooking that offer recipes for everything from baked acorn squash to stuffed baked apples. Cost: Some can be found online for a little more than $200. Go green when you go. Being dead doesn’t mean you have to stop being considerate of the earth and the people you’re leaving behind. Face it, being buried in fancy hardwood coffins after being filled with embalming fluid’s chemical cornucopia is just plain deadly for the environment. Why not know that your last act was a good deed and have a green funeral? Use a biodegradable casket that uses such materials as jute or bamboo. Don’t use embalming fluids. Consider cremation. Visit the Green Burial Council website at greenburialcouncil.org for a good starting point in making your departure plans. After all, one last bit of good karma can’t hurt can it? Cost: Varies widely based on what you choose. x

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Greenwashing: Don’t buy into the spin By Li s a S o r g

T

here’s nothing like a good greenwashing to make you feel dirty. Beware of TV, print or line ads gussied up with images of blues skies and butterflies and punctuated with code words like “clean” or “sustainable.” Companies are trying convincing you of their eco-cred by greenwashing: shamelessly manipulating language and distorting facts in order to appear environmentally conscious or beneficial. For example, ads running on local TV stations for “clean coal” are paid for by one of many groups, including American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, Americans for Balanced Energy Choices and the Center for Energy and Economic Development. Who are these groups? Sourcewatch.org does a great job of unveiling them and their $45 million advertising campaign: The ACCCE is a nonprofit subsidiary of the U.S. coal industry and includes ALCOA, Duke Energy and American Electric Power. And for Christmas season, Sourcewatch reports, the ACCCE featured online holiday songs “Frosty the Coalman,” “Clean Coal Night” and “Deck the Halls (With Clean Coal).” And “clean coal” is an oxymoron. Burning coal emits greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming. Federal regulations require many, but not all, coal-fired power plants to implement the most updated technology that reduces those emissions—regulations the coal industry has fought, by the way. However, these plants still emit mercury, particulate matter, carbon dioxide and other air pollutants. Corpwatch.org reports that DuPont and its public relations machine produced an ad featuring “seal clapping, whales and dolphins jumping and flamingos flying, all set to Beethoven’s "Ode to Joy" to project its newfound green image. Reality check: In 2005, DuPont paid $10.5 million in fines—the largest civil penalty ever obtained by the Environmental Protection Agency—after failing to report possible health risks associated with a synthetic chemical used in manufacturing Teflon. Dow Chemical, responsible for Agent Orange in Vietnam, uses the image of the planet Earth in its ads as evidence of its commitment to the environment, Corpwatch.org points out.

The award for audacity goes to Monsanto. The company has created genetically modified seeds, which often cross-pollinate from farms that use it to those that don’t—including organic farms. It gets better: Farmers whose fields are inadvertently contaminated by Monsanto’s GMOs are forbidden from saving their seeds—a basic tenet of sustainable agriculture—because doing so infringes on the company’s patent. (The company has sued farmers whose fields were contaminated, accusing them of patent infringement.) Yet the company’s website claims sustainable agriculture is at the core of Monsanto. In response to the explosion of green marketing, the Federal Trade Commission is proposing new guidelines that would curb general claims that a product is “environmentally friendly” or “eco-friendly.” In 2009 and 2010, the FTC conducted a consumer perception study confirming “that unqualified claims that an item is ‘environmentally friendly’ or ‘eco-friendly’ are likely to convey that it has specific and far-reaching environmental benefits. Very few products, if any, have all of the attributes consumers seem to perceive from such claims.” The FTC now has guidelines governing use of terms such as “renewable energy,” “renewable materials,” “recycled content,” “biodegradable” and “nontoxic.” Marketers, the FTC says, also should not overstate an environmental benefit or deceive consumers by misrepresenting the general environmental benefits of a product, package or service. So, how do you know if you’re being greenwashed? First, view the company’s messages with a healthy degree of skepticism. Check out the organization’s websites and see who is on the staff and the board of directors. These sites often list the group’s membership, which will tell you who’s behind the curtain. If this information isn’t listed, that should be a red flag that the group is trying to hide something. Secondly, follow the money. Many industry groups give to political candidates. The Center for Responsive Politics (www.opensecrets.org) is the motherlode of accessible federal campaign finance data.

Resources:

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And if the group is a nonprofit, you can learn about its basic finances and mission at www. guidestar.com, which houses the tax forms—also known as 990s—for nonprofit groups. The basic service is free; just create an account and type the organization name into the search box. (There is a fee for a premium account, which gives you even more access to the information). An excellent article on www.sourcewatch.org points out that industry groups often hire third parties—unscrupulous reporters, for example—to write stories favoring their point of view. The groups may also fund university research or scientists that, lo and behold, support their position. Also just googling the company name and “environmental record” will often yield a goldmine of news reports and EPA press releases about fines and violations. x

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1. General Electric (GE) 2. American Electric Power (AEP) 3. ExxonMobil 4. DuPont 5. Archer Daniels Midland 6. Waste Management, Inc. 7. International Paper 8. British Petroleum (BP) 9. Dow Chemical 10. General Motors (GM)

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Feeling energized? There are groups to help you go green. By C u rt Fi e l d s

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Your recycling bin is more valuable than EVER!

S

o your carbon footprint is Sasquatch size and the closest you get to green living is St. Patrick’s Day, but something in our Green Guide has sparked a desire for change. What to do? Obviously there are a lot of tips available in these pages, with steps you can take. But you’re new to this and have a convert’s zeal. You want to go all-out and do an energy enhancement on your home. But, being new to it all, you want someone to help you get started and walk you through the process. Where can you turn? There are several useful websites, such as http://energytaxincentives.org/consumers or www.ase.org. Other online resources provide suggestions on what improvements to make and the possible financial incentives for making them. (See our resource guide on page 26.) Whatever you are thinking about doing though, do get help first. It can save you money and more energy than your initial plans might. “Many people automatically go for the most visible improvements,” said Anna Booth of the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA). “That’s why replacing their windows is often the first thing homeowners think of, but, interestingly, windows are one of the most expensive options, with way less return on the investment. “Often, you can save as much or more energy by caulking and weather-stripping your windows” than by replacing them, Booth said. A crucial step the SEEA recommends is improving your ductwork. Making sure it is “properly taped and sealed is the number one thing you can do to improve the air quality of your home” and allows your HVAC system to run more efficiently, Booth said. If you’re a typical homeowner though, you may not be qualified to tell the difference between proper ductwork and, well, ductwork that isn’t up to snuff. That’s why you need to have an energy assessment done.

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Green Living guide

Progress Energy and Duke Energy both offer online questionnaires designed to help you pinpoint where you are losing energy and money. Still, that only goes so far. If you’re thinking of doing extensive upgrades, you need a personal inspection. Make sure you’re committed though, because an in-person energy assessment can range from $400–$600. Of course, if it saves you from spending $2,000 on something you didn’t really need, that’s not a bad deal. However, Durham residents may qualify for an even better deal. Clean Energy Durham (www.cleanenergydurham.org), a nonprofit, can help you assess your energy use. In addition, staff and volunteers teach people how to save energy and train community members how to do simple retrofits on their homes, or on those of their neighbors. In Chapel Hill, Clean Energy Solutions Inc. can help subsidize your energy assessment if you qualify so that your out-of-pocket cost is about $50. And it gets better. If you qualify for the program and choose to proceed, after the energy assessment is performed (the organization provides you a list of qualified general contractors) the group will stay involved. Provided the enhancements meet certain requirements such as a 15 percent energy savings, then you may be eligible for help with the cost of the project. If your project qualifies, the subsidy would be paid directly to the contractor upon your authorization and after a third party has verified that the work was performed to quality standards, according to Nora Barger, energy efficiency coordinator for the program. The bottom line, though, is that no matter where you turn for guidance, do get assistance from somewhere. It will help save you money and help save energy for all of us. x


Company eyes Elizabeth City for first onshore wind farm by Li s a s o r G area would be used for the wind farm; the rest of the land could be used for its original purposes. Desert Wind Project would connect to the electric grid through Virginia Electric and Power line; in addition, Iberdrola would have to construct an additional infrastructure, including a substation and a subtransmission line. The impact of wind turbines—Desert Wind would have up to 150—on birds and bats are of particular concern along the coast. In its comments to the state regulators, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission said it had reviewed Iberdrola’s Avian and Bat Protection Plan and that it would adequately help determine the number of bird and bat fatalities associated with the farm. However, the commission is also concerned about “avoidance behavior” in birds, meaning they no longer return to their winter homes and are, in effect, displaced from their habitats. “A large-scale wind project has never been constructed in an area with such a coastal migratory presence,” the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission wrote. “Our concern is the continued growth of large-scale wind facilities in eastern North Carolina and their potential influence on avoidance behavior …” The project has support from the N.C. Department of Commerce and several economic development organizations in northeastern North Carolina.

“As the first project in the state, it would put Pasquotank County and Elizabeth City on the map for alternative energy,” Wayne Harris of the Albermarle Economic Development Commission testified before the N.C. Utilities Commission. As with its other U.S. farms, once the plant began generating energy, Iberdrola could sell the power to electric co-ops, city-owned utilities or large investor-owned utilities, such as Duke Energy, Progress Energy or Dominion North Carolina Power. Dominion serves northeastern North Carolina. Nationwide, it uses nuclear, coal and hydroelectric power, and operates several wind farms, including one at Mount Storm, W.V., and another in northwestern Indiana. “The location of those two farms is critical. They’re very Greenville windy,” said Jim Norville, director of media relations for Dominion. “We like wind in our portfolio. We think that one of the reasons that our costs have been reasonable to our customers is we have a diverse energy mix.” (Anticipating additional interest in offshore and onshore wind on the East Coast, Dominion is also studying the possibility of running an offshore electric transmission line from Virginia Beach into the Atlantic Ocean.) Interest in North Carolina’s wind resources has intensified, especially since the passage of

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rural section of northeastern North Carolina could be the site for the state’s first commercial-scale wind farm if state regulators approve the company’s application. Iberdrola Renewables, which has its U.S. headquarters in Portland, Ore., has applied to the N.C. Utilities Commission to build its Desert Wind Project on 20,000 acres of private land near Elizabeth City in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties. Iberdrola’s worldwide operations are in Madrid, Spain. Its plants can generate more than 12,000 megawatts of renewable energy worldwide—4,300 megawatts of it from 40 wind farms scattered throughout the U.S. In North Carolina, the company hopes the plant will generate 300 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 55,000 to 70,000 homes. While other companies have considered offshore wind power in North Carolina, Iberdrola has chosen to pursue an onshore farm 10 miles from the coast. “Offshore wind costs more,” said Paul Copleman, spokesperson for Iberdrola. “We’ve reliably done onshore wind elsewhere and that’s where we feel like we can develop a fixed price for our renewables.” According to utilities commission documents, the project would be built on an undeveloped area currently used for agricultural and forestry. After construction, 1–2 percent of the project

Senate Bill 3. That law, passed in 2007, requires utilities in North Carolina to ramp up the amount of energy efficiency or renewable energy they save or purchase by 12.5 percent by 2020. Last summer, Apex Energy, which is headquartered in Charlottesville, Va., and Outer Banks Ocean Energy applied for federal permission to lease 214 square miles off Onslow Bay for an offshore wind project. x

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on’t be surprised if you walk into the Richards had visited the first green lighting (only the freezer and cooler uses nonMcDonald’s on Kildaire Farm Road in McDonald’s, located in Savannah, Ga., and LED lighting) and features 19 Solatubes—one To reserve your ad space Cary and find the lights are off. “I was intrigued.” The Savannah location was of Richards’s favorite touches—positioned to in this monthly section No,contact the rough USGBC-certified LEED Gold and had come provide natural light throughout. youreconomy ad rep hasn’t caused the fast-food franchise to come up short on the about because a develop there wanted to do a There are placards scattered about, highlightor gmock@indyweek.com, 286-1972 ext 127are off because much of electric bill. The lights green development, Richards said. ing the various green features, plus a cutaway the time they are not needed. This particular He remembered that restaurant when the section in the men’s room to show the insulafranchise is one of only four McDonald’s in the McDonald’s corporate office in Chicago asked tion made from recycled denim. There is also an United States designed to be green, and it has if he wanted to buy the Kildaire Farm Road resinteractive touch screen near the entrance that the LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green taurant in 2006. “It was about 25 years old and provides project details, as well as a map showing Building Council proudly hanging on its wall— they wanted me to change the front, redo the mass transit options and bike routes (one of the and enough natural light to read it. drive-thru and make other substantial changes,” categories scored in the certification process). Of course, one green franchise among a corRichards said. He suggested that if he was going to Outside, there are parking spots reserved for poration’s 32,000-plus franchises scattered across make such a sizable reinvestment—in the neighhybrid vehicles. Richards said that the scorecard the world is not going to radically reduce that borhood of $700,000 to $800,000—then why not for LEED certification requires at least two such company’s effect on the environment—especially spend a little more and use a green approach? spots. Brainstorming during weekly meetings led if beef is the company’s main product (hugely In essence starting with the scorecard to the idea of adding charging stations for elecmechanized processing facilities use a ton of USGBC uses to certify green buildings as the tric cars to them. carbon emissions). There is also the question of springboard for the design, Richards assembled stations do not get a lot of use yet, he To reserveThe your ad space how much beef the corporation uses that might a team to make it happen. During the buildingin thissaid, but he issection confident usage will increase as monthly have been grazed in deforested rain forest areas. process, 99 percent of the debris created from contact gas prices yourrise adand repelectric cars become more All of the scrutiny has spurred McDonald’s the demolition of the old building was either prevalent. (In a coincidence, Richards said, the or gmock@indyweek.com, To reserveinvited your ad monthly section The new building uses susto react. In 2009, the company thespace Worldin thisreused or recycled. representative at Novacharge, the company that extstations, 127 grew up in Cary only a contact your ad rep or gmock@indyweek.com, 286-1972 ext 127 Wildlife Fund to analyze what it buys and who tainable design elements such as high-efficiency 286-1972 supplied the it buys from. Cleaning up the beef supply chain rooftop mechanical equipment and boilers, couple of blocks from the McDonald’s.) was the WWF’s No. 1 suggestion. water-conserving toilets and plumbing fixtures The restaurant recycles its cooking oil (much A few months ago the corporation initiated a (saving an estimated 550,000 gallons a year) and of it ends up being used in the production of program aimed at helping its British beef farmhigh-efficiency LED lighting for exterior signage lipstick), and there are efforts made to educate ers cut down on methane emissions. Also, disand parking lots. The front counter is made from customers on what materials should go in the tribution partner LXP has been working toward recycled concrete and glass instead of granite. recycling bins and what must be trashed. “EPA Smartway” certification—which involves Tables are made from sunflower seeds, bamboo Of course, not every item found there is envibeing graded on fuel efficiency and environand other quickly renewing resources. The insuronmentally friendly, Richards acknowledged, mental cleanliness—for all McDonald’s-related lation is made from recycled denim. tapping his coffee cup as an example. With so transportation. The restaurant uses computer-controlled few green franchises at this time, it would be There have been other moves as well, some LED lighting for 97 percent of its interior cost-prohibitive in some cases to create ecosubstantive (recycling cooking oil in all its friendly items to use, he said. European restaurants), some less so (billboards Richards, who owns eight franchises, rebuilt a in Oregon touting the use of locally grown different McDonald’s shortly before the Kildaire potatoes for its fries, with small print pointFarm location. It has the “same physical plan, ing out that “participation and duration same height, same width, same length and it’s a may vary”). standard energy-efficient McDonald’s” and The corporation scored 36 out of the green one has much lower utility costs, 100 on the most recent scorecard Richards said. Also lower maintenance of environmental advocacy group costs—“We haven’t changed a lightClimateCounts.org. That isn’t bulb in two years here, while in other an overwhelming score, but stores we’re changing them almost it is three times higher than constantly.” Burger King or Wendy’s He estimates that initial conand six points higher than struction and material costs were McDonald’s score the pre“around 5 or 6 percent more, vious year. but now I could probably build The appearance it for the same amount” as one in the United States that wasn’t green. of green franchises is Located at 1299 Kildaire another part of the Farm Road, the rebuilt rescompany’s efforts. But taurant opened in 2009, with only four in the becoming the third green country, how did one McDonald’s. The project of them end up here? started earlier, but it finished Why Cary? after a green location in Franchise ownerChicago. A fourth green franoperator Ric Richards chise was recently completed in was the catalyst. Riverside, Calif. x

Green LivinG Guide

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cenTer for environmenTaL farminG sysTems: Works closely with state and federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, farmers and citizens to provide agricultural research, extension and education for our state. www.cefs.ncsu.edu

Resources

farminG/ farmLand preservaTion bLack famiLy Land TrusT: Provides educational, technical and financial services to insure, protect and preserve African-American land ownership. www.bflt.org farmLand informaTion cenTer: An online collection of laws, literature and technical resources on farmland protection and stewardship. Also provides information by phone, fax or email. www.farmlandinfo.org naTure conservancy: National organization with an N.C. chapter that has protected nearly 700,000 acres across the state. www.nature.org

enerGy american wind and hydropower TechnoLoGies proGram: The program aims to increase the development and use of wind and hydropower technologies across the country. It provides ample research materials and links to publications. tinyurl.com/yzbtne cLean enerGy durham: Works on a neighborhood level to encourage and assist citizens to save energy through weatherization programs, solar hot water, conservation tips, etc. www.cleanenergydurham.org enerGy efficiency and renewabLe enerGy: An online guide to help consumers choose the best lighting options and usage, plus a maintenance guide on how to care for your lights to keep them at optimal energy efficiency. apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/ lighting_daylighting n.c. Green power: The nonprofit, statewide energy program works to improve North Carolina’s environment through voluntary contributions toward renewable energy and the mitigation of greenhouse gases. Its goal is to supplement the state’s existing power supply with more green energy—electricity generated from renewable energy sources like the sun, wind and organic matter. It also offers carbon offsets to address growing concerns about the impact of greenhouse gases on the environment. www.ncgreenpower.org n.c. renewabLe enerGy TrackinG sysTem: Issues and tracks renewable energy certificates and energy efficiency certificates. www.ncrets.org n.c. soLar cenTer: See listing under Universities, page 29.

n.c. soLar enerGy associaTion: Participates in creating a sustainable energy future in North Carolina through the promotion of renewable energy technologies. www.ncsolar.org n.c. susTainabLe enerGy associaTion: A nonprofit that works to promote sustainable energy across North Carolina. They provide information on resources, tax credits, climate change, etc. http://energync.org n.c. wind enerGy: Provides wind energy information as well as a guide to resources and companies across the state for those who wish to learn more about and install technology to harness the power of the wind. www.wind.appstate.edu soLar enerGy inTernaTionaL: A nonprofit organization that offers renewable energy education through hands-on training and classes across the country (and in other parts of the world) as well as online classes. www.solarenergy.org soLar power direcTory: A web-based stateby-state directory that lists solar power and alternative energy installation companies around the United States. www.solarpowerdirectory.com The source for renewabLe enerGy: A guide to more than 14,000 renewable energy businesses and organizations worldwide. www.energy.sourceguides.com windpower monThLy: A monthly magazine that specializes in wind power. It offers stories on global wind power news and technology. www.windpower-monthly.com

farminG caroLina farm sTewardship associaTion: Promotes sustainable agriculture in the Carolinas. www.carolinafarmstewards.org

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Green LivinG Guide

neem: Natural, Environmental and Ecological Management Corporation. NEEM promotes sustainable-community development. http://neemtree.org n.c. aGricuLTuraL deveLopmenT and farmLand preservaTion TrusT fund: Part of the N.C. Department of Agriculture, the fund works to preserve working farms and forestry and horticulture industries. www.ncadfp.org n.c. susTainabLe aGricuLTure research and educaTion proGram: A program that focuses on research and education to enhance the quality of life for farmers, ranchers and society as a whole through sustainable agriculture. www.sustainable-ag.ncsu.edu orGanic Growers schooL: A nonprofit that focuses on advancing organic agriculture and sustainable living in the Southern Appalachian region through educational and outreach programs. www.organicgrowersschool.org seeds: A nonprofit community garden in Durham that holds programs with the goal of teaching people how to care for the earth, themselves and each other. www.seedsnc.org sTudenT acTion wiTh farmworkers: A nonprofit organization that works to bring farmworkers and students together to learn about each other, improve conditions for farmworkers and ultimately create a more just agricultural system. www.saf-unite.org

financiaL informaTion sTaTe incenTives for renewabLes and efficiency: An online database containing information for tax incentives, utility discounts, rules and regulations concerning renewable and efficient energy. The database also includes federal information. www.dsireusa.org

Tax incenTive assisTance proJecT: TIAP is designed to help homeowners and builders find out if they qualify for federal incometax credits because of energy efficiency with buildings and vehicles. The site offers federal tax forms as well as updates on incentives. www.energytaxincentives.org

Green buiLdinG efficienT windows coLLaboraTive: An online guide that explains the benefits of switching to energy efficient windows. The site also provides information about tax incentives, legislative incentives and building-code updates. www.efficientwindows.org enerGy-efficienT LiGhTinG: An online guide that takes users through the benefits of switching to compact fluorescent lights and LEDs. tinyurl.com/6gtk9mu enerGy sTar appLiances: The online site provides information and lists of Energy Starapproved appliances, as well as information to consider when making home improvements (including information regarding tax credits) and building a new home. www.energystar.gov GreenbuiLdinG: A resource guide that allows users to find local dealers who sell green building materials. Searches can be done by ZIP code to find nearby vendors. www.greenbuilding.org Green buiLdinG paGes: An online resource that offers a searchable green building materials section under green products, including manufacturers by ZIP code. www.greenbuildingpages.com The Green buiLdinG resource Guide: A guide to more than 600 green-building materials and products. These products are not only green but useful. www.greenguide.com Green home buiLders of The TrianGLe: A subcommittee of the Home Builders Associations in area counties, it offers green building guidance, rating systems and certification, and educational tools for helping builders adopt green building techniques across the country. It is affiliated with the NAHB National Green Building Program. tinyurl.com/4rfobgr naTuraL resources defense counciL: Provides tips to help make sure you buy the right energy-saving appliances. The website also provides information to help you save energy. www.nrdc.org/air/energy/fappl.asp n.c. Green buiLdinG TechnoLoGy daTabase: Provides informative case studies of different green building technologies and techniques. www.ncgreenbuilding.org The smarT communiTies neTwork: This site offers information and articles related to green building and developing, success stories, N.C. codes and ordinances as well as educational materials. www.smartcommunities.ncat.org


U.S. Green Building Council, Triangle chapter: A coalition of building leaders across the region who strive to promote green building and environmentally friendly techniques to create sustainable places to work and live. www.triangleusgbc.org Western North Carolina Green Building Council: A nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable, health-conscious building practices through education. It also provides information on resources from alternative energy to remodeling. www.wncgbc.org Whole Building Design Guide: An in-depth look at windows, including an overview of many aspects of windows from the U-value (which indicates the heat flow through a window) to the solar heat grain coefficient (which indicates how much of the sun’s energy that hits the window is transmitted through the window as heat). It also discusses adding tints and glazes to window and the benefits of selecting the right windows for your home or office. www.wbdg.org/resources/windows.php

INDOOR AIR QUALITY Indoor Air Quality, EPA: In this online guide, users can learn about air quality, what might be hampering it and what to do if your air has mold, radon or carbon monoxide. www.epa.gov/iaq

Indoor Air Quality, state: Information provided by N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on common air pollutants and what users can do to eliminate or reduce them in houses, schools, offices and buildings, and state government and university buildings. www.epi.state.nc.us/epi/air.html

TRIANGLE LAND CONSERVANCY: A nonprofit organization that protects important open space—stream corridors, forests, wildlife habitat, farmland and natural areas—in Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Lee, Orange and Wake counties to help keep our region a healthy and vibrant place to live and work. www.triangleland.org

LAND CONSERVATION

RECYCLING/ reuse

Conservation Trust for N.C.: A nonprofit organization that protects North Carolina’s land and water resources through statewide conservation and cooperative work with local land trusts. www.ctnc.org

CAROLINA RECYCLING ASSOCIATION: Composed of corporations, small businesses, local government, state government agencies and individuals across the Carolinas who are committed to waste reduction and recycling efforts. www.cra-recycle.org

LAND FOR TOMORROW: A statewide partnership of concerned citizens, businesses, interest groups and local governments urging the General Assembly to fund protection of the state’s land and water resources. www.landfortomorrow.org land trust alliance: An organization that promotes voluntary private land conservation to benefit communities and natural systems. The national convener, strategist and representative of more than 1,700 land trusts across America. http://www.landtrustalliance.org/ N.C. COASTAL LAND TRUST: The group helps preserve the coastal communities through the acquisition of open space and natural areas, conservation education and the promotion of good land stewardship. www.coastallandtrust.org

Cary: bit.ly/b0ufLf Chatham County: bit.ly/d7q7H1 Durham City-County: http://tinyurl.com/4ddkzyn green chair project: A nonprofit that collects gently used furniture to be donated to and reused by those in need in the Raleigh community. http://www.thegreenchair.org Orange County (includes Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough): tinyurl.com/d8glkr

SMART GROWTH Smart Growth Network: A joint venture of many nonprofit companies, as well as government organizations and the EPA to help design and redesign new and existing communities so they are environmentally and pedestrian- and transit-friendly, they incorporate a mix of retail, commercial and housing opportunities, and they help foster a sense of place in a community. www.smartgrowth.org U.S. EPA Smart Growth: Provides background information about smart growth as well as links to other EPA resources. www.epa.gov/dced/about_sg.htm

TRANSIT biofuels center: A private nonprofit corporation that works to develop a statewide biofuels industry to focus on reducing the state's dependence on imported liquid fuels. http://www.biofuelscenter.org Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization: Oversees many aspects of transit in Wake County, including bike and pedestrian issues. www.campo-nc.us

Raleigh: http://www.raleighnc.gov/recycling Wake County: tinyurl.com/dkvo98

Green Living guide

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Chapel Hill/ Carrboro Bike/ Ped Advisory Board: Advises the council regarding the creation, development and revision of a phased Walks and Bikeways Master Plan. Sets priorities for new facilities or enhancement of existing routes in the Walks and Bikeways Master Plan. Identifies and prioritizes critical gaps in facilities; advises which critical gaps require town action. bit.ly/d7Pn3Z chatham county transportation advisory board: This new committee plans to identify and study issues and make recommendations to the county commissioners on transportation and related issues. The long-term goal is to have a sustainable transportation system that offers access to various modes of transportation. bit.ly/cziF0m Duke Bikes: Rentals for Duke students, staff and faculty. www.parking.duke.edu/bikes Durham Bike/ Ped advisory Commission: Advisory board provides news and reports and holds meetings about the city’s bike and pedestrian accessibility. www.bikewalkdurham.org Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization: Oversees many aspects of transit in Durham and Orange counties, including bike and pedestrian issues. www.dchcmpo.org

mass transit: Online magazine with industry news about rail, bus and legal issues, plus a job listing. www.masstransitmag.com N.C. active transportation alliance: Stateside advocacy organization promoting nonmotorized transportations for residents and visitors to N.C. sites.google.com/site/ncactive N.C. Coalition for Bicycle Driving: Stresses education, access and safety. www.human​ transport.org/bicycledriving n.c. alliance for transportation reform: Provides information and education to local officials in an effort to persuade them that the principles of democratic, accessible and efficient transportation systems will enhance the quality of life for their communities and their state. www.ncatr.com Pedicabs: Raleigh Rickshaw has service downtown. www.raleighrickshaw.com. Greenway Transit has service and rents pedicabs in Durham and Chapel Hill. www.greenwayrides.com/services/rickshaw Public transportation: Cary: C-Tran, bit.ly/bthIq0 . Chapel Hill/ Carrboro: Chapel Hill Transit, bit.ly/7tEDcH . Durham: DATA, tinyurl.com/cqzffj . Raleigh: CAT, www.raleighnc.gov/transit . Triangle Transit provides bus service throughout Durham, Wake and Orange counties: triangletransit.org

TRIANGLE GREENWAYS COUNCIL: This volunteer organization promotes the expansion and use of greenway corridors throughout the Triangle. www.trianglegreenways.org Zipcars: Duke University is involved in the carsharing program. www.zipcar.com/duke

WATER CONSERVATION Harvested Rainwater: This site from Greenbuilder.com offers information about ways to harvest rainwater, including rain barrels and large- and small-scale harvesting. http://rainwater.sustainablesources.com Water Conservation: The N.C. Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance provides tips to conserve water as well as links to the state drought monitoring page. www.savewaternc.org

GOVERNMENT Carrboro: The Environmental Advisory Board communicates with the Board of Alderman on policies, ordinances and administrative procedures regarding environmental protection and the conservation of natural resources. The areas of review for the EAB include new development, solid waste, air quality, stormwater management, energy conservation, solar energy, groundwater, natural resources and others. tinyurl.com/cctnnr

Cary: The Environmental Advisory Board provides feedback and advice to Town Council on policies, ordinances and administrative procedures regarding environmental protection and the conservation of energy and natural resources. bit.ly/dtqR2K Chapel Hill: The Town’s Sustainability Office is headquarters for the Sustainability Committee, an advisory group that includes citizens and appointed and elected officials. bit.ly/dfZECj Durham: The City-County Environmental Affairs Board is composed of citizens advising elected officials on environmental issues. tinyurl.com/ccxqsj Durham Sustainability Office: This office is in charge of implementing the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan. Contact Tobin Freid, sustainability manager, at 560-7999. www.greendurham.net N.C. Cooperative Extension: Based at N.C. State and N.C. A&T State universities, the extension offers consumer assistance on farming, gardening, forestry and other environmental issues. www.ces.ncsu.edu N.C. Department of Environmental and Natural Resources: The vast state agency is in charge of enforcement, permitting and education, among other duties. It has divisions devoted to water, waste, hazardous materials, air, etc. http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/guest

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Green Living guide

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n.c. deparTmenT of TransporTaTion, bike/ ped division: Works on construction of offroad facilities and on-road highway improvements; safety and education programs; bicycle route designation and signing. www.ncdot.gov/bikeped n.c. drouGhT manaGemenT advisory counciL: Issues drought advisories and offers technical and educational data. www.ncdrought.org oranGe counTy: The Environment & Resource Conservation Department is involved in environmental protection and open space. www.co.orange.nc.us/ercd raLeiGh: The Environmental Advisory Board advises City Council on matters related to environmental quality and promotes communication between governments and the public on environmental protection standards and policies. tinyurl.com/4ks745o sTaTe enerGy office: It is the lead agency for energy programs and serves as the official source of information and assistance for consumers, including businesses. www.energync.net

wake counTy: The Environmental Services Department tackles various issues, including air quality, solid waste and water quality. www.wakegov.com/environment wake foresT: The town has a Greenways Advisory Board and an Urban Forestry Advisory Board. tinyurl.com/d68rgr

universiTies cenTraL caroLina communiTy coLLeGe: www.cccc.edu duke universiTy cenTer for TropicaL conservaTion: A nonprofit organization seeking to address the global environmental crisis, particularly as it affects the developing countries of the tropics, through research, training and communication. www.duke.edu/web/ctc duke universiTy nichoLas schooL of The environmenT and earTh services: Researches a variety of environmental issues. www.nicholas.duke.edu duke universiTy susTainabiLiTy office: Interacts with students for a greener campus. www.duke.edu/sustainability Win tickets and

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n.c. sTaTe universiTy office of susTainabiLiTy: Works to make N.C. State a more sustainable campus and also conducts environmental research. www.ncsu.edu/sustainability n.c. soLar cenTer: Operated by the N.C. State college of engineering, the center provides information for homes and businesses to use solar power. They also have a display home that visitors can tour. www.ncsc.ncsu.edu n.c. sTaTe cenTer for TransporTaTion and The environmenT: Funded in part by the U.S. Department of Transportation and its state counterpart, the CTE looks into how to integrate transportation in sustainable way. cte.ncsu.edu/cte unc cenTer for susTainabLe enTerprise: Run out of the Kenan-Flagler business school, this center focuses on dovetailing business, financial profitability and green practices. www.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/KI/cse unc insTiTuTe for The environmenT: Researchers study global warming, pollution, carbon reduction and watershed management, among other areas. www.ie.unc.edu

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unc schooL of pubLic heaLTh: Works to teach the next generation of public health leaders and also conducts research. Aims to improve public health, promote individual well-being and eliminate health disparities in North Carolina and around the world. www.sph.unc.edu unc susTainabiLiTy office: Develops and implements sustainable policies, practices and curricula for all members of the university community. sustainability.unc.edu

advocacy bLue ridGe environmenTaL defense LeaGue: This regional nonprofit has offices throughout North Carolina, including Alamance County. The group works on a range of issues including water quality, sludge, landfills, energy and transportation. www.bredl.org canary coaLiTion: The group is active in opposing new coal-fired power plants and other fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy. www.canarycoalition.org chaTham ciTizens for effecTive communiTies: A grassroots citizens action group that aims to enhance Chathamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s future. www.chathamcitizens.org

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CLEAN WATER FOR N.C.: A nonprofit that promotes safe, clean water and environments for all North Carolinians through community organizing, education, advocacy and technical assistance. www.cwfnc.org

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FUND: The mission of the Environmental Education Fund is to facilitate productive partnerships, which raise public awareness of the environmental consequences of our actions. www.eefund.org

COAL FREE UNC: The student group has a goal of lobbying university leaders to convert from coal to 100 percent renewable energy. coalfreeunc.wordpress.com

ENVIRONMENT NORTH CAROLINA: A statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization that focuses on many issues, including clean energy, clean water and land preservation. www.environmentnorthcarolina.org

DOGWOOD ALLIANCE: An environmental group that campaigns to protect Southern United States forests. The group has worked with large companies such as Staples to protect forests and has asked companies like KFC to join in preserving the environment. www.dogwoodalliance.org EARTH SHARE: This Durham-based federation of nonprofits works on issues of water, forests, sprawl, energy conservation and pollution, among others. They also connect volunteers with environmental projects. www.earthsharenc.org ELLERBE CREEK WATERSHED ASSOCIATION: An urban nonprofit conservation organization working in Durham County. The group owns and manages more than 150 acres and four public preserves. www.ellerbecreek.org ENO RIVER ASSOCIATION: Dedicated to conserving and protecting the nature, culture and history of the Eno River basin. www.enoriver.org

HAW RIVER ASSEMBLY: Works to protect local waterways, including the 110-mile Haw River and Jordan Lake. www.hawriver.org NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY OF N.C.: Conserves and restores natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and North Carolina’s biological diversity. The state office provides information on chapters, advocacy and administration contact. http://nc.audubon.org NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL: Based in Washington, D.C., the group monitors policymaking while offering green living tips and other environmental news. www.nrdc.org NEUSE RIVER FOUNDATION: Protects, restores and preserves the Neuse River basin through education, advocacy and enforcement, in order to provide clean water for drinking, recreation and enjoyment to the communities that it serves. www.neuseriver.org

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N.C. ALLIANCE FOR TRANSPORTATION REFORM: Provides information and education to local officials in an effort to persuade them that the principles of democratic, accessible and efficient transportation systems will enhance the quality of life for their communities and their state. www.ncatr.com

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N.C. CONSERVATION NETWORK: The Raleighnewsletter every other based group advocates on energy, coastal issues, air week quality and environmental justice. go to indyweek.com www.ncconservationnetwork.org

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N.C. PUBLIC INTEREST RESEARCH GROUP: A group that takes on powerful interests on behalf of North Carolina’s citizens. Stands up to powerful special interests to stop identity theft, fight political corruption, provide safe and affordable prescription drugs and strengthen voting rights. www.ncpirg.org N.C. POWERDOWN: The Triangle meet-up group hopes to raise awareness about the imminent peak in worldwide oil production, influence policy decisions that concern fossil energy use, and be a resource to members as they convert to lower-energy lifestyles. www.meetup.com/NCPowerdown

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preservaTion n.c.: A nonprofit historic preservation organization that works to protect and promote buildings, landscapes and sites important to the heritage of North Carolina. www.presnc.org/index.php sierra cLub: The North Carolina Chapter of this national organization has 13,000 members. It lobbies on state environmental policy. www.northcarolina.sierraclub.org souThern aLLiance for cLean enerGy: A coalition of citizen and environmental groups advocating for renewable energy in the South. They have offices throughout the region. www.cleanenergy.org souThern environmenTaL Law cenTer: The nonprofit uses the law to advocate for the environment, while also lobbying for policy change. It covers six Southern states and has several offices in North Carolina, including Raleigh. www.southernenvironment.org susTainabLe norTh caroLina: Helps organizations become sustainable through networking, education, services and recognition. www.sustainnc.org Toxic free n.c.: Raleigh-based group that raises awareness about the benefits of pesticide- and herbicide-free homes, schools and food. www.toxicfreenc.org

TransiTion carrboro-chapeL hiLL: A group that strives to make communities sustainable as they are faced with the challenges of climate change and peak oil. www.transitioncch.org umsTead coaLiTion: Dedicated to the appreciation, use and preservation of the William B. Umstead State Park and the Richland Creek natural area. www.umsteadcoalition.org The viLLaGe proJecT: The goal of this project is to transform North Carolina into a network of walkable communities interlinked by quality transit services. www.thevillageproject.com wakeup wake counTy: A nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate its members, the public and government officials concerning growth and development issues that affect quality of life in Wake County now and in the future. The group focuses on problems such as schools, quality of life, land use and more. www.wakeupwakecounty.org/cms

Green Guide: National Geographic’s green magazine features information about topics from cleaning your house without chemicals to using fireplaces and many things in between. www.thegreenguide.com GrisT: Irreverent and serious at the same time, this online publication weighs in on important environmental issues with profiles, news, features and a blog (gristmill.org). www.grist.org LivinG Green maGazine: An online magazine that provides information about products, technology, green practices and sustainable solutions. www.livinggreenmag.com moTher earTh news: Magazine about sustainable, self-reliant living. Topics include building, gardening, homesteading, do-it-yourself, kitchen, energy and health. www.motherearthnews.com

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one earTh: A publication of the National Resources Defense Council. www.onearth.org

audubon: Offers views on environmental problems and proposes solutions regarding ecology, conservation, wildlife and more. audubonmagazine.org

orion maGazine: Forum for re-imagining humanity’s relationship to nature, culture and place, featuring America’s foremost writers and artists. www.orionmagazine.org

e: The environmenTaL maGazine: A bimonthly clearinghouse of environmental news. www.emagazine.com

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Green LivinG Guide

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Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take it to the landfill, take it to the ReStore. Your tax deductible donations to the ReStore support affordable housing and divert reusable materials away from local landfills. Shop and save, donate and deduct at the Habitat ReStore.

Durham/ Orange County Monday - Saturday 10 am-6 pm 5501 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham, NC 919-403-8668 www.ReStoreDurhamOrange.org

Free Pick Up Service for pre-approved loads of reusable building materials and furniture. Call the ReStore in your county for details.

Raleigh/ Wake County Tuesday - Friday 10 am-6 pm/ Saturday 9 am-5 pm 2420 Raleigh Blvd., Raleigh, NC 27604 919.833.8687 www.HabitatWake.org

Indy's Green Guide 2011  

The Indy's Annual Green Guide to the Triangle

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